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Turnpike Roads (Shire Library) [Paperback]

Geoffrey N. Wright
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 May 2008 Shire Library
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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Product details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Shire Publications Ltd (19 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074780155X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747801559
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 14.6 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This slim volum is a nice introduction to the subject of turnpikes and tollroads between about 1600 and 1850. This was the first period of road improvement since Roman times, and Geoffrey Wright's book is well illustrated with tollgates inns, milestones and other paraphernalia of the turnpike industry which lasted until the advent of the railways in the mid-1800's
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 1 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In the history of British transport, the Turnpike roads have been largely overlooked in favour of the canals and the railways, and have only been referenced as a mere footnote. This is a gross misrepresentation, for the Turnpikes were the motorways of their day, and were influential in shaping the British landscape throughout the 18th century. Along with the canals, they opened up communications between towns, and improved the haphazard conditions of the roads of the time.

Thanks to author Geoffrey N. Wright, this book sets out to explain all of this, along with other aspects of the Turnpike roads and the trusts that ran them that have been almost forgotten in recent times. Using both written material and archaeology (in the form of surviving toll-houses and marker-posts), Wright presents a detailed and concise history of the Turnpike roads, making it ideal reading for anyone interested in British transport history, and one that I recommend wholeheartedly to anyone who expresses such an interest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly as advertised 2 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very good book for the few of us who are interested. it was as advertised and is extremely informative.
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