Punchard Gill toll house restored

The Punchard Gill toll house in the Yorkshire Dales National Park has been restored.

Punchard Gill toll house - before restoration

Punchard Gill toll house - before restoration

Built beside the Reeth to Tan Hill road in Arkengarthdale it was used to collect tolls from passing traffic after the road was turnpiked in 1770.

Used as an agricultural store for the last 100 years it was badly in need of major repair work, according to Robert White, Senior Historic Environment Officer at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA).

“Thirteen toll houses are recorded in the National Park but their road side positions make them very vulnerable and most have been demolished or converted almost beyond recognition,” he said.

The toll house is a Grade 2 listed structure and has been described as “a rare and relatively unaltered survival of the turnpike road era in Richmondshire”.

It was on the Buildings at Risk register because of its poor condition.

[pullquote]There is so much history linked to this building – it’s fantastic to see it restored to its former glory.
Dr Margaret Nieke, Natural England’s Historic Adviser [/pullquote]Thanks to a partnership between the YDNPA, Natural England and the owner, it has now been given a new lease of life.

Punchard Gill toll house history

Extensive work was required including re-roofing, partial underpinning and rebuilding of stonework, repointing and renewing external joinery and guttering.

Dr Margaret Nieke, Natural England’s Historic Adviser, said:  “There is so much history linked to this building – it’s fantastic to see it restored to its former glory. ”

The Reeth-Tan Hill-Brough road was turnpiked in 1770 and was improved to cope with increasing traffic, particularly from the coal field at Tan Hill, and the need to make it easier to transport smelted lead from Swaledale.

The building was sited at the edge of the enclosed land in Arkengarthdale, just as the road opens out onto moorland, in order to make it difficult to avoid paying tolls.

Punchard Gill toll house - after restoration

Punchard Gill toll house - after restoration

In 1841 it was occupied by David Raine, a toll gatherer, who was described as a roadmaker in 1851.

In 1861 the census reveals that John Calvert was a cattle jobber as well as a toll bar keeper but in 1871 the head of the household was a coal merchant and in 1881 a coal miner.

The building is not mentioned in the 1891 and 1901 census returns which suggests it was then uninhabited.

Turnpike trusts were generally wound up in the second half of the 19th century and responsibility for the roads passed to the County Councils in 1888.

More information about the Punchard Gill toll house can be found on the National Park Authority website .





Comments

  1. Nice to see the building being restored! There are some of these in the Peak district that should be done!

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