Listing of motorway's stone roses is welcomed by National Highways

National Highways has welcomed historic listing status for two ‘pyramidal’ stones along the M62 marking the border between the old rose counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

By Abigail Kellett
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 11:18 am

The two stones were unveiled by the Queen in 1971 to mark the completion of the cross-border section of the motorway between Milnrow near Rochdale and Outlane near Huddersfield.

Each of the border stones carries a plaque to commemorate the completion of the project and a large white or red rose marking the boundary between the old counties of Lancashire or Yorkshire - a reminder of the historic rivalry between the Wars of the Roses houses of York and Lancaster. The markers further reference the motorway’s surroundings through the use of local Pennine aggregate and stone in their construction.

Alan Shepherd, National Highways’ regional director for the North West, said: “Cultural heritage and conservation is important to National Highways and we are always willing to work with stakeholders such as Historic England to ensure we preserve sites of special historic or cultural interest near our roads.

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Drivers heading along the eastbound M62 away from Manchester towards Huddersfield are greeted with the white rose of Yorkshire just before the exit slip road at junction 22

"It’s very pleasing to have these marker stones listed – it’s is a tribute to all those roadworkers in the ‘50s and ‘60s who paved the way for our 21st century motorway network.”

And Simon Boyle, director for Yorkshire and the North East, said: “Tens of thousands of drivers use the M62 every day. It’s a lifeline for communities and an artery of the economy.

"We’re delighted the boundary markers between the old red rose and white rose counties have been recognised in this way.”

The M62 now runs between the port cities of Liverpool and Hull linking other major towns and cities like Warrington, Manchester, Leeds and Huddersfield along the way. It plays a vital role in the economy of the North and the rest of the UK.

It is the only trans-Pennine motorway in the country. A road sign at Windy Hill, within the cross-border section between junction 21 and junction 22, also marks the highest point of any motorway in England at 372 metres (1221 feet) above sea level.

Historic England announced yesterday (Tuesday) the marker stones had been given Grade II listed status to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Five buildings across the country, including the Sun Pavilion and Colonnade elsewhere in Yorkshire at Harrogate, have also been listed.