First Turnpike - Background
The first Turnpike Road in Cumbria was built under the Whitehaven Harbour Act of 1739. It joined St Bees to Whitehaven
Turnpike Acts were private acts of Parliament, allowing for roads to be built by Trusts, and the cost recovered from tolls charged at toll houses along the line of the roads. They began in the seventeenth century, and at their peak in the early nineteenth century there were over 1000 Trusts in England and Wales. They began to decline with the comimg of the railways.
The Whitehaven- St Bees turnpike initially just served the local area and was not connected to the rest of the county, let alone the rest of the country, until 1762
The image shows Whitehaven Harbour from Hutchinson's 1794 History of Cumberland. There are many more historical images in our Gallery
posted by Bill Shannon