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Tyne and Wear HER(3987): Newcastle, Newcastle to Cambo Road - Details

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Newcastle, Newcastle to Cambo Road





Toll Road

Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

Toll Road from Newcastle to Cambo. A petition was read to Parliament on 27 January 1749 which referred to the ruinous state of the high road leading from the West Cowgate near the town of Newcastle upon Tyne by or through Kenton, Pont Eland, Hyham Dykes, Newhamege, Belsay Mill and South Middleton unto the north side of the River Wansbeck. The petition asked for permission to erect turnpikes and to raise money for repairs. The ensuing bill received Royal Assent on 22 March 1749 and cost the new turnpike trust £219 16s 9d. The date of the first meeting of the trustees was 28 April 1749 at the Seven Stars in Ponteland, where a clerk was appointed (John Isaacson). The first surveyor was probably John Brown (brother of landscape architect 'Capability'). He held the post until 1757. The road from Ponteland to the Wansbeck was repaired and in good condition in May 1752. Nuerous Acts relating to this road followed (including those of 1797, 1818 and 1830). The Act of 1818 introduced the production of tickets acknowledging payment and specifying the gates freed. Collector's names were to be clearly displayed. There were penalties for the use of scurrilous language by gatekeepers to passengers! The advantages of a more direct route between Newcastle and Carter Bar, to rival the Great North Road led to a survey in 1828 by J.L. MacAdam from Edinburgh to Otterburn to Elsdon to Cambo. Thomas Sopwith carried out a survey between Newcastle and Otterburn in 1829 for the Ponteland Turnpike Trust. Sopwith's survey followed the old route from Newcastle to Belsay with variations to reduce gradiant or distance. From Belsay to Otterburn he devised a 'new line'. The Act of 1830 sanctioned the new proposals. Funds were raised largely through the efforts of Sir John Edward Swinburne of Capheaton, treasurer of the Ponteland Trust. Sir Charles Monck of Belsay was Chairman. Investment rose from £2500 in 1832 to £15,060 in 1838. When the road was completed the main toll gates were sited at Kenton Bar (HER 4017), Ponteland, Belsay, Knowesgate, Monkridge and Whitelee on the Carter. Between 14 September and 14 October 1832, before the new line was fully operational, 151 one-horse vehicles, 74 saddle-horses, 63 two-horse vehicles, 51 three-horse vehicles such as the daily coach and 4 four-horse vehicles used the road, along with two and three quarter score of cows, sixteen and a half score of sheep and seven asses. The total receipt for this period was £9 7s. At Monkridge, east of Otterburn, the road merged with the Elsdon and Redewater Turnpike leading up to Carter Bar and there meeting the line of the Roxburgh Trust. Work was not completed until 1841. The turnpike was declared a main road from 1 November 1881, when the Turnpike Trusts ceased to exist. A study of this road was undertaken by Ponteland Local History Society in 1969 and their report read to the April 1969 meeting.




<< HER 3987 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, 1864, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 88 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, 1864, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 97; William Lawson, The Newcastle-Carter Bar Road in Archaeological Newsbulletin of Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland, No. 9, Sept 1970

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