Keys to the Past


Toll Road

sometimes called turnpikes
Before the 18th century, each parish looked after its own roads. However, in the 18th century the amount of traffic increased as part of the Agricultural Revolution that they could no longer afford this without help. The law was changed so companies could be set up to look after the roads. They made money to look after the roads by charging people a toll to use them. The money was collected at toll houses and a gate, the turnpike, opened to allow further passage. The collected money went to the investors and the maintenance of the road and bridges. The groups who set up and maintained these roads were called Turnpike Trusts. Examples of turnpikes include many roads, still in use, today from the main centres of Newcastle and Durham. From Wooler to Morpeth (A697) was a turnpike - some mileposts remain showing the distance between the towns. At Rimside Moor, near Longframlington, and beyond an 18th-century turnpike, (with its public house), is bypassed at several points - notably Whittingham and Glanton - by a later 1831AD turnpike.

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