Researching the history of toll houses

G. Yates, Great Dover Road turnpike 1825 (Guildhall Library)From 1663 to 1836 many British roads were improved by collecting tolls from travellers towards their maintenance. Toll houses were built beside barriers across the road, known as turnpikes, which halted the traveller for the toll to be collected. Such toll or turnpike roads had to be approved by a Private Act of Parliament, setting up a turnpike trust. Promoters also had to deposit plans of turnpikes with the county, borough or parish authorities concerned. Turnpike roads were profitable in the stagecoach era, but tolls declined with the coming of the railways. Most turnpike trusts were dissolved in the 1880s and 1890s.

Primary sources