TURNPIKE COTTAGE

 

Turnpike Cottage was  in London Road  opposite the site of Westleigh Schools on the corner of London Road and Eastwood Road. Hence we have Turnpike Store there today.

 

Part at least of London Road was a toll road  and the cottage was inhabited by the toll keeper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1851 Maria Hymas of Turnpike House was the Toll Collector. She was a widow and no doubt her husband had been the tollkeeper before he died. The children in this picture are members of the Nay family who were living in the Cottage in 1911.

 

Essentially the upkeep of the roads was the business of the Parish, and the turnpikes allowed them to take tolls from users of the roads. As the roads were generally very bad the tolls collected were to improve them.

 

Turnpike Trusts were empowered by Parliament to: raise loans for road repairs, build tollhouses, erect gates and milestones and each trust consisted usually of a local lawyer (as clerk), a treasurer and a surveyor, together with many of the landowners through whose land the road passed.

 

Tolls were originally based on the size of a vehicle (and number of horses pulling it) or the number of animals in a drove. However, it soon became obvious the weight of the load caused damage and occasionally weighing machines would be built by certain gates. This allowed a ticket to be provided indicating the weight of the vehicle which could then be produced each time a vehicle passed through a gate.

 

However toll roads were not universally popular and in some areas there were riots against toll tax in 1726.

 

 

 

 

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