Collet Brook & Toll House - Sutton Coldfield

Toll House - Image courtesy of Google Maps

This tiny hamlet in rural east Sutton is named after the nearby stream which runs north-to-south to join Langley brook east of The Lindridge. The 1841 Census shows that there were two farms here and the tollhouse occupied by the family of Thomas More, the toll collector. The house, which still stands, almost certainly dates from the opening of the Sutton-Bassetts Pole (for Tamworth) turnpike in 1807. Now known as Collets Brook Farm, this is a Grade II Listed building. The original house is rectangular, 2-up-2 down. It has a central bayed entrance typical of such buildings to enable the toll collector to see both ways along the road without leaving the house. The house was later extended with a wing at rear. This may have occurred when the road was dis turnpiked in 1872. The house is currently unoccupied and in a poor state of repair (as at 2012).

In 1840 this road was reported to be in poor condition, the revenue having fallen because of competition from the railways. The Birmingham-Derby railway (via Tamworth) had opened in 1842; the Birmingham-Sutton branch line opened in 1862 and was extended to Lichfield in 1884. This was exacerbated by the abolition of statute labour which had first been introduced in respect of main roads under the Highways Act of 1555. Parishes had the responsibility of raising the obligatory labour of the inhabitants to work on the roads annually (usually for six days) without payment. The Highway Act of 1835 still vested responsibility for the maintenance of highways in the parish, but abolished statute labour. After the road was disturnpiked the County took over the maintenance of the highways.

Situated on the corner of the A453 Tamworth road and Fox Hills Road near Bassets Pole roundabout and Sutton Coldfield Crematorium. I hope to have some photographs soon.

Former Road Toll House at Collet's Brook Gate, now Collet's Brook Farmhouse, Tamworth Road, Sutton Coldfield. The principal structure is thought to have been built for the Tamworth Turnpike Trust in 1807 in the form of a lodge house with protruding front. Currently unoccupied (was a farmhouse) property with some additions or alteration to the original tollhouse structure on the A453, Tamworth to Sutton Coldfield road. External features; two-storeys on T- shaped floor plan, having a hipped, hip over bay, roof, with walls mainly of brick, roofed in slate, square headed windows with casements, an open porch with a square headed doorway; recessed arch in full height of brickwork on each side wall; bay window with blindside bay over porch. This abandoned house is beside a busy road. Overhanging trees are obscuring it from view and the roadway has been built up so that a crash barrier hides the front and the door is well below current road level.

 
from information supplied by David Wilcox

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