Braithwell, Micklebring and Clifton History and Heritage

Care of the Roads - Surveyor/Overseer of Highways

Notes by Allen Smith of Braithwell, Micklebring and Clifton History and Heritage Group

Each year, as well as selecting a Constable, two Churchwardens and an Overseer of the Poor, the village required a "Surveyor of the Highways" - another voluntary post!

The 1765 Enclosure of Braithwell Commons document gives details of the "publik" and private roads of the Parish. (A private road was one which was intended solely for the use of the inhabitants of the Parish, and a "publik" road was intended for the use of all travellers.)

The "publik" roads were for the most part constructed between hedges 60 feet apart, but were mostly made of loads of stone having been beaten into the earth. This method formed a track which soon became rutted with the passing of iron clad carriage wheels.

The private roads, apart from when they passed through the village, ran between hedges planted 30 foot apart. There were also access roads to fields.

It would seem that the job of the Surveyor of the Highways was to inspect regularly all roads passing through the Parish, and keep them in good repair. This entailed quarrying the stone, breaking it, carting it to the required parts and filling in the ruts.

In order to pay for this, a tax, or assessment had to be levied on all rent payers in the village, based upon a percentage of the amount of rent they paid annually. The records for Braithwell are to be found on separate pieces of paper up to the year 1804, when a ruled note book was used. This book provides the historian with a list of all the rent payers in the village, the amount of rent they paid on their house and lands, and the final column shows the amount each household had to pay towards the upkeep of the roads of the Parish. It seems that the rent payers had a choice. They could either pay the assessment, or work for a number of days on the roads. (up to a maximum of 6 days.) A day’s work in 1804 was valued at 3s.0d.

Earlier records are the more interesting as they detail the work done in the village. Here are some examples:

1739  Paid to Edward Butler for a parcel of causway stones £1.0s.0d.
   Paid for Birkwood wall, and steps mending      6s.0d
1766  for causay stones  
1768  Five lodes of caucy stones in ye Littlefield at 2s.6d 12s.6d


 Paid to Robert Westron & company for 23 days work  at 1s. 4d per day £1.10s.8d.

 28 days rampering the South hill at 16d.per day          

 30 days rampering the Westemwell Lane

 2 days in Hellabe Lane breaking stones 

 7 days breaking stones on the turnpike at 16p.


 77 lodes of stones in the Longlease Lane at 3d. per lode

 4 lodes of stone for Micklebring town well


 paid to Ann Lockwood for ale


 paid to John Jackson for ale

   paid to John Bays for ale        1s.6d.
   paid to John Tyas and James Scholey for scouring ye  dike below ye town well        2s.0d.
1787  Spent at setting down guide post        1s.0d.
   paint            6d.
1788  To Christopher Pool for rampering Sandgreave Lane      14s.0d.
1790  William Hawke expenses of HallowWell sheep wash        7s.4d.
1798  to fetching stone for the cross        4s.0d.
1799  paid labourers for digging snow in the roads        3s.4d.

 paid four labourers for shuvlin snow from Chirch to Mr Thompsons (presumably this was from Church to Forge Cottage)

1800  Paid for Ashton Lane gate removing        3s.0d.
1802  Paid for Micklebring well   £4.0s.6d.

 (Paid to William Wridge for doing the well)

   Cristefith travies 6days      12s.0d.
   William Ardron 4 days        8s.0d.
   Mr.Thicket and a pound of paint        4s.0d.
   and a pound of lead at 2d.        1s.0d.
   paid John Askey for stones for the well paid Daniel Chapman for ale      14s.6d.
1802  John Sadler for getting sum stones by the Lump   £2.19s.6d.
    Paid for Town well £1.12s.8d.


The following is a list of villagers who served as Surveyor of the Highways in Braithwell



Thomas Smith.


Thomas Wild


Thomas Wild


James Thompson.


James Thompson.


Thomas Kay.


William Hawke.


Richard Thompson.


Richard Thompson.


Thomas Thickett.


William Fidler


William Thompson.


Wiliam Fidler.


Joseph Glossop.


Richard Sharpe.


Thomas Dyson.


Thomas Hay.


William Hayes.


George Hutchinson.


Miss Amory.


Michael Row.


Will.Row (x)


William Amory.


Thomas Gandy.


William Dungworth.


John Thompson.


John Birks.


William Hicks.


William Hicks.


William Mason.


Robert Thompson.


George Kay.


William Hawke.


James Thompson.


Richard Smith.


Thomas Westby.


