The Tollhouse


Aberystwyth Southgate Tollhouse Board

This tollhouse was built in 1771 on the southern outskirts of Aberystwyth, at a time when local gentry began to build private or turnpike roads for which tolls were charged. This building and its gates cost £40 to erect, nearly four times what a mud and thatch cottage like would have cost. It was built of local slate-stone and was roofed with Pembrokeshire slates. David Jones of Dihewid was appointed as the first gatekeeper in November 1771, the first tolls being charged on 23 March 1772.

The building contains just one room, one end being used for the collection of tolls. A single fireplace at the opposite end of the house was used for heating and cooking. The house has been furnished in the style of 1843, the period of the Rebecca Riots, when many tollgates were destroyed. Tollhouses were very unpopular with people in rural areas, who had to pay to travel along the roads; the ensuing riots resulted in the eventual abolition of most of the Turnpike Trusts in 1864, with county councils taking over responsibility for building and maintaining the roads.

Tollhouse Map Plot

Building facts:

  • Original Location: Penparcau, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion (Cardiganshire)
  • Date originally built: 1771
  • Furnished: 1843
  • Dismantled and moved to St Fagans: 1962
  • Date opened to the public: 1968
  • Listing status: Grade 2
  • Visiting information