pen style gate

pen style gate

An early toll gate


In 1753 Turnpike Commissioners were appointed for "repairing and widening the roads" of Yeovil. They ordered that "three capital gates be erected" at Hendford Bridge (by today's Railway Tavern), Goar Knap (roughly near the junction of St Michael's Avenue and Sherborne Road) and "the Head of Kingston."

Collectors at each of these gates received a salary of six shillings per week or "eight shillings until the toll houses are completed". There was also a "stop gate near the entrance leading from Pen Style to Newton" with others at Watercombe Lane, Combe Street Lane, Goldcroft and Dorchester Road.

The Pen Style Gate therefore was one of the Yeovil toll gates, literally a gate across the road, and appears in the 1841 census as being controlled by George Loader (1809-1877), a wagoner, who lived in a cottage there with his wife Ann née Cross (b1798) and four children; William (1833-1897), Martha (1835-1928), Samuel (1838-1891) and Eliza (1841-1908)..

Later, a toll house known as the Penstyle Turnpike House was constructed for the gate keeper.



Edward Bullock Watts' map of Yeovil of 1806 shows Penstyle Gate crossing Newton Road and marked 'Turnpike' at centre left. The tollkeeper's house is shown to its east - later replaced by Penstyle Turnpike House.