"Persons willing to contract for carrying forward that branch of the road from Cameron Bridge to Pitcorthy, