Toll Roads, Toll Bars & Prison if you don't pay! 1853

Maryport Toll Bar Cottage At Junction Of Road To Allonby And Crosby With Horses And Cart

On the subject of toll gates, here’s Ellen Bridge cottage, where the entrance to Crow Park can be seen with the gate. This cottage used to be a toll gate for the Senhouse’s, which levied a 61/2d toll charge on the Maryport to Cockermouth road. Included are a couple of articles, which list a very Maryport story of a man who refused to pay at this gate, with 26 sheep, in December 1862, and a list of toll gates and how much money they made in 1853, which was quite substantial.

From Maryport Through The Ages Facebook

Cockermouth and Maryport Road Tolls 1853

NOTICE is hereby given that the TOLLS arising at the several Toll Gates erected upon the TURNPIKE ROADS leading from 


in the County of Cumberland called or known by the several and respective names of 

Workington Gate, Maryport and Risehow Gates, Ellengrove Gate, Woodside Gate, Allonby Gate, West-Newton Gate, Waverton Gate, Heathfield Gate, Oughterside Gate, Yearngill Gate, and Arkleby Gate, 

will be separately LET by Auction, to the best bidder or bidders for the term of One Year, to commence on the FIRST day of January next, at the COURT HOUSE in COCKERMOUTH, in the said County, on TUESDAY the SIXTH day of DECEMBER, at Eleven o’Clock in the Forenoon, in the manner directed by Acts passed in the Third and Fourth years of the Reign of his late Majesty King George the Fourth, for regulating Turnpike Roads, which Tolls, for some time past have been collected by the Trustees, realised during the year the ending of the Thirtieth of September last the following sums, over and above the expenses of collecting, viz

Workington Gate: £92 19s 3d

Maryport and Risehow Gates: £252 2s 2d

Ellengrove Gate: £46 11s 4d

Woodside Gate: £44 14s 7d

Allonby Gate: £101 13s 2d

West-Newton Gate: £43 3s 8d

Heathfield Gate: £28 4s 4d

Oughterside Gate: £38 17s 9d

Yearngill Gate: £47 16s 9d

Arkelby Gate: £73 8s 8d

And will be put up at those Sums.

The best Bidders must at the same time pay One Month’s Rent in advance, and give security, with sufficient sureties, to the satisfaction of the Trustees of the said Turnpike Road, for payment of the rents agreed for, and at such times as they shall direct.

By Order of the Trustees


Cockermouth, 28th October, 1853.


William Smallwood, an old man upwards of sixty years of age, was summoned at the instance of Fisher Bell, keeper of the Maryport toll-gate, for refusing to pay toll for twenty-six sheep which he drove through on the 17th inst.

The Clerk: Well, Smallwood, what have you to say.

Defendant: I had nothing to pay with

The Clerk: To whom did the sheep belong.

Defendant: To Mr Stamper of Maryport.

Complainant: He said he wouldn’t pay.

Defendant: No, because if I had paid the toll out of my own pocket I would never have got it back. (Laughter)

The Clerk: Have you been to see Mr Stamper to tell him that you got a summons through his default?

Defendant: No, I didn’t think it worth while.

The Clerk: Well, you ought to have done so.

Defendant (emphatically): Well, but I tell you I didn’t, I would only have got a saucy answer. (Laughter).

Mr Senhouse: Have you ever asked Mr Stamper to pay?

Defendant: Yes

The Clerk: It’s very wrong of Mr Stamper to place you in such an awkward position. Your are liable to a penalty of £10, or else be sent to prison.

Complainant (to defendant): And you mun come on Stamper for’t time you lie there. (Loud laughter). You know (addressing the bench) t’man can’t pay if he duzzent git it to pay wid.

Defendant: I told him that I wouldn’t mind paying it if I thought I would ever get it back.

– Then you refused to pay the toll

Defendant: Of course I did.

Mr Senhouse: We feel for the position in which you are placed, but we must do our duty.  We have decided upon fining you 5s., and 5s. costs, which, with the 6½d toll will make 10s. 6½d, in default of payment you stand committed to gaol for a fortnight.

Defendant was then removed.


“The old Ellengrove toll cottage, pictured here around 1891. James and Bridget McKendrey & family were the keepers at the time. I think it ceased to be a tollgate in the 1860s?” Maurice McKe via Facebook.

“My grandmother who was born in 1891 was in service at that house at age 14. She walked there from Nelson Street for 4am.” Diane S Facebook