May 042012

“1800. About May 4th Great Storms of Lightning Thunder & Hail at Windsor – Liverpool – Hull – Northampton – Kettering – Warwick – Lincolnshire etc. Great damage done to a Turnpike House at Minster near Witney. The Turnpike-man (was badly injured).”


There were of course hundreds of turnpike houses the length and breadth of the country, as each community formed its own Turnpike Trust to carry out road improvements and in return receive the right to impose road tolls. Although many of the toll houses remain they have often been substantially altered to provide contemporary accommodation. The one pictured here was ‘rescued’ by the Avoncroft Museum near Bromsgrove in Worcetershire. Along with dozens of other recscued buildings visitors get the chance to see buildings ‘as they were’. Well, if it was the Minster Turnpike, I suppose it would have to be “as it was before it got hit by lightning”.

Richard Hall always noted down the expenses of travelling, which included turnpike fees (here, as “TP” or “T Pike”) etc:





Each turnpike cottage would display the rates for travellers. This one, from Northchapel, appears courtesy of the website of the Open Air Classroom

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