Armadale centre - toll booth 1854

Armadale centre – toll booth 1854

The town of Armadale did not exist until after the 1790s.

Sir William Honyman made a shrewd investment by buying the land around Armadale in 1780, probably with the knowledge there would be a ‘Great Road’ built, a toll road from Newbridge to Airdre (the equivalent of today’s M8).

In 1786 the great road was opened for traffic, making a junction with the cross country road near the east end of the estate, and at the cross thus formed there was erected a toll bar, with the necessary tollman’s house, a small one-room hut, with a look-out window in each wall.  This house was built on the north-east corner of the Cross, which was heavily gated and barred to prevent carriage or cattle passing through without paying the necessary toll required to defray the expense of keeping the roads and bridges in proper order.  The Toll was known on the ordnance survey as Boarbauchlaw Toll, and was licensed to sell spirits and ale, until the Forbes-Mackenzie Act, which came into force on May 15th, 1855, put an end to it.  Up to the passing of the Forbes-Mackenzie Act to regulate licensed places, the Tollman was privileged to sell beer and spirits, and the weary traveller could have the finest ale or the ‘real M’Nab’ to quench his thirst.  It was also a dairy, and supplied milk to the teetotal portion of the community, and when any of the village dames were thought to smell rather strong, or their tongues wag rather freely, they were generally twitted with having been too often to the Toll for milk!

The Toll House was demolished in January 1884.

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