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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.

Fiddleton Toll Bar Cottage, excluding single storey timber extension to east and double height brick extension to south, A7, Ewes, near LangholmLB9770

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions.



  • Category: B
  • Date Added: 03/08/1971
  • Last Date Amended: 15/02/2018


  • Local Authority: Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish: Ewes

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NY 38842 96203
  • Coordinates: 338842, 596203


Fiddleton Toll Bar Cottage was built in the late-18th or early 19th century. It is a single storey with basement to rear (east), three-bay, rectangular-plan toll bar cottage, abutting the A7 Carlisle to Edinburgh road. The cottage is constructed of stugged grey ashlar with painted margins. The north and south elevations are constructed of snecked and squared rubble with ashlar quoins.

The front (west) elevation has a central canted and crenellated bay. This is flanked by a window to the right and entrance door with fanlight, to the left. The north elevation has a centrally placed single window.

The rear (east) elevation is two storey and has a central door at basement level, flanked to its right by a small square window. At first floor, is an off-centre single window. At basement level, right of the central door, is a small timber lean-to with a corrugated iron roof.

The south gable of the toll bar cottage is formed of a two storey rendered brick 20th century addition. The east facing elevation has timber double doors at basement level, with a single small window above. The south elevation of the addition has a pair of windows at first floor level whilst the front, west elevation is featureless.

The cottage has a piended roof with graded slates and projecting eaves. There are a pair of symmetrically arranged roof lights to the rear pitch as well as a central apex chimney stack with three replacement cans. The previous listed building record (1972) noted the windows were 12-pane sashes, these have been replaced throughout with plastic windows. The entrance door is also a replacement.

The interior, seen in 2017, is in two parts, the basement and ground floor are separate, with the ground floor accessed from the west entrance door and the basement accessed from the rear (east) central door. There are few late 18th or early 19th century features remaining to the interior apart from some timber doors, architraves and press cupboard. The basement has a cobblestone floor.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: the single storey timber extension to the east and the double height brick extension to the south.

Statement of Special Interest

Fiddleton Toll Bar Cottage, Ewes, near Langholm is a largely unaltered example of an early 19th century toll bar cottage, built to a specific design typical of this building type. The cottage was built to serve an important late 18th century road from Carlisle to Edinburgh, which is now the A7. The cottage has a distinctive crenellated canted bay which it shares with three other toll bar cottages on the former Scotsdyke and Haremoss turnpike road. The building is an important reminder of early road communications and infrastructure and is still connected to its original toll road.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: the single storey timber extension to the east and the double height brick extension to the south.

Age and Rarity

The earliest record of a toll building at Fiddleton is seen on the Taylor and Skinner map of 1775, which shows the building as a simple rectangle. The current Fiddleton Toll Bar Cottage is evident in rectangular-plan with a canted bay, to the west elevation, on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map (surveyed 1857, published 1862).

Turnpike roads provided one of the key means of land transport until the mid-nineteenth century. From the mid-18th century local turnpike acts made it possible to raise capital for road maintenance by charging tolls. A physical barrier or 'toll bar' across a road or bridge was lifted when the toll was paid. Tolls were usually accompanied by a cottage to house the operator.

Sir William Pulteney of Westerhall, a Scottish advocate and Dumfries landowner applied for an Act of Parliament for the creation of a turnpike road in 1763 (New Statistical Account p. 439). The following year an Act was passed for a road from Scotsdyke to Haremoss, through Hawick in Roxburghshire. This was the first turnpike in Scotland to not be directed towards either Edinburgh or Glasgow, instead called for, in 1749, by the Lords of Justiciary to aid their circuit route travel (Silver, p. 147). The Caledonian Mercury records in 1767 that the road was completed in the summer of 1766. The road was managed by the Scotsdyke and Haremoss Turnpike Trust.

The Taylor and Skinner map shows tolls were placed on the Scotsdyke and Haremoss turnpike road at Fiddleton and Scotsdyke by 1775. By 1834 two additional tolls on the turnpike road were constructed to the north and south of Langholm.

In our current state of knowledge in 2018, all four toll bar cottages survive on the former Scotsdykes and Haremoss Turnpike. The four toll bar cottages along the route are Scotsdyke (Old Tolbooth, LB3529), Langholm Townfoot (High Street, Tollbar Cottage South LB37135), Langholm Townhead (Townhead, Tollbar Cottage North LB37145) and Fiddleton. The four toll bar cottages share largely the same architectural form, each with varying 20th century alterations. It is probable that at the time the Langholm tolls were constructed, Scotsdyke and Fiddleton were either altered, or demolished and rebuilt and constructed in the same architectural style with a central crenellated canted bay.

