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Old Toll House In Chard, Somerset: Remarkable Survivor

Nestled on Snowdon Hill along the A30 in Chard, Somerset, stands a remarkable Grade II listed toll house, a testament to nearly two centuries of history. Built in 1839 in the picturesque Gothic revival style, this charming structure served as a toll collection point for travelers passing through the area. Today, it stands as a beautifully preserved relic of the past, offering visitors a glimpse into the bygone era of turnpike roads and toll collection.

Why Chard’s Toll House?

Step back in time and discover the fascinating history of Chard’s Toll House. Here are some highlights not to be missed during your visit:

  1. Historic Architecture: Admire the Gothic revival architecture of the toll house, with its octagonal shape, arched windows, and heavy timber door. The meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail reflect the craftsmanship of a bygone era, transporting visitors to a time when toll collection was a common practice.
  2. Scenic Surroundings: Immerse yourself in the picturesque countryside surroundings of the toll house, offering breathtaking views for miles around. The tranquil setting adds to the charm of this historic structure, inviting visitors to relax and soak in the beauty of rural Somerset.
  3. Holiday Cottage Experience: Experience a unique stay in the former toll house, which has been converted into a delightful holiday cottage. With cozy accommodations, a charming garden orchard, and off-road parking, it offers the perfect retreat for those seeking a tranquil getaway in the English countryside.
  4. Historical Significance: Learn about the role of toll houses in England’s transportation history, from their origins as collection points for turnpike roads to their eventual decline with the advent of railways. Discover how these structures evolved over time and adapted to changing modes of transportation.
  5. Convenient Location: Located just 14 miles from the World Heritage Jurassic Coast at Lyme Regis and within easy reach of the A303 and M5 motorway in Taunton, Chard’s toll house offers visitors a convenient stopover on their journey through Somerset.

FAQs about Chard’s Toll House:

  1. What was the original purpose of the toll house?
    The toll house served as a collection point for tolls from travelers passing along the turnpike road. Its strategic location and distinctive architecture made it an essential part of the transportation network in 19th-century England.
  2. How were toll houses constructed and why?
    Toll houses were built in a distinctive style, often resembling lodges or estate buildings, to attract reliable toll collectors and deter theft or attacks. They featured sturdy construction, with shuttered windows, built-in safes, and sometimes castellations for added security.
  3. What happened to toll houses as transportation methods changed?
    With the decline of turnpike roads and the rise of railways in the mid-19th century, many toll houses were sold off and repurposed for residential or commercial use. Today, they serve as reminders of England’s transportation history and are often cherished as heritage landmarks.
  4. Can visitors stay in Chard’s Toll House?
    Yes, the former toll house has been converted into a holiday cottage, offering accommodations for visitors seeking a unique getaway in Somerset. With its historic charm and modern amenities, it provides an unforgettable experience for guests.
  5. Is Chard’s Toll House open to the public for tours?
    While the toll house itself may not be open for regular tours, visitors can still admire its exterior and learn about its history from informational plaques or guided tours in the area. Additionally, staying in the holiday cottage offers guests an opportunity to experience the toll house up close.

As you explore Chard’s remarkable toll house and immerse yourself in its rich history, you’ll discover a fascinating glimpse into England’s transportation past. From its Gothic architecture to its scenic surroundings and convenient location, the toll house offers visitors a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the charm of rural Somerset.

Visit Chard’s Toll House: Address: A30, Snowdon Hill, Chard, Somerset (Approximately 14 miles from Lyme Regis and 5 miles from the A303 and M5 motorway in Taunton).

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