It is thought that it may have been derived from the Roman Terminalia, a festival celebrated on the 22nd of February in honour of Terminus, the god of landmarks, to whom cakes and wine were offered, sports and dancing taking place at the boundaries.
To the primitive nomadic Semite the presence of the divinity was indicated by springs, shady trees, remarkable rocks and other landmarks; and from this earliest conception grew the theory that a numen might be induced to take up an abode in an artificial heap of stones, or a pillar set upright for the purpose.
The charter that mentions the Wiltshire " Grendel's mere " speaks also of a place called Beowan ham (" Beowa's home "), and another Wiltshire charter has a " Scyld's tree " among the landmarks enumerated.
Among the landmarks of South Orange are an old stone house of unknown date, but mentioned in legal documents describing the surrounding property as early as 1680; the Baldwin House (c. 1717); and the Timothy Ball House (1743).
During the rest of the century the leading landmarks are the three royal commissions known by the names of their chairmen: (1) Lord Clarendon's on nine public schools, Eton, Winchester, Westminster, Charterhouse, Harrow, Rugby, Shrewsbury, St Paul's and Merchant Taylors' (1861-1864), resulting in the Public Schools Act of 1868; (2) Lord Taunton's on 782 endowed schools (1864-1867), followed by the act of 1869; and (3) Mr Bryce's on secondary education (1894-1895).