NT2472 : Auld Toll Bar, Tollcross

taken 12 years ago, near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

Auld Toll Bar, Tollcross
Auld Toll Bar, Tollcross
The Auld Toll Bar is a reminder of a toll-gate which existed after a new road was laid in 1792 along the old Biggar Road to Morningside in accordance with the 1755 Turnpike Act. Known as 'Wright's Toll', and often referred to as 'Toll-Cross', the toll-bar stood on the east side of the road approximately at what is now the opening to Glengyle Terrace. Travellers paid two pence to pass and up to a shilling (twelve pence) for goods. Judging from the vehicle parked outside the Auld Toll today, it seems that one of the locals has worked out a way of not having to stagger home after an evening out. The building belongs to a row of cottages in Leven Street that survives from the old village of Wrychtishousis. Most of the western side of the village was demolished to clear the way for the road, but some of the eastern side was spared. Cottages in the street still known as Wrights' Houses (where the Golf Tavern stands) survived until their demolition in the 1970s. It is surmised that the origin of the name goes back to James IV's decree of 1508 which ordered the felling of trees on the Burgh Muir (which took in Bruntsfield Links). The timber-wrights, after whom the village presumably took its name, provided the wood for many of the timber-fronted house and forestairs built in the Lawnmarket and West Bow area of the Old Town.

"...I expected to find Edinburgh the finest city in the kingdom. Conversations at Newcastle, and with many Scotch gentlemen for years past, had prepared me for this; but still the reality has greatly surpassed every idea that I had formed about it. The people, however, still exceed the place: here all is civility; you do not meet with rudeness, or even with a want of a disposition to oblige, even in persons in the lowest state of life. A friend took me round the environs of the city; he had a turnpike ticket, received at the first gate which cleared five or six gates. It was sufficient for him to TELL the future gate-keepers that he had it. When I saw that, I said to myself, 'Nota bene: Gate-keepers take people's word in Scotland; a thing that I have not seen before since I left Long Island [USA]." -- William Cobbett, Tour In Scotland, 1833
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NT2472, 1000 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 19 May, 2009   (more nearby)
Saturday, 23 May, 2009
Geographical Context
City, Town centre 
Public house > Public house   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 248 726 [100m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.4603N 3:12.2526W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 249 726
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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Public House 

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