AN HISTORIC boundary marker discovered abandoned by the A590 at Backbarrow is to be restored after campaigning by two villagers.

The 19th Century marker, weighing more than a ton, was recently found compacted in mud and moss on the Barrow-bound side of the road.

It was originally put in place between 1830 and 1850 an estimated 200 yards away from its current resting place.

The marker points the way to Ulverston, Barrow, Grange, Kendal and Lancaster, as well as signalling the parish of Holker Upper.

Tony Emmerton, of Backbarrow, originally feared it had been dislodged by workmen, but inquiries have now shown it was probably moved in the mid-1960s when the Backbarrow bypass was built.

The Highways Agency believes it has remained concealed since then by undergrowth which has recently been cleared.

Mr Emmerton, a member of Leven Valley Historic Society, and fellow Backbarrow resident and historian Lilian Hartley Cole have been pressing for the marker’s reinstallation.

Mr Emmerton has already restored another boundary marker between Backbarrow and Haverthwaite.

He said: “I was just walking along the A590 to tidy up Newby Bridge Halt on the steam railway, when I noticed this large stone and brushing it down revealed the lettering and distances.”

Mrs Cole said: “The boundary marker pre-dates the A590 bypass that was built in the mid-1960s and must originally have been sited on the east side of the old A590. This stone is an integral part of our local history and must be re-sited and restored.”

A Highways Agency spokeswoman said: “The boundary marker was not damaged or dislodged as a result of the current safety work taking place alongside the A590, but it is likely that it has been exposed as a result of recent clearance work.

“Although there is no legal requirement to reinstate the stone, the Highways Agency acknowledges that it is of historical interest to the area and intend to make sure it is restored and re-set as part of a future scheme.”

The bypass, part of the A590, was built to divert traffic from the riverside village, as proposed by the late Morecambe and Lonsdale MP Basil de Ferranti.