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The Toll Gate

The famous Highwayman, Dick Turpin, was associated with the Hornsey toll gate.

26–30 Turnpike Lane, Harringay, London, N8 0PS

This pub takes its name from the toll gate erected in 1765, where High Road meets Green Lanes. This gate was dismantled soon after the system of turnpikes (private roads) was abolished in 1872.

An illustration of Kensington Gate.

An illustration of City Road Gate.

An illustration of Notting Hill Gate.

An illustration of Islington Gate.

A passage about the Hornsey toll gate.

The passage reads: The charges for toll at Hornsey, Turnpike in 1713 were as follows:

Coach, Chaise, Chariot, one of more horses 3d
Wagon, not laden with hay or straw 6d
Wagon, laden with hay or straw or other goods 2d
Cart, laden with hay or straw or other goods 2d
Horse, Ass or Mule 1d
Cattle per score (and so in proportion for any greater or less number) 10d
Pigs, Sheep per score (and so in proportion for any greater or less number) 4d

The charges were varied in 1744 so the number of horses drawing at a penny a horse, except for wagons carrying hay or straw. Charges were increased in 1768. In 1826 a uniform toll of 3d per horse was charged at the gate. That famous Highwayman, Dick Turpin, was always associated with the Hornsey toll gate. In the works of fiction, beloved by our grandparents were those of Harrison Ainsworth, several of which recount the doings of gentlemen of the road. Once “Rockwood” tells of the exploits of Dick Turpin in and around Tottenham. “Dick”, we read on Black Bess “is being pursued by three officers. He enters Tottenham by striking into a by lane at Ducketts Green (Ducketts Common) and cantering easily along in the direction of Tottenham. Little repose was allowed him and the whole place was up in arms”.

Hornsey toll house and gate were demolished in July of the year 1872 when the coming of the railways brought the Turnpike System to an end – nothing being left to remind people of the passing of the coaching age.

(Prepared by Mr CJC Harris)

A copy of The First Turnpike Act.

Illustrations and text about the problem with wheels.

The text reads: The efforts of the authorities to keep the roads from damage in Turnpike times provide some amusing reading, though we may find their parallel in the charges brought against the motor transport of today.

Many Acts were passed in the 18th century to regulate wheel dimensions of carts, carriages, and waggons, so that the roads should be as little damaged as possible by vehicles unsuitably “wheeled and shod”.

There was even a suggestion made that wheels should be abolished altogether, and carriers be compelled to adopt cylindrical rollers in their place – so that in effect every waggon would become a road-roller, and this the more waggons, and the greater their loads, the better the roads would be.

This ingenious thought, however, seems to have some to nothing – unless the steam-roller of the present times can trace its origin back to this proposal, which may well be so, seeing that, as is shown in this section, steam-rollers were already in use as early as 1866.

A photograph of the tram terminus, Wood Green, c1905.

A photograph of High Road, Wood Green, c1906.

A photograph of the old Highgate toll gate, demolished 1876.

A photograph of High Road, Wood Green, c1920.

A photograph of the flood at Turnpike Lane, July 1907.

A photograph of Barratt and company, Wood Green, c1905.

A photograph of an electric car, Hornsey, c1905.

External photograph of the building – main entrance.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: