The Highways act
The highways act of 1555 laid down
that each parish appoint two Surveyors of the Highways, who were
unpaid and appointed by the Justices of the Peace each year. Every
inhabitant had a duty to work for six days a year, unpaid, on the
highways or send a substitute. In the 1700's this duty was commuted
to cash payments.
Most highways were for pack horses
and riding horses. The gradual increase in wheeled wagons badly
wore the roads. By the late 1600's stage coaches for passengers
were becoming common, so in order to create better roads, an Act
of Parliament in the early 1700's allowed turnpiked roads to be
built and tolls charged.
In 1753 the Burton to Ashby road
was turnpiked and toll houses erected at various junctions, one
such still exists today at the Manchester Lane, A5O boundary junction
near the Water Tower. It is virtually unchanged. This turnpiked
highway was one of a series from Liverpool to London and was used
by express stage coaches, one called the Red Rover, passed each
way once a day through Wooden Box on the turnpike.
The Ticknall-Overseal road was turnpiked
in the late 1700's and a Hartshorne man Mr Lester left Shares in
it to a Hartshorne charity. Share certificates in the Hartshorne
turnpike were sold at an Ashby Auction in 1835. The sale took place
in the Hastings Hotel.
The lots were:
Lot 1: A mortgage upon Tolls of the
Hartshorne Turnpike for securing the sum of £100, paying 5% interest.
Lot 2: A mortgage on the same road
for £50 and paying 5% interest.
Lot 3: Twenty shares in Ashby de
la Zouch Canal. (Source - sale bill in Ashby Museum).
Source: Mr Alan E Sherratt, Hartshorne - An
Historical Collection, p 76