This house, called Bar Cottage, stands on Rowley Lane in Lepton, just east of Huddersfield. It is readily recognisable as a toll-house: it stands further out into the road than neighbouring buildings, and it has windows enabling traffic approaching from both directions to be seen.
Though not on any main road now Rowley Lane was once part of the Wakefield-Austerlands Turnpike. This road was constructed around 1759 from Wakefield through Huddersfield to the county boundary at Austerlands (on the present A62) where it connected with the turnpike from Manchester through Oldham. While the three routes over Standedge are well-documented, it is less widely-known that the first of the three Austerlands turnpikes did not follow the present direct route down from Grange Moor. It actually turned down through Lepton, over the Fenay Beck and up to Almondbury, from where it descended into Huddersfield.
The route was changed with the second turnpike of 1777, but the toll-house, deprived of its purpose, has survived externally unaltered for over 200 years.
RWH / June 2020