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Turnpike Roads (Shire Library)
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Turnpike trusts formed an important part of English life for over 150 years, from about 1690 to 1840, during which time they made a significant contribution to economic development before and during the industrial revolution. Locally and privately funded and usually operated on a relatively small scale, they represented an administrative innovation which recognised and tried to meet the need for an improved road transport infrastructure. For the first time road users paid for repairs and improvements to roads, and parishioners hitherto responsible were relieved of an often burdensome charge on local finances.Over 20,000 miles (32,000km) of roads were 'turnpiked', and most of these eighteenth- and nineteenth-century roads are still used today. Apart from the roads themselves, the most obvious survivals of turnpike trusts are the scores of neat little tollhouses and hundreds of roadside milestones. This book outlines the origins, development, success and decline of the turnpike trusts and some of the features associated with them.
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About the Author

The late Geoffrey Wright was born and brought up in north-east England. After training at Durham University, he taught in west Wiltshire for 26 years before taking early retirement, He wrote Discovering Abbeys and Priories, Discovering Epitaphs and Discovering Avon for Shire.

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