Chichester Fingerpost

Compared to a lot of people I know I seem to be the odd one out because I enjoy going for a drive and love going down the little countryside roads to discover new places and helpful little shortcuts. This is a photo from one of my cross country drives from Portsmouth back home, this photo was taken outside of Chichester unsurprisingly. I couldn’t help but pull over and stop to take a photo of the signpost, which I felt looked very photogenic in the evening light.

These old signposts are ubiquitous across Sussex and many other counties in the UK and are known as fingerposts due to the signs originally looking like fingers pointing in the direction of the location signed. Over the years they evolved into a simple board without a finger but with a square, triangular or other design on the end of the board. There are many regional variations in colour and design of the pole and they can add a local touch to the roads. The older Fingerposts like this one were made of cast iron and wood, but more modern versions on major roads are simply metal which I feel are a bit sterile and don’t have any local feeling to them.

Thankfully these older versions of the fingerpost are still easily found on the back roads I enjoy driving down and with any luck will be for some time to come thanks to the Department for Transport and English Heritage advocating for older posts to be maintained by the local councils. So hopefully this bit of history should continue to point people in the right direction for the foreseeable future.

On a leafy country lane in West Sussex a black and white fingerpost road sign points to Chichester in one direction and to Fishbourne and East Ashling in another direction.

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