Stoke-upon-Trent - Local History

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Stoke-upon-Trent - Local History

Turnpike and Packhorse Roads in North Staffordshire



North Staffordshire turnpike roads and canals

The map below, an extract from William Yates's Map of Staffordshire, shows Burslem and its vicinity in 1775.

The new turnpike roads promoted by Josiah Wedgwood and his fellow pottery manufacturers can be easily located on the map. The road north, turnpiked in 1763, ran down Westport Road to Tunstall to join the main road at the Red Bull in Lawton.

The road west to Newcastle-under-Lyme, also turnpiked in 1763, originally ran down Packhorse Lane. By 1812 it had been replaced by the present line of road and in 1828 the Turnpike Trust sold most of Packhorse Lane to Enoch Wood who incorporated it into his factory.

The road south to Hanley, turnpiked in 1765, ran down Nile Street. Its replacement, the present Waterloo Road, was not built until 1814-17.

The road east to Leek ran via Hot Lane. Moorland Road was built in 1820 to provide a more direct access to Smallthorne and the east.

Burslem - from William Yates Map of Staffordshire 1775
figures in blue are the date the roads were turnpiked

other toll roads in the Potteries:

Trubshaw Cross & Brown Hills:
The Act of Parliament for making the present Turnpike Road, (passed in 1762), describes the road from Tunstall to Newcastle, as "going by Trubsharv Cross, and the Tan-House, (Wolstanton), down Sparks's Hollow, over a common field, called the Brampton, to Newcastle ; and another branch extending from Burslem to Trubshaw Cross, aforesaid".

The Ash Estate:

The road running from Hanley to Cheadle road turnpiked in 1771. “Ash”, a large Elizabeth house, stood on the south side of the road on the site now occupied by the Ash Bank Hotel. It was the chief estate in the township of Eaves, part of the parish of Stoke-upon-Trent. 

The other important feature was Wetley Moor. Handley Hayes, an estate on the edge of the moor, was the site of a colliery which had been in existence since at least 1772. Coal carts from the colliery used the present Brookhouse Lane which led from the moor to the turnpike road. 

Meir & the route of Rykeneld Street:
"This road proceeded from Blyth Marsh, in a direct course towards Lane End… the Sutherland Road in Lane End is a continuation of it; at the north end of which it again unites with the turnpike road, and passing the church, goes on to Lane Delph; but there the turnpike road diverges a little..."



The Ivy House Estate:
Diagonally opposite the 'Ivy House' public house - an old horse trough. Note the fountain on the side for human use.

The reason for the drinking trough was that this was the site of the Ivy House Toll Gate. This stood until the 1870's. There was one at the Junction of Keelings lane at Upper Green in 1820 and one to the South West a the junction of Hulton Street and Town Road

Waterloo Road:
Burslem to Cobridge: The northern section from Burslem to Cobridge was built between 1815 and 1817. As a result the old narrow winding turnpike road was replaced a straight wide road. The new road immediately became a focus of new development. William Adams, of Cobridge Hall was one of the first to exploit the potential of the new road.

Adderley Green:

The road to Adderley Green followed the course of Wood Street originally. Under and Act of 1813 a new turnpike road to Adderley Green, the present Anchor Road, was built. This road was disturnpiked in 1877 and declared a main road under the Highways and Locomotives Act of 1878.


Below Wedgwood's new factory built in 1769 were a series of courtyards next to the turnpike road to Newcastle-under-Lyme. On the other side of the canal in Stone pit field was the site of Etruria Hall.
Josiah Wedgwood also purchased land on the other side of the turnpike road thus creating a compact estate of about 250 acres on the East side of the Fowlea Valley. 


Cutts Street (was Cleveland Street), Shelton
Cutts Street (was Cleveland Street), Shelton
This was the old road from Hanley and is just outside the edge of the 
Ridgway estate.
A new turnpike was built and then the Bell and Bear was rebuilt to face the new road.