Over the Christmas period I was able to take advantage of some free time to go on some walks in Devon to find geocaches and to generally “geek-out” about local history sites. Writing this now, whilst living within a new national lock-down, I do envy this greater freedom to leave the area in which I live and to amble about the countryside and the moors. However, hopefully the national picture will improve in the weeks and months ahead.
And so, this is a simple post about one photograph taken over the Christmas period.
I visited South Brent to meet up with a friend (geocacher name = Wamsite) to go out for a socially distanced geocache walk. Our aim was to find a few geocaches in the village whilst stretching our legs for a nice walk. Whilst in the centre of the community we came across the charming old toll house.
Historic England states that the toll house possibly dates back to the late eighteenth century. Toll houses are traditionally associated with the collecting of money for travel on a certain road or bridge (as remains the case with many bridges in the UK today). However, the South Brent toll house was in operation due to the area being the location of a market several times throughout the year.
The notable features that remain today include the small bell-tower, as well as the sign – a list of charges – on the side of the building (as shown in the photograph). The sign, dating from 1889, notes:
MARKETS & FAIRS
LAST TUESDAY IN
APRIL & SEPTEMBER
LAST TUESDAY IN
FEBRUARY & AUGUST
Today the sign remains as a curiosity, which gives credence to the often expressed view that all history ends in tourism. Hopefully I will be able to enjoy a wander around South Brent at some point in the future.