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Tollgate Charge Board


"How could anyone throw away a piece of history like that?"

This thought must have occurred to Bob Coles, the owner of an electrical retail and repair business at the north end of Brackley High Street, when he saw the 150-year-old board in picture #1 - in a skip!

He bore it home, and it passed to his daughter Angela when he died in 1995.  

There are many of these toll-charge boards in existence, but the age of this one, its detail, and above all its handsomeness make it the best I have ever seen.  Moreover, it has not been 'touched up' or repainted; it's in its original state.  (Pity about the scar: blame that on the vandals who dumped it.)  

Did you know that there were so many types of carriage?  And that the wider the rims of the wagon wheels the less the carter would pay?  Obvious when one thinks about it: thin rims caused more road-damage.

And the charge of 10 old pence a score (= a halfpenny a head) for large beasts seems to have been standard throughout the country.  So, look at a drovers' account book, see how much he paid at a tollgate, do your sums and you have the number of cattle he was driving when he went through*.  

*See "Recognising the Routes"/"Account Books" for more detail of this.

P.S.  October '14: I've been talking to Peter Gulland, who has shown me where the tollgate was sited in the 1850's.  See "T.G." (= Toll gate) in the centre of #4 on the road from Brackley to Westbury (and Buckingham).  He also said it was originally positioned half a mile east, by the River Ouse, and later another half mile west, by Turweston Mill (a windmill, as you can see from the map). 

Tollgate Charge Board image 1
Brackley (North) Toll Charges
Tollgate Charge Board image 2
Detail
Tollgate Charge Board image 3
Detail