Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Turnpike Roads

Much of our local road system was developed and improved under the Turnpike Acts. Trusts were set up under individual acts of parliament in order to construct and maintain roads through a system of tolls. The Manchester to Buxton Turnpike dates from 1759 and originally by-passed Furness Vale by following the old Roman road between Disley and Whaley Bridge across Whaley Moor (often known as Whaley Tops). Because this involved steep ascents, a new road was constructed through Newtown and Furness, opening in 1804.  Another system of roads was constructed by the Stockport and Marple Bridge (1801) and Thornsett (1831) Trusts. These linked New Mills with Hayfield, Marple and Mellor, Bugsworth and Furness Vale.

The turnpikes became increasingly unpopular, restricting travel and the movement of farm stock due to the fees  that were charged at the various tollbars. In some parts of the country, riots often broke out and tollhouses were burned down. An act of 1888 gave responsibility for these roads to the county councils and gradually the tollbars were removed, often leading to great local celebrations.

One local toll road which was not part of the system was New Road, between Bridgemont and Bugsworth. This had been built by the Carrington family, owners of the Britannia Wire Works. Tolls continued to be levied here until 1919 when the county took over responsibility for the road.

For more information on turnpike roads visit the website. Their map of Derbyshire roads shows every turnpike colour coded with dates of opening.
Explore the site for similar maps of the whole country and the history of these roads. There are also pages listing known tollbars and toll houses for each county.

Fernilee Toll Cottage in 1939.

Bugsworth Toll Bar.

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