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Turnpike Roads

From the 1660's turnpike trusts were authorised by acts of Parliament to build and maintain roads, with the right to collect money from travellers on their roads. The roads were called "Turnpikes" as a pole or pike, was put across the road and swung round when the toll was paid to allow the traffic through. The number of turnpike roads grew rapidly in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The introduction of toll gates, particularly on routes which had previously been freely used, were often resented by local communities. However, the growing turnpike road network played an important enabling role in the Industrial Revolution. Later, by the early Victorian era toll roads were increasingly considered an impediment to trade, and the development of railways led to their decline. Milestones were used to show the distance to major towns along the turnpikes.

Road Gateshead - Hexham Turnpike Road


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