Toll Roads

of Buckinghamshire


and their connections into neighbouring counties

Peter Gulland

Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society


ISBN 978-0-9957177-3-2

A4, 318 pages

Copy purchased at the Bucks County Museum, Aylesbury

Part 1 provides a comprehensive guide to how the turnpike system operated under the following chapter headings

1   The beginnings of turnpike trusts  

2   Routine maintenance of the road by the trusts  
3   Alterations to the highway  
4   Erecting milestones and mileposts  
5   Financing the work of the trusts  
6   Toll gates. side bars and weighing engines  
7   Accommodation for toll gate keepers  
8   The operation of toll gates  
9   Levels of traffic reflected by toll receipts  
10   The origin of the word 'turnpike'  
11   The workings of the turnpike trusts  
12   The impact and legacy of turnpike roads  

Part 2  contains detailed descriptions of 24 turnpikes, of which two are particular relevance to Hertfordshire.

The Sparrows Hearne Turnpike that linked Sparrows Herne, Bushey to Ayesbury via Berkhamsted and Tring, and is well covered all along its route, with details of diversions and toll gates. The meetings of the trustees were held at the King's Arms. Berkhamsted, and from 1806 the clerk was either Harry Grover of Hemel Hempstead, or partners in his family law firm.

The Reading to Hatfield Turnpike is also described in detail, with 10 toll-gates or side bars identified. The somewhat unlikely route, which never carried a lot of traffic, is rumoured to be because, in pre-turnpike days Lord Cecil of Hatfield House and the Earl of Essex, at Cassiobury (both sufferers from gout)  used to travel to Bath to take the waters and to avoid travelling via London, encouraged parishes along the route to keep the roads in good condition.

Full details are given of sources and there is a comprehensive index, including personal names of clerks, surveyots, etc.

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