Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

Turnpike Cottage, Musbury, Devon

Every time I've walked past this cottage I've taken one or two photos, and for some reason have never been able to get a decent picture of it...which is a bit weird! Anyway, these are the best ones I've got so far and I've decided to go with them for now, although I reserve the right to change them if I ever manage to photograph it properly. ;)

As the name suggests, this was once a Toll House. I haven't found much information about it, but this particular stretch was part of the Axminster Turnpike Road, enabled by an Act of Parliament in 1792. This small road, running between the villages of Musbury and Whitford, was a later addition to the Axminster section connecting to the Honiton Turnpike, which in turn was part of the London to Exeter Highway. 

Interestingly, it was at Honiton that the collection point for the East Devon lace making industry was situated. Now known as Honiton Lace, most of the produce came from the village of Beer, on the coast near Seaton, and was much sought after by people in London. Also, it was from Beer that another product was prized; the local limestone called Beer Stone, which was used in several famous buildings including Westminster Abbey.

Oddly enough, the cottage doesn't appear to be a Listed Building. Like most toll houses, there are windows either side of the door, facing so as to give a view of both sides of the road. As the act enabled toll of the road was passed in 1792, this cottage would have been built shortly afterwards in the Regency era. We can see the emergence of Regency Gothick in the delightful arched door windows, along with the larger and more sedate Georgian style windows. Hipped roofs were popular in this period due to the availability of Welsh slate.

And finally, another view of the front taken one winter.

I only have these four photos at the moment, which can also be seen in the Photo Gallery album, but I'll add some (hopefully better ones) when I'm next around that way.

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