Toll Bar Cottage, Grindleford

Recent Photograph of Toll Bar Cottage (Grindleford)

Toll Bar Cottage is situated on the north-eastern side of Grindleford Bridge, and is built of traditional gritstone with a stone slated roof. It dates from the 17th century, becoming a tollhouse in the 18th, with the advent of the Turnpike era. Note the rounded bay jutting out towards the roadway and the newer dressed stonework where the toll window has been closed up. The River Derwent flows just behind those trees in the background and the B6521 Sheffield to Bakewell road comes in from the right, past the cottage, and crossing over the river just to the left of the photograph.

Travellers past the cottage paid at this "box office" to use the Sheffield to Buxton Turnpike, set up by an Act of Parliament in 1758. The route left Sheffield by Psalter Lane, through Banner Cross and Ringinglow (where there was a tollgate) past Fox House Inn and through Longshaw Woods more or less following the route of today's B6521. The route then continued over the bridge to make its way towards Buxton, turning right up what is now a minor route over 'Sir William' Hill. This route, very steep, and exposed, was replaced as the main thoroughfare by the present lower road (B6521) via Eyam and Foolow in 1795. Ironically, the latter has needed to be closed during Winter 2002/3 due to a landslide - whilst the 1 in 5 gradient old routeway over Sir William remains open. And it has been proposed, by one "old-timer" in the village as an alternative route for buses to take... Aye, but they made roads to last in them days...

A second Turnpike route, which possibly terminated before it got to this cottage was laid down by a Turnpike Act the following year, 1759, which allowed for "repair and widening ... from the Turnpike road near Newhaven House to the Turnpike Road near Grindleford Bridge" (the so-called Newhaven to Grindleford Turnpike). It followed a route out of Newhaven (on the A515 between Ashbourne and Buxton) crossing the River Lathkill at Conkesbury Bridge, passed through Haddon Fields into Bakewell, and from there took the line of the present B6001 through Hassop and Calver, past the tollbar at Stoke (“Stoke Bar”) which stands at the junction with the road into Froggatt, and thence to Grindleford.

For further reading see Take a Look at: Tollbar Cottages, by Julie Bunting.

Dodd, A.E. & E.M. - Peakland Roads & Trackways.
Published by Landmark Collector's Library of Ashbourne.
ISBN 1-901522-91-1
Read more in this Review of ‘Peakland Roads & Trackways’, by Julie Bunting (Peak Advertiser, 18th December 2000).

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Image contributed by Rosemary Lockie on 22nd August 2001.
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