A brief history
(According to Rob)
The Toll House
From 1663 to 1836 improvements to roads were carried out by the collection
of Tolls. A Private Act of Parliament, setting up a turnpike trust had
to be in place. Tolls were profitable in some areas with heavy stagecoach
use but declined with the advent of the railways. Most Trusts were dissolved
in the 1880s - 1890s.
The first record I currently have of the Toll House being occupied and
in use is on the 1861 census when the Gate Keeper was Sarah Merrett. From
that I'm assuming it was built between the dates of the 1851 and 1861
census as it is not shown on the 1839 field map. In 1871 it was still
in use as a Toll House (on the census called Turnpike House) with the
Keeper being Fanny Hill, with the collection of tolls ceasing, by 1881
it was occupied by Thomas Davies who was an agricultural labourer. Traditionally
the building was probably six sided but over the years has been built
on to become a family home. In the 1980s the Village shop closed for a
period of time and the owner of the Toll House opened up part of the house
for use as the Village Post Office, later moving into an old (modified)
pigsty in the garden. After some 20 years or so in around 2004, choosing
to retire, the Post Office moved back to the Shop.
On the 1839 map of High Ercall stood the Public House which was prior
to this one. This was where the New Vicarage now stands and was called
the Darlington Arms. The Cleveland arms was built between the 1841 and
1851 census as the first record I have of it is on the 1851 census and
directorys when William Blakeway, farmer and victualler, is named as the
Inn Keeper. Over its history from what I understand it has not only been
a Public House but an Inn, small holding, garage and petrol station, evidence
of some of these events and general changes to the structure of the property
can be seen from the photos. Behind stands the Ridgway housing estate
and directly to the left is the Bowling Green.
I've put some of the landlord / ladies together from records I have, these
can be found here.
On the 2nd June 1938 a deed of gift executed by Ernest Leopold Payton
created the E L Payton playing field on what used to be the High Ercall
Cricket field and the land where the High Ercall Village Institute stood.
The Hall from what I understand, was on the land where the old timber
yard stood and was a wooden building which was gutted by fire on the 6
December 1942, the 'call' being attended by the RAF High Ercall Station
fire party. After this it was decided that a new building be built on
the playing field. This was also a wooden building and was eventually
replaced in 1965.
The Foundations to which Scheme Relates document, drawn up under the charities
act 1960 can be seen here.
You will need Adobe
Reader to view this document. The Village Hall and field is
on the left as you go up Park Lane.