The toll bar cottages ceased to operate after the passing of the Roads and Bridges (Scotland) Act in 1878.

Around 100 former toll houses, toll bar cottages or tolbooths are listed in Scotland. Significant examples include the former toll house by engineer John Rennie in 1802 as part of his Kelso Bridge scheme (LB35724). Built in the classical style it is, along with those at Barnhill near Perth (LB39422) and Boat of Brig in Moray (LB2324), a relatively grand example of what tended to be a modest building type.

Other canted and bow-fronted toll houses include the 1813 Ye Olde Toll Bar at Newton Stewart in Dumfries and Galloway (LB19284), the 1817 example by engineer Robert Stevenson, listed with Marykirk Bridge near Brechin in Angus (LB11178). There are also two examples by Thomas Telford, the 1820 Former Tollhouse, Hyndford Road (A73) in Lanarkshire (LB13469) and the 1822-23 Old Toll Cottage, Dinwoodie, Lockerbie (LB3327).

The listing criteria states that 'buildings erected before 1840 which are of notable quality and survive predominantly in their original form have a strong case for listing.' Fiddleton Toll Bar Cottage is a good and early example of a toll bar cottage associated with the late 18th century development of the turnpike road network. The cottage is unusual in its use of a crenellated canted bay, which it shares with the three other toll bar cottages on the former Scotsdyke and Haremoss turnpike road.

While some changes have been made to the interior and by the addition of a two storey brick extension to the south, the building largely retains its early 19th century form. The building is a relatively rare surviving example of its building type which is still connected to a historic network of other toll houses on the same roadway.

Architectural or Historic Interest


The ground floor interior largely dates to the 20th century with some earlier timber doors, architrave and press cupboards, which are not exceptional features of a dwelling of this date. The basement has a cobblestone floor. There is no special interest under this heading.

Plan form

The small-scale, rectangular plan form with a canted bay frontage is typical of a toll house of late 18th to early 19th century date.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

The building's construction is of some quality, with a façade of stugged ashlar and a rear of snecked and squared rubble. The canted bay is a specific feature of early 19th century toll cottages and was used for monitoring traffic along the toll road. The crenellation detail is less common but is a feature of all the Scotsdyke and Haremoss toll bar cottages.


The toll cottage stands within its own plot of land, abutting the A7 to the north of Langholm. The road forms a main route from Carlisle to Edinburgh. The toll bar itself that would have accompanied the cottage no longer exists.

The immediate setting of the cottage, particularly the proximity of its canted bay to the road is evidence of its original function and aids our understanding of road communication in Scotland during the early 19th century.

Regional variations

There are no known regional variations (2018).

Close Historical Associations

There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at present (2018).

Previously listed as Fiddleton Bar Tollhouse: listed building record revised in 2018.



Canmore: CANMORE ID 92149


Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1857, published 1862) Dumfries Sheet XXVII.16 (Ewes) 1st Edition, 25 inches to 1 mile. Ordnance Survey: Southampton.

Ordnance Survey (revised 1898, published 1899) Dumfriesshire 027.16 (includes: Ewes) 2nd Edition, 25 inches to 1 mile. Ordnance Survey: Southampton.

Taylor, G. and Skinner, A (1775) Survey and maps of the roads of North Britain or Scotland, the road from Edinburgh to Carlisle continued. London: G. Taylor and A. Skinner.

Printed Sources

Gifford, J. (1996) The Buildings of Scotland: Dumfries and Galloway. London: Penguin Books Ltd. p. 403-404.

Hume, J. (2000) An Illustrated Architectural Guide: Dumfries and Galloway. Camberley: The Rutland Press. p. 89 and p. 92.

New Statistical Account (1845) Vol.4: Ewes, County of Dumfries. p. 437- 441.

Old Statistical Account (1795) Vol. 14: Ewes, County of Dumfries. p. 465- 469.

Silver, O. (1987) The roads of Scotland: From statute labour to tolls the first phase, 1700 to 1775. Scottish Geographical Magazine, Vol. 103, pp. 141-149.

The Caledonian Mercury (16 May 1767) p. 4.

Veitch, K. (ed.) (2009) Scottish Life and Society, Transport and Communications. Edinburgh: Birlinn. P. 326-338.

Online Sources

Ordnance Survey Name Book (1848-58) Dumfriesshire Volume 20, OS1/10/20/54, p.54 [available at:] [accessed on 09/01/2018].


About Designations

Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

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Images ()

Fiddleton Toll Bar Cottage, principal elevation, looking east, during daytime, on an overcast and rainy day.
Fiddleton Toll Bar Cottage, rear elevation, looking west, during daytime, on an overcast and rainy day.



Printed: 21/04/2018 18:31