Barrowby Until Now
home page
what's new?
request updates
please mention Barrowby


Barrowby only


This site sponsored by
Heart of Albion

The Toll Bar

Look on older maps of Barrowby and what is now called 'Rectory Lane' is shown as 'Toll Bar Lane'. Not because there was a toll bar along it, but because it was the route from the village to a toll bar (or gate) on the Grantham to Nottingham road (now the A52).

The approximate location of the toll bar (shown in red, top right). Presumably the small building on the north-east side of the Grantham to Nottingham road was erected as the toll keeper's cottage.
When the A52 was dualled the second (eastbound) carriageway was added to the north-east of the original road.

A painting by Sir Richard Digby Neave (1793–1868) showing a toll gate. The date and location are not known but most probably Essex. But there is an uncanny resemblance to Barrowby, simply because of the windmill in close proximity to the toll house. Presumably the dark mound in the foreground is fresh 'tarmacadam' waiting to be used for repairs.

This toll bar would have been created after the Grantham to Nottingham turnpike Act was passed in 1729. The turnpiking of the Grantham to Melton road (now the A607) seems not to have commenced until after 1758. The improvements to road-making instigated by John Loudon McAdam (1756–1836) were among the improvements which made turnpike roads much easier for coaches and other vehicles.

Turnpikes were profitable, although steadily the money was syphoned off by speculators who bid at auctions for the tolls thereby starving the roads of money needed for maintenance. And then came the railways and the turnpikes no longer generated enough money for repairs.

The income from the 'Barrowby Bar' alone between 1826 and 1833 averaged roughly £140 pounds a year (about £14,000 at today's values). More details of the income and expenditure relating to the toll road can be found in Cryer 1976 p57.

The railway era saw a branch line from Grantham to Nottingham – the 'Ambergate, Nottingham, Boston and Eastern Junction Railway', as it was originally called – opening in 1850. As its route runs almost parallel to what is now the A52 this would have caused a dramatic drop in the number of vehicles using the road.

The outcome of railways depriving turnpikes of income was a national problem. Parliament steadily abolished turnpike trusts and transferred the cost of mainentance to the district (or the county in the case of bridges). The Act abolishing the Grantham to Melton turnpike trust was passed in 1873 and the Grantham to Nottingham trust in 1876. The house and gate to the north of Barrowby were auctioned early in 1877 (Cryer 1976 p57). After nearly 150 years the toll bar was no more, except as the name of the lane. When did it change to Rectory Lane?

If anyone knows when the name changed from Toll Bar Lane to Rectory Lane then please email me:– bobtrubs@indigogroup.co.uk.


Nottinghamshire History - roads

Nottingham–Grantham line

If you think I've got something wrong – or can add additional information or photographs – then please email me:– bobtrubs@indigogroup.co.uk.

Back to top of this page


This website does not gather or store any visitor information.

Copyright Bob Trubshaw 2021–2022–2022

No unauthorised copying or reproduction except if all following conditions apply:
a: Copy is complete (including this copyright statement).
b: No changes are made.
c: No charge is made.


what's new?

Articles about Barrowby

Barrowby's location and geology

summary of prehistoric Barrowby

summary of Roman Barrowby



Seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

Nineteenth century

nineteenth and twentieth century population

Twentieth century

guided walks in and around Barrowby

there's more could be said...


index of surnames in Cryer 1979

Articles and web links for nearby places

rare seventeenth fonts at Muston, Bottesford and Orston from Project Gargoyle Newsletter 2020

Ironstone quarries of Leicestershire
YouTube video

Wyville's wells

Harston's Anglo-Saxon carvings

Bottesford's effigies

Grantham Canal Society

The Grantham Canal
All you need to know – and more – from Wikipedia

Croxton Kerrial manor house excavations
photos and brief details from Leicester Mercury.
By 2021 the remains had been consolidated and there are annual open days.

Harlaxton History Society

Bottesford History Group

Grantham Civic Society

Grantham Museum

Heritage Lincolnshire