There was often more than one turnpike toll booth in any particular area. If you are unsure where your own ancestor lived, you’ll find that maps of toll roads in various counties are available. These include the online version of Wallis’s new pocket edition of the English counties (1810) at http://tinyurl.com/yc6l8wpn. Those who lived near the gates could claim extra remuneration if woken up in the night to open the gate
approval of the Reading to Basingstoke Turnpike (1821), which required toll collectors to display their names at the gate, and to give their names to road users whenever they were asked. The Act also forbade them from unnecessarily delaying road users or from using ‘scurrilous, abusive or blasphemous language to any passenger’, giving us an insight into the quarrels that frequently arose when a disputed toll was being collected.
Occasionally, turnpike keepers had shares in the stalls or makeshift businesses that used to set up near the turnpike gates. Journalist and social investigator Henry Mayhew recorded in 1861 that: ‘A considerable number of book-stall keepers, as well as costermongers, swag-barrowmen, ginger beer and lemonade sellers, orange-women, sweet stuff vendors, root-sellers, and others, have established their pitches – some of them having stalls with a cover, like a roof – from Whitechapel workhouse to the Mile End turnpike-gate. Near the gate they are congregated most thickly.’