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VS#4a Pitstone Village Sign

A cache by Grumpynsnoozynchatty Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 05/01/2018
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

The Village Signs series is a series of caches based on the ornate signs that depict the heritage, history and culture of the villages that put them up (normally on the village green!).


The signs can be made of different materials from fibreglass to wood, from forged steel to stone.  They can depict anything from local industry to historical events.  The tradition probably stated in Norfolk or Suffolk and has now spread across most of the country so cachers Smokeypugs thought they would base a series on them!

A little about the area:

This sign depicts Pitstone Windmill which is an example of a very early post mill.  There has been a mill at Pitstone since at least 1627 and was used to mill wheat for animal feed and flour.  Unlike more traditional mills seen around the country the sails were covered with material rather than elaborate shuttering.  It was turned to face the wind on top of a huge wooden post using a tail pole instead of a fantail or shuttered sails.  The mill had survived for around three centuries before a freak storm in 1902 caused extensive damage.  Although the mill is no longer in use today, its machinery, including the windshaft and the brakewheel is still intact, having been lovingly restored by volunteers and now belongs to the National Trust.  The windmill is open most Sunday afternoons during the summer.

There is also locally a Watermill (Brook End Mill) which was connected by Mill Way road (now Orchard Way) to Pitstone Windmill. These were often owned by the same person.

Pitstone used to be known as Pightlesthorn, and has mainly been a farming community. However, during the last century it began to be known for producing Portland Cement.  A local museum (open only several times a year) provides an insight to the villages agricultural heritage.  Parts of the surrounding area have been designated “Sites of Special Scientific Interest”.

On to the cache:

To find this cache first find the number of the street lamp (AB) next to the village sign.
A =
B =

Now locate the village information board on the roundabout which is close to the village sign and extract numbers from it as follows:

Most of St. Mary’s Church was built in CDth Century
C =
D =

Date engraved on Pitstone Windmill 1E27
E =

Brook End Mill was held on behalf of King Henry VIII by Willian Cooper in 1FG0
F =
G =

The Tunnel Portland Cement Company Ltd opened the Pitstone cement works in the HI30's
H =
I =

The walk to the Ashridge Monument is just under J miles
J =

The cache can be found at :-

N 510 49.(E+D-C)(I-A)(J+B)    W 00 38.(G)(A+F)(C+H+B)

Please note – at certain times the path to the cache can get very muddy so please wear appropriate footwear. It is along a National Trust Permissive Footpath. Please do not try to access via the Pitstone Green Museum but via the waypoint given below. (Recent access path by allotments is not always shown on current maps or apps.)

You are looking for a small camo container.

Once at the cache site, if you turn around and look beyond the far hedge you will see the landmark depicted on the village sign.


Waypoint for start of permissive path to cache:

N 510 49.(D+E)(A+B)(I)    W 00 38.(J)(E+G)(I)


Check: The sum of all the letters = 37


If anybody would like to expand this series please do. I would just ask that you let Smokeypugs know first so they can keep track of the Village Sign numbers and names to avoid duplication.


This cache has been set with the permission of The National Trust Ashridge Estate.

Our thanks to Smokeypugs for permission to resurrect this village sign.


Other caches locally that might be of interest:

GC39WPR  -  Pitstone Windmill
GC39WNA  -  St, Mary’s Church, Pitstone



Congratulations to Tetley glc and The Desert Dogs for their joint FTF

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

VPG – Urnq urvtug
Jura gur fnvyf bs gur jvaqzvyy pbzr vagb ivrj bire gur sne fvqr bs gur svryq ba lbhe yrsg lbh jvyy or ng TM. Jvgu lbhe onpx gb gur jvaqzvyy fgneg gb vairfgvtngr gur fuehoorel va sebag bs lbh juvpu jnf ba lbhe evtug unaq fvqr.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)