A collection of walks, discoveries, insights and pictures of exploring Dartmoor National Park
July 13, 2021
Tavistock Turnpike Trust “Take Off” Stones.
Trusts were set up following Turnpike acts of Parliament from the 17th but especially during the 18th and 19th centuries , with powers to collect road tolls for maintaining the principal roads in Britain. At the peak, in the 1830s, there were over 1,000 trusts administering around 30,000 miles (48,000 km) of turnpike road in England and Wales, taking tolls at almost 8,000 toll-gates and side-bars. One such trust set up was the Tavistock Turnpike Trust.
The Turnpike acts regulated the weights which might be drawn on roads during the seasons of the year, the number of horses (or beasts) which might be used for drawing and the size (width) of wheels which could be used. There was an allowance on hilly sections of road (gradient not less than 1:9) where extra horses could be used. The Tavistock Trust erected “Take Off” stones as part of the concession, which indicated where extra horses had to be “taken off” at the end of the concession. The Tavistock Turnpike Trust “Take Off” stones are believed to date from mid 1820s.
Source of information taken from Dave Brewer, Dartmoor Boundary Markers (2nd Edition, 2002) and Wikipedia.