For an introduction to the main roads of Westmorland the reader
should refer to the Records of Kendale, vol. iii, pp. 1 to 20.
HERON SYKE, KENDAL AND EAMONT BRIDGE.
It would appear that almost immediately after the Rising of 1745
a scheme was set on foot to obtain a Turnpike Act for this road;
meetings were held in both North and South Westmorland but on
account of considerable opposition the scheme was delayed.
Lancashire settled the question first and obtained an Act, 24 Geo. II,
1751, for repairing and widening the road from Preston to Lancaster
and from thence through Carnforth, Over Kellet, Borwick, Priest
Hutton and Dalton Park to Heron Syke. Two years later Westmorland obtained its own first Turnpike Act, 26 Geo. II, c. 52, 1753, for
widening and repairing the continuation of this road northward, that
is from Heron Syke to Kirkby-in-Kendale, and from thence through
the town of Shap to Eamont Bridge. The preamble states that
"Whereas the road is very ruinous, and some parts thereof almost
impassable and could not, by the ordinary course appointed by the
Laws then in being for repairing the highways, be amended and kept
in good repair unless some further provision was made. . . . May it
therefore please Your Majesty etc. etc. The names of the Commissioners are set forth, their powers and duties are stated, the tolls
authorised to be taken, the penalties for omission and evasion and
so forth, but as these do not differ materially from the provisions
usual to all Highway Acts, it is not necessary to notice them.
After the space of twenty-five years a second Act was obtained,
19 Geo. III, c. 108, 1779, for enlarging the terms and powers. The
third Act, 40 Geo. III, c. 22, 1800, continued the term for another
twenty-one years, but after fifteen of these years had passed it was
found necessary to apply for the fourth Act, 55 Geo. III, c. 37, 1815.
A very interesting meeting of the Trustees took place on the 23rd
December, 1817, when the chairman took a comprehensive view of the
funds of the road. The annual income he stated to be £2068 and the
actual expenditure £1200, leaving a clear available surplus of £868.
Of this sum £800 belonged to the portion of the road from Heron Syke
to Kendal and only £68 to the northern section from Kendal to
Eamont Bridge. It would appear that it was the usual custom to
assist the northern out of the earnings of the southern section, but at
this meeting Christopher Wilson contended that . . . . as it appeared
reasonable that the southern section might suffer shortly a material
depression from the effects of the Lancaster Canal being completed
to Kendal . . . . it would become advisable to erect a new toll bar on
the northern section, at or near to Shap, which he calculated would
produce £382, rather than divert the southern surplus any longer.
This was agreed to.
As an application for an Act to enclose the Shap Common was to
be brought before Parliament, a correspondent in the Kendal papers
for November 28, 1812, suggested that the Trustees might divert the
road so as to cross Wasdale Beck by a bridge higher up, by which the
declivity to the Demings and the dangerous descent to Wasdale
Bridge would be avoided. So it is interesting to note the Trustees
advertising for this diversion on 12 June, 1819; and on 30 October
following advertising for the diversion of Thrimby Lane through the
village of Hackthorpe to Warren House Lane and so avoiding the
ascent and descent of 80 feet over Hackthorpe High.
The old line of road can still be traced crossing the "Burrow flu"
at the ancient High Borrow bridge and following the west bank of
Crookdale beck to Hawse Foot. After climbing 1240 feet from
Kendal the road now descends and a quarter of a mile beyond the
summit it can be seen returning and crossing the modern turnpike
diagonally toward and over Wasdale Old Bridge. From here it
passed by Bleabeck Bridge and through the present Granite Works,
west of Shap Thorn and the "Stone Heaps" to the old Greyhound
Inn where the track joins the present road.
On 15 July, 1850, the Royal Assent was given to the 6th Act,
13, 14 Vict., to amend the previous Acts and to continue the term.
A Table for a few odd years showing the net revenue produced above
the cost of collecting. It will be noted how the revenue fell after the
opening of the Railway:—
BOWES TO BROUGH / BLACKHAUSE BOTTOM TO KABER CROSS / BARRAS TO TANHILL COLLIERIES / BROUGH TO LOWTHER BRIDGE / BROUGHAM TO PENRITH.
