Penwortham Bridge tolls

Today’s post on the Ribble bridges brought a comment from Joan Peacock on the Preston Historical Society Facebook page. She pointed to a fascinating advertisement in the Preston Chronicle of 24 March 1883 for the tolls to be charged on the bridge from 1 May 1883.

The long and detailed list of tolls (see picture) included the following:

For every coach, landau, Berlin, chariot, calash, chaise, or chair, drawn by four or more horses, mares or geldings the toll is one shilling, with the charge reduced to six pence for two-horse carriages and three pence for those drawn by only one horse, mare or gelding.
‘For every cart, or other carriage (not being drawn by mule or ass), loaden with other goods (except milk)’ six pence.
‘For every score of hogs, pigs, sheep, calves, or lambs’ five pence.
‘And for every Foot Passenger (except the Freemen of the Corporation or Borough of Preston aforesaid, resident therein, who are to pass Gratis, having always done so at the ferry over the said River Ribble, previously to the erection of the said Bridge)’ half a pence.
‘For every Traction Engine’ a shilling.

The tolls for livestock show how important Preston was as a market town at that date. The free passage for the freemen of the borough possibly applied from when a ferry was first recorded back in the 14th century. And how often were traction engines crossing the bridge?

Penwortham Bridge tolls advert

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