William Marshall.


John Smith.


John Gleadall.



x) William Row - "not permitted to stand office"


1804, the Surveyor started using a note book, and this provides us with a detailed list of the occupiers of all the households in the Parish well before the first official census returns were made in 1841. As well as their names we can get a good idea of their importance and social standing in the village from the amount of rental they paid on their house and land. From thee rateable values shown we can also get a good idea as to how the various farms grew over a period of years.


1804. Braithwell Surveyor of the Highways accounts. Thomas Smith

Amory.Miss,  £46.5s.0d 6  
William Ardron £4.5s.0d   2 s.1d.
Richard Bayes £6.l0s.0d 3  
John Birks £12.10s.0d. 3  
Mrs.Blundel £1.0s.0d         6d.
John Bagaley £5.0s. 0d 3  
John Beaston £9.0s.0d   4s.6d
Mark Clarkson £1.0s.0d        6d.
 Mr.Duke £3.10s.0d   ls.9d
William Dungworth £22.5s.0d. 6  
William Fidler £9.5s.0d 3  
.James Fidler £1.0s.0d.        6d,
John Gleadall £24.5s.0d 6  
Samuel Gleadall £3.5s.0d   1 s.7d.
John Hawke £13.10s.0d.  3  
William Hawke £69.0s.0d. 6 9s.6d
John Hicks £11.10s.0d 3  
George Hall. £1.0s.0d.        6d.
John Jackson £6.0s.0d   (account shows 6d in arrears.)
George Lawson. £14.15s.0d   (account shows 18s. in arrears)
Jarvis Lancashire £2.5s.0d   1s.
Robert Mason £1.0s.0d    
James Millward £1.5s.0d.    
John Pattison. £2.10s.0d   1s.3d
Poor of Braithwell. £2.5s.0d.   1s.1d.
Thomas Revill £1.0s.0d.        6d.
Richard Revill. £2.0s.0d.   ls.0d.
John Revill    15s.0d    
Michael Row £10.5s.0d.  1 (5s. in arrears)
James Robinson £2.0s.0d   1s.0d.
Rectorial Tithes £115.10s.0d.   £2.17s.9d.
Richard Sheppard £50.5s.0d. 6 .
John Samson £11.10s.0d.   5s.9d
Thomas Sibury £5.10s.0d.   (7s.6d. in arrears)
Richard Sharpe £45.0s.0d. 6  
Richard Smith £20.5s.0d. 6  
Thomas Smith £30.10.0d. 6  
Smith of Conisboro' £2.10s.0d.   1s3d.
John Snipe £6.5s.0d. 3  
Samual Snipe £6.5s.0d. 2  
William Sanderson    10s.0d.   3d
George Spaldin £1.11s,0d.   6d.
Rev.J.Thompson £2.10s.0d.   1s.3d.
James Thompson £29.10s.0d. 6  
Robert Thompson £16.15s.0d. 3  
Richard Thompson £8.15s,0d. 3  
William Thompson £9.0s.0d. 3  
Thomas Thompson £3.15s.0d.   1s.10d.
John Thompson £2.15s.0d.          4d.
Christopher Travis £1.0s.0d.          6d.
Thomas Thickett £1.0s.0d.          6d.
Vicarial Tythes £15.0s.0d   7s.6d.
William Wordsworth £6.10s.0d. 3  
Thomas Wild £21.5s.0d. 6  
Matthew Wild £9.5s.0d.   4s.10d.
Thomas Whiehead £1.0s.0d.          6d.
Thomas Wright £41.10s.0d. 6  
William Westran £2.0s.0d.   1s.3d


                             CASH RECEIVED:                                             MONEY DISPERSED:                      

                             Collected by 2 assessments:     £25.8.8             Material for Roads      £33.2.10

                             Composition                                  5.15.8.          Blacksmith's Bill              1.15.8                              

                             Received from old Overseer          3.7.0.           Wheelwright's Bill             1. 3. 6

                                                                                                        Rent for quarry               1. 1. 0.  

                                                   Total                    £34.11.4         Total expenses            £36.13 0

(It can be seen from these figures that the Assessment for 1804 amounted to 1/40th of the amount paid in rent and rates. Couple this with the Tithes, assessments for the Overseers of the Poor, money for the Church, and the school fees, and one realises that this was a period of high taxation in one form or another.

Little or nothing was available from central government, and the Parish was left to look after its affairs as best it could - the Church being at the centre of all activities).

Financial Tables for 1811 and 1821 can be seen in the Data Archive,