Richmond to Lancaster Turnpike Road

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Richmond to Lancaster turnpike road  over Wether Fell MYD36674 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Richmond to Lancaster turnpike road over Wether Fell MYD36674 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Turnpike roads like this one were built by private investors who hoped to recoup their expenditure and make a profit by charging tolls on the traffic using them. There had long been a desire amongst merchants and producers to link the port at Lancaster with the inland markets of the Dales. The Richmond to Lancaster Turnpike Trust was founded and their new road opened in 1751. Its original course took it through the market town of Askrigg, across the river at Bainbridge and up over the hills into Ribblesdale along the course of the old Roman road called Cam High Road. In 1795 a less rugged route was engineered that went via Hawes up Widdale. The result was that the market at Askrigg fell into decline while the new one at Hawes flourished. Several toll houses were built along the Turnpike including one near Ellerton Abbey. The turnpike was also provided with milestones. These were originally stone, such as the one at Newby Head. They were replaced with cast iron milestones around 1825, and some of these survive alongside what is now the B6255.


Wright, Geoffrey N (1985) Roads and Trackways of the Yorkshire Dales. Ashbourne: Moorland Publishing


Turnpike route enters park from Richmond at Redmire. It continues on public road through Carperby to Askrigg. The earlier route then crossed to Bainbridge and up Cam High Road to Gearstones. Later it was diverted onto A684 to Hawes then B6255 south.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Hawes. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


Follows public roads mostly.