Chains & rods are what first sprang to mind, but I don't think they were ever common. The definition of 'furlong' from http://physics.info/system-english/ makes it seem like it could have been in common usage:
Literally, the length of a furrow. A sensible length for
farmers that later evolved into the acre, which is discussed
later in this section. A standard furrow is 220 yards long
or ⅛ mile
Google's ngram tool makes it seem like it was never a contender with the yard, mile, or league.