THIS is the old Turnpike House - a Toll house - formerly located on Usk Road, Pontypool. This photograph was taken in the 1960s shortly before the building was demolished to widen the road and install a small roundabout.

‘Turnpikes’ were traditional road junctions of two or three road ways or drovers paths and were thus heavily used points in road and path networks.

From Medieval times, road and path maintenance was up to local people or parishes to upkeep but from the early eighteenth century local Trusts were established to levy tolls or charges for use and then maintain the road system, hence the levying of tolls was usually from a well-positioned toll house, as here at Pontypool where the roads to Pontypool town, New Inn (The Highway all the way down to Croesyceiliog) and Usk all met.

The Pontypool Turnpike Trust was started in 1767 and the Turnpike House levied the tolls to assist with maintaining the roadways for over 100 years until local authorities (here Pontypool and Panteg Urban District Councils) assumed highways control in the 1870s.

The house was then sold off for private residence.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.