Milestones and Toll Houses
Higgins welcomed everyone to the April meeting of Orton & Tebay
Local History Society, held at Orton Market Hall where she introduced
Colin Smith, who gave a fascinating talk on ‘Milestones and Toll Houses
gave a brief history of the development of the road network over the
centuries, from early Roman roads, to packhorse tracks and turnpikes.
He explained the background to the payment of tolls and listed average
prices, which could make it quite expensive to enter and leave
townships. It was noted that The Royal Mail was exempt
and that Turnpikes had to be open when they were due, to allow
uninterrupted passage; burial parties were also exempt
showed maps of the local area, which illustrated how the road network
from Shap to Orton was established, and to Tebay and Appleby
has collected photographs of many local milestones and showed a number
of interesting examples, but he said how sad it was that many have been
destroyed, moved or allowed to fall into disrepair over the years, 95%
are under threat and 5% are lost annually
also showed slides of boundary stones and toll houses. Toll houses are
notable as having a front which juts out, with windows on three sides
so the keeper could keep a good watch. They are also very
close to the road edge, some stepping right out onto the roadway
Milestone Preservation Society charity, was established in 2001 to
identify, conserve and interpret milestones for public benefit.
thanked Colin for his talk, and the evening finished with refreshments.