Somerset BA2 6TS
Batheaston is a small village (about 3.5 miles or 6km east of Bath) on the London Road West deviation of the A4 whilst Bathampton Village is tucked away across the River Avon. Connecting Bathampton across the river to the A4 highway to Bath is this privately owned Toll Bridge.
Crossing this Toll Bridge is an experience rarely repeated in England.
In earlier centuries a special Act of Parliament had to be passed to allow a private landholder to exact a toll from anyone using a bridge on private land. This bridge is one of the few still privately owned. As can be seen from the Toll Collector’s Board beside the Toll Keeper's cottage, tolls have been collected since the 18th century.
Food & Drink
As you cross the Avon, on your left is a restaurant with a water wheel (we are told is a rather new addition) which was used to rotate the dining room floor to give customers a view of the river. On the southern side of the Avon, just over the bridge is an old 17th century watermill, again converted to a pub/restaurant (The Bathampton Mill). The entrance is not easy to see between the hedges on the narrow road so care is suggested. Both are worth a visit.
Visitors may wish to read the article titled Swinford Toll Bridge in this website.
To reach the bridge from Bath, travel east along the A4 road to the large roundabout at the junction of the A4 and the A46. Diverge from the A4 at this point and go partially around the roundabout to take the London Road West for about 4 miles (6km) to where the Toll Bridge Road diverges to the right. Carefully negotiate the narrow Toll Bridge Road some 200 yards (183 metres) to the Toll Bridge approach and the toll collectors.
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Traffic from Toll Collectors side has priority
The bridge is one lane only and traffic from the toll collection side has right of way. We noticed that motorists fiercely enforce this right!
It is possible to park off the road either on the toll collection side or the Bathampton Mill side and enjoy the view of the water wheels, the barrage and the wildlife on the river.
Half the fun of going to Bathampton this way is negotiating the quaint Batheaston Toll Bridge. It is just like being transported back several centuries when travelers were charged for traveling on a private toll road. Bathampton is a short drive from the bridge.
Google Map - Batheaston - Bathampton Toll Bridge