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Derbyshire, United Kingdom.


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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.

Turnpiked Roads

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


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