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Turnpikes and Tolls

A few facts about turnpikes and tolls

To travel across England, our heroes and heroines would have predominantly used turnpikes.

From the 17th century until 1860, these were the most direct routes across the country, most well maintained for safety, and mapped for travel convenience.

Could our hero/heroine choose not to travel via turnpike to avoid being slowed by the toll gates and avoid paying the tolls? Sure! But the roads (ie rutted farm paths) could be in deplorable condition, requiring the rider to slow for safety, and were not often mapped, making it easy for those not familiar with the area to lose their way. Many of those paths were also circuitous in nature and leading to or near private farms and homes, not of much help to the traveller with a destination.

Aside from the quick facts in the graphic provided, you'll likely want to learn more about these tolls, how they operated, how frequent they were on the road, and more. Check out these two great resources for just such details:

Badsey Society UK: The Badsey Pike: An 18th Century Toll Road

Regency History: Turnpikes and Toll Houses

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