The Puckeridge Gate

Wadesmill Turnpike Trust

TABLE of TOLLS Payable at this GATE by Virtue of an Act of Parliament passed in the 2nd Year of the Reign of King George the 4th.

Desc Toll (d)
For every Horse or other Beast drawn by any four wheeled coach, Barouche, Hearse, Sociable, Berlin, Chariot, Landau, Chaise, Chair, Calash, Phaeton or other suchlike Carriage having four Wheels
For every Horse or other Beast drawing any other Chaise, Chair or Calash or any taxed Cart 3
For every Horse or other Beast drawing any Waggon, Wain, Cart, Caravan, Dray or other such Carriage having the Felloes of the Wheels at less Breadth than four and a half Inches at the Bottom or Soles thereof 4
For every Horse or other Beast drawing any Waggon, Wain, Cart, Caravan, Dray or other such Carriage having the Felloes at the Wheels thereof of the Breadth of four and a half Inches and less than six Inches at the Bottom or Soles thereof
For every Horse or other Beast drawing any Waggon, Wain, Cart, Caravan, Dray or other such Carriage having the Felloes of the Wheels at the Breadth of six Inches or upward 3
For every Horse, Mare, Gelding or Mule laden or unladen not drawing 1
For every Ass laden or unladen and not drawing cattle Ten pence per?

Tolls payable in Puckeridge 1821

Reproduced by kind permission of Hertford Museum


The Puckeridge Gate

Reproduced by kind permission of Hertford Museum

The Wadesmill Turnpike was the first to be established in the country in 1663, when Caxton and Shilton were also authorised. The purpose was to levy tolls on passing traffic to raise funds for road repairs and improvements.

The Wadesmill Turnpike covered the road from Wadesmill to Royston, with a branch from Puckeridge to Cambridge.

The Puckeridge Toll Gate was removed in 1872, and a former post master of the village marked the occasion with a poem.

Charles Smith was sub-postmaster from about 1859 to 1864. He was also a grocer and tailor and, from 1862, Registrar.

 

 

In Memory of the Old Puckeridge Toll

Know all men by these presents, ye horsemen and swells,
A subject most pleasant for ringing of bells,
The Good Time, long coming, hath come at last –
The old Puckeridge Toll Gate’s a thing of the past.
This ugly old scarecrow, the old house as well,
It hath been determined by auction to sell,
The stumbling blocks likewise, where folks broke their shins
Which stood on the pathways, a new scene begins;
Full many a Donkey, this trap were caught in,
Did straightway get out of, by paying the tin.
The clock – which oft hath been too slow and too fast –
The auctioneer’s hammer has knock’d down at last.
The bakers and butchers can go with their carts,
With no more toll payments, and light joyous hearts.
Fly-drivers and carters may now shout “hooray”,
The like there has not been for many a day.
But it hath been proved in more than one case,
A nuisance removed brings one in its place.
Whilst folks have been crying out, “down with the gates,”
Some will grudge the money in paying the rates;
The boon to the public, whatever it be,
Depend upon it those who live longest will see;
The prizes and blanks will unequally fall,
Some will have the honey, and others, the gall.
Should we get improvements in roads and pathways,
‘T will help to make up for what we’ll have to pay.
Old times we remember with many a blush:
We hereby do warn off the mud and the slush.
A great many changes have happened this year,
Things turned bottom upwards, and prospects look queer.
In conclusion, trusting this change may work well,
So now DEAR old Turnpike, farewell, oh ! farewell.
C SMITH
PUCKERIDGE, Nov. 1st, 1872

 

Coaches passing through Puckeridge in 1836 

Mail Coaches Approximate time in Puckeridge
Going North Going South
London-Edinburgh 11pm 2.30am
London-Louth 11pm 3.15am
London-Lynn 11pm 3.15 am
Stage Coaches
London-Cambridge(via Barkway)
W Chaplin & Co
“THE TELEGRAPH”
1pm 1pm
London-Cambridge (via Royston)
W Chaplin & Co
“THE ROCKET”
4.30pm 6pm
London-Cambridge (via Royston)
W Wilkins & Co
“THE BEEHIVE
Tu.Th.Sat -2.30pm Mon.Wed.Fri – Noon
London-Cambridge (via Royston)
W Eken & Co
“THE STAR”
6.45pm 10am
London-Lynn (via Royston)
W Chaplin & Co/J Singe & Co
“THE UNION”&
11am 3pm
London-Newcastle (via Royston)
E Sherman & Co
“THE LORD WELLINGTON
6.30pm 2pm
London-Stamford (via Royston)
R Fagg & Co
“THE DEFIANCE
Tu.Th.Sat – 11am Mon.Wed.Fri – 4.15pm
London-Wisbech (via Royston)
W Ekin & Co
“THE WISBECH DAY COACH
10.30am 3.30pm
London-Wisbech (via Royston)
B W Horne & Co
“THE DEFIANCE”
Mon.Wed.Fri – 10.30am Tu.Th.Sat – 3.30pm
Local Coaches
Puckeridge – Ware
R Fagg & Co
Daily return journey Mon-Sat

Reproduced by kind permission of Hertford Museum