In the 16th year of George II, 1741–2, an Act was obtained for
repairing and widening the road from Bowes to Brough. The second
Act of 9 George III, 1769, continued the term and included the repairing
and widening of the road from Blackhause Bottom, near Maiden Castle,
to Kaber Cross; and also the road from Barras to the collieries at
Taylor Rigg, Tan Hill and King's pits. The third Act, 31 George III,
1790, enlarged the terms and powers. The fourth Act was obtained
in 53 George III, 1812. Soon after passing the Rey Cross the Turnpike
leaves the line of the Roman road for about two miles, bending to the
south in order to ease the gradient. Then the two roads run together
to within a mile and a half of Brough where the Turnpike makes a
sharp turn towards the north, across Augil Beck, leaving a footpath
to indicate the direct Roman line to Verteræ.
The only Toll Bar on the Westmorland section of these roads, so far
as can be ascertained, was at Mole Brow Bar-house, now corrupted to
Barras, on the Coal Road, which in 1822 brought in a net revenue of
£320. It was done away with in 1867.
In 26 George II, 1752, an Act was obtained for continuing the
Bowes to Brough highway from the east end of Brough, by the end
of Appleby Bridge to Lowther Bridge and thence to Eamont. With
the exception of that portion to the west of Brougham, the road
follows the direction of the great Roman Street, which, according to
Nicolson and Burn, was very conspicuous almost the whole length of
its course until a considerable portion was destroyed by the making
of this Turn-pike. The second Act, 19 George III, 1779, continued
the term and enlarged the powers. The third Act was obtained in
41 George III, 1800.
On 15 January, 1802, a presentment was made to Quarter Sessions
that part of the highway from Appleby to Penrith, to wit in the parish
of Brougham, beginning at a gate hanging across the said way at the
end of Ric. Jameson's barn at Moorhouses and so toward Penrith to a
ford across the river Eamont adjoining Brougham Castle, for a length
of 1400 yards, is in great decay and a common nuisance and that the
inhabitants of Brougham ought to repair the same.
Up to 1812 the Turnpike avoided this bad section and ford, turning
westward past Brougham Hall to Lowther Bridge, but by a special
Act, 52 George III, 1811, the now direct road from the east end of a
close called Lord's Close in the parish of Brougham to the town of
Penrith, was authorized to be repaired and maintained by the Trust.
Powers were given also for the building of Brougham Bridge in the
line of the said road. The Act was renewed, 3, 4 William iv, 1833.
The Kendal Papers for 8 July, 1815, advertise a meeting of the
Trustees for the purpose of taking into consideration the expediency
of erecting a gate across the end of the lane leading to Bolton. Again
on 12 August for erecting a gate on the road emerging from Long
Marton and another on the lane emerging from Crakenthorpe.
The fourth Act was obtained in 57 George III, 1817; and the fifth
18, 19 Victoria. All these were repealed and other provisions made
by a fresh Act, 19, 20 Victoria, c. 72, 1856.
Net revenue produced above the cost of collecting:—
|Year.||Lowgill.||Butts Hill||Copeland Beck.||Bolton Lane.||Long Marton Lane.||Temple Sowerby.||Brougham Bridge.|
APPLEBY—ORTON—GRAYRIGG—KENDAL / ORTON TO THE TURNPIKE ROAD NEAR SHAP / HIGHGATE NEAR TEBAY—K. STEPHEN—BROUGH.
A combined Act was obtained for these three roads in 1 George III,
c. 43, 1760; a second Act in 22 George III, c. 3, 1782; a third Act in
44 George III, c. 60, 1804; and a fourth Act in 5 George IV, c. 15, 1825.
All these Acts were repealed when new provisions were made by the
fifth and last Act of 13, 14 Victoria, c. 13, 1850.
The Orton to Shap road took the place of the old track that came up
from Grayrigg, not crossing to the east of the Lune at Tebay, but
which went straight northward via Roundthwaite, Birkbeck and
Scales to Shap Thorn and the Stone Heaps.
