Welcome to the Turnpike

Welcome to the Turnpike

The very long Reading and Hatfield Turnpike Trust road, 51 miles, interconnected with other turnpike roads, and came into use in the 1760s. At the Hatfield end it began at what was then the Old Fiddle public house (now Old Fiddle Cottages), making a connection with...
The Parish Pest House

The Parish Pest House

The parish of St Peter constructed an isolation hospital for infectious diseases. It was a large house which included private accommodation for a nurse. Food and other requirements were left at the gate and collected by the nurse in charge. Although it is not known...
Farriers Near Smallford

Farriers Near Smallford

In a demonstration of the reliance on horses and simple machinery for much of the farm work, as well as the needs of travellers, there were three farriers within a short distance of each other during the 19th century. The blacksmith’s forge next to the Three...
The new road attracts

The new road attracts

The Trust of the turnpike road, which came into use in the 1760s, felt there was a need to establish a toll gate at the cross roads, and a corner-facing brick-built tollkeeper’s house was constructed.The toll gate encouraged the siting of a public house – the Three...
Smallford and the Four Wants

Smallford and the Four Wants

This map was drawn by Dury and Andrews in 1766, and was surveyed a few years before the Reading and Hatfield Turnpike Trust arrived to toll the Hatfield road (the west-east road in the top third of the map below). To the left is the hamlet of Smallford, named Small...
Where is Smallford here?

Where is Smallford here?

This map, made by William Kip and printed a full two centuries before the first Ordnance Survey map (1834), helps us to understand why all maps are not the same. On the Kip map Smallford is not even marked and named, but that is not to say there was no farm or...
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