Versailles Milestones or Guard Stones

Milestones or Guard Stones in Versailles

Versailles Milestones
Versailles Milestones, or Piss stones or guard stones – December 2020

At first, I thought these milestones might have been installed for dogs to relieve themselves. Which they undoubtedly seem to be doing, with their masters’ blessing, I’m sure.

On second thought I realised they might not be milestones at all but protective stones to avoid the pillars (there is a flat upstairs) to be damaged by horse-drawn or man-drawn carts.

Many of such stones can be seen in mediaeval cities like Provins, a formerly prominent town in the East of the Paris region, theoretically in the Champagne region. Check the June festival, who knows, once the umpteenth lockdown has been lifted, maybe we’ll be allowed to go places again.

One can see another one in the courtyard of a house in Versailles.

It’s a shame I can’t put some alongside my Brompton‘s wheels to protect myself from all these nasty, noisy and smelly vehicles.

After some research I found that they are called guard stones.

Here is an interesting list of guard stones in various places in France. They can be found in Britain too.

Yann Gourvennec
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