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A camo'd 35ml pot hidden near Coal Post 69 on the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal. The Slough Arm passes over three aqueducts as the canal was raised above the landscape to avoid building locks and placate angry mill owners who did not want the canal stealing water from the rivers that powered their mills. If the aquaducts are approached quietly, there is a good chance of spotting a kingfisher flying off down the river. Congratulations to Lizand for the FTF
Coal Post #69 This cache recognises one of approximately 200 surviving Coal Tax Posts. These posts are to be found in a ring around London at about fifteen miles from the City of London. They were erected under the London Coal and Wine Duties Continuance Act, 1861. Coal sold in the City of London had been taxed since mediaeval times and, as it was all brought in by sea to one or two riverside wharfs, the collection of the duty had been relatively easy. A similar duty was collected on all wine landed in London. By the nineteenth century, however, there was increasing trade by canal and rail, and various acts of parliament extended the catchment area to a radius of about twenty miles from London. The City is a small (one square mile) but influential part of London and in 1851 an Act was passed specifying the points, far beyond its boundaries, where the collections could be made. Marker posts, inscribed with this legal authority, were erected. Following enlargement of the Metropolitan Police District in 1861 a further Act was passed and new marker posts were set to show the boundary inside which the duty was payable. Most of these later posts survive. The erection of these posts was very much a last ditch attempt to retain the tax in the face of growing opposition. The tax had been running for at least two hundred years but within twenty years of the posts going up it was abolished. The Industrial Revolution was in full swing, London was expanding rapidly. The outer suburbs were becoming towns and their residents beginning to resent paying a tax which had very little direct benefit for them. One extreme case is Caterham which lay (and still lies) outside the Metropolitan Police District (MPD) but if coals were to be brought there by rail they had to pass through the MPD and presumably were subject to the tax.The powers to extract these taxes were abolished in 1889. Most posts were made of cast iron and stood at four or five feet tall, but the railway posts were large and impressive obelisks of granite fourteen feet in height. All bore the City coat of arms. Most of those surviving are painted white, with the arms picked out in red, but the stone ones are often of a sombre black, still bearing the stains accumulated on the smoky track side. There are five different forms of Coal Tax boundary markers in all. Most of the posts are Grade II listed buildings.
If any body would like to expand to this series please do but please let Mertsham Mafia http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=8df5d342-b0ac-4828-aa40-c941fca3dfd6 know to avoid duplication.
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