TWO rare travellers' rest stones in Warrington which were designed by a doctor 160 years ago have been given listed status protection.

The stones, created as seats for workers to rest while walking to work, have been listed at Grade II by the Department for Culture Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

Four other examples, previously thought to be blocks for mounting horses, have also been relisted and their entries on the National Heritage List updated to highlight their special architectural and historic interest.

The stones were installed around 1860 on busy routes from Liverpool through Warrington to Manchester, roughly spaced two miles apart.

The travellers rest stone at Swan Green

The travellers' rest stone at Swan Green

Only around 12 are known to have survived, with many others having been moved and damaged.

The two newly listed travellers’ rest stones are located at Red Bank in Winwick and Stag Inn traffic island in Lower Walton.

The four relisted stones meanwhile can be found in Great Sankey, Winwick, Grappenhall and Lymm.

All six stones are more than five feet long and have a stepped shape and domed seat.

The travellers rest stone at Red Bank, on the south side of the junction of Hermitage Green Lane with Newton Road in Winwick

The travellers' rest stone at Red Bank, on the south side of the junction of Hermitage Green Lane with Newton Road in Winwick

They were designed by Warrington resident Dr James Kendrick (1809-1882), who was inspired by the donation of drinking fountains in Liverpool in 1859 by philanthropist Charles Melly.

The stones provided an easy resting position for adults leaning forward with their elbows resting on their knees with space for companions or baggage.

The lower steps were intended for children and as a footrest for mothers so they could comfortably breastfeed their babies.

Most of these stones are inscribed with ‘travellers’ rest’ and the date, while some have inspiring quotations such as ‘come unto me saith the saviour’ to help them along their journey.

The travellers rest stone in Lymm

The travellers' rest stone in Lymm

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England said: “These travellers’ rest stones were a thoughtful, well-designed and welcome place to rest for workers and their families, many from Ireland, who walked miles to find work harvesting crops.

“It is right that these journeys should be remembered by the listing of two new travellers’ rest stones in Cheshire.

“They illustrate the incredible diversity of our heritage and its capacity to shed light on different aspects of past lives.”