Work in Progress


A question about the Old Manse in Mary Street has set me looking into the history of the  Congregational church. I have already written up the history of the Baptist Church and now I am working on the evidence for the Congregational Church. I am also finding references to the Wesleyan Methodists and the Christian Brethren. I have posted my preliminary notes under ‘Old Manse’


So far a record of the tolls paid at the toll house on the Newton Road has not been found . The Act to establish the turnpike toll road from Newton Bushell through to Moretonhampstead  was made in 1826 (1) . A newspaper report of 1852 tells us that the toll at that time  for a horse drawn cart with passengers was 9d, as John Bowden was charged with refusing to pay. ( The Exeter Flying Post 4 September 1855, p.4). It is considered by some that the tolls charged across the country during the eighteenth century were broadly the same. M.C.Lowe, in his study of  Devon Turnpikes compared four Turnpike Trusts and found their tolls at this time were almost identical (2). This would suggest the eighteenth century  tolls on the Newton Bushell /Bovey Tracey/Moretonhampstead turnpike were:-

Coach 6 Horses             1s 0d

Coach 4  Horses                9d

Coach 2 Horses                 6d

Coach 1 Horse                   3d

Waggon 5 Horses       2s  0d

Waggon 4 Horses       1s  6d

Waggon 3 Horses       1s   0d

Waggon 2 Horses              6d

Waggon 1 Horse                3d

Horse                                   1d

Oxen, cos, per 20             10d

Calves, sheep per 20        5d

More recent researchers, such as Alan Rosevear,  have indicated  that there might be considerable variation between tolls charged because of the nature of the terrain covered (3). Until we find more evidence on the Newton Bushell turnpike we cannot be sure of the charges involved.


1.Journal of the House of Commons vol.81,  2 May 1826 Newton Bushell Road Act, p.313.

2. Lowe, M.C. 1990. The Turnpike Trusts in Devon and Their Roads 1753-1889 in Transactions of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, vol. 122, pp. 47-69, pp.52-3.

3. Alan Rosevear, 2017, accessed 12 October 2017, and talk to Devon Archaeological Society 6 October 2017.

Frances Billinge

Updated  6 January 2019