The Tebay to K. Stephen road took the place of the old pack-horse
track that forded the Lune between Dillicar and Low Carlingill and
thence passed up Tebay Gill where a bridal road still exists, past
Cooper's Land to the west of Gaisgill station. Here it was necessary
to traverse some low lying ground and again ford the Lune before
reaching the firmer ground past Raisgill Hall to Kelleth Rigg End,
where an Inn and extensive stabling refreshed both man and beast.
After passing north of Brownber and over Scandale Beck the track
climbed along to Waitby, near the modern school. At Gelberts was
an Inn. From Sandwath Bridge the track followed Green Sike Lane
until the Soulby road was reached and so to the Eden which was
crossed by a ford about 150 yards below New Bridge and there is still
a deep track up just beyond Eden Mount. From Winton Townhead
it continued to Heggerscale and Wrenside crossing the Belah at a
place called Wolf Crag Gill. At High Ewbank there were three Inns,
evidently an important halting place. From here a branch turned
off past Tan Hill for Arkengarthdale and Richmond, while the main
track continued on to Bowes and Barnard Castle.
Net revenues received from the Toll Bars:—
K. STEPHEN—SEDBERGH—GREETA BRIDGE / BRACKENBAR GATE—SEDBERGH— K. KENDAL / MARTHWAITE—GRAYRIGG HAUSE.
This was a combined Act obtained in 2 George III, c. 38,1761, for
repairing and widening the roads from K. Stephen High Lane Head
through Ravenstonedale, Rawthey Bridge, Sedbergh and Casterton
to Greeta Bridge; and from Brackenbar Gate near Askrigg through
Sedbergh to Kirkby-in-Kendale; and also the road from the Four
Lane Ends in Marthwaite through Firbank to the Turnpike road on
Grayrigg Hause leading from Appleby to Kirkby-in-Kendale. It
was renewed 24 George III, c. 70, 1784.
The third Act of 45 George III, c. 27, 1805, provided for an increase
in the tolls between Sedbergh and Kendal, viz.:—carts laden with
coals, cinders, wood, heath, furze, ling, turf and flaws, or sods for fuel,
were no longer to be exempt as formerly, but to pay a half toll. All
three Acts were repealed and new provisions made by the fourth Act
of 7 George iv, c. 72, 1826.
The last Act was obtained in 14, 15 Vict., 1851.
The net revenue of the Ravenstonedale Toll Bar was £53 in 1813,
£65 in 1816, and £64. 10s. in 1825.
BROUGH TO MIDDLETON BRIDGE
In 1814 an application was made for an Act for altering, widening
and repairing the road from or near to the town of Brough, in the
county of Westmorland, to the county boundary near Silver Keld
Well and from thence through the Townships of Lune and Holwick
in the parish of Ronalkirk in the North Riding of Yorkshire to the
town of Middleton in Teesdale in the county of Durham. It does
not appear that the Act was obtained before 57 George III, c. 15, 1817.
It was renewed 16, 17 Victoria, 1853, and again in the following year.
There were Toll Gates at Milking Stile, near Brough, also at the
east end of Mickleton and at Step End Gate near Middleton.
K. STEPHEN—MALLERSTANG—HELL'S GILL / HAWES TO SEDBERGH ROAD / HAWES TO GAYLE.
An ancient pack-horse track came down the Vale of Mallerstang,
past Nateby, Pot Gill and Hartley and then linked up with the
Barnard Castle route at Winton.
This Act was obtained in 6 George IV, c. 12, 1825, and on 19 October,
1829, Quarter Sessions filed the completion "of a Turnpike road from
K. Stephen into the Sedbergh and Kirkby Kendal Turnpike road,
and from the said Turnpike to Hawes and a new branch from Hawes
to the village of Gayle, with a certificate that this new line of road was
properly made and fit for the reception of travellers. This Act was
repealed and new provisions were made by the Act of 15, 16 Vict.,
c. 89, 1852.