Ashcombe Toll House
pictures taken on the Heritage Open Day, September 2000

This unusual Grade II listed round building on the south of the A27 Lewes to Brighton Road, near Kingston. is a reminder of the former turnpike system of road provision and maintenance, supported by tolls payable by the road user. It was constructed about 1820 at the eastern end of the Lewes - Brighton turnpike. It went out of use about 1871 when the Turnpike Trust was wound up

There was formerly a twin building on the other side of the much narrower turnpike, the other one probably the actual toll keepers refuge. 
It has been lost to the various road widening scheme which now see a major dual carriageway over it's site.

Inside the remaining structure is a fireplace and there were windows which were blocked by the county council at the same time as they put iron strapping around it. This repair work was done despite ambiguity over ownership, this has been resolved by the Sussex Heritage Trust who laid legal claim to it over twelve years ago, it is now their property no-one coming forward to contest it Research undertaken by the trust and others, indicates that the remaining building was probably used as a Turnpike ‘lengthsmans’ hut

The roof was formerly a tidy hemisphere, the specially shaped bricks having been 'robbed' after this picture was taken.:-

From the Sussex County Magazine 1947

From the Sussex County Magazine 1951
After the Roof bricks were robbed, but before the mid 1950's 'restoration' by ESCC 

There is an article  and detailed drawing in Sussex Industrial History No. 13 1983.  
See Sussex Industrial Archaeological Society


Updated 09 March, 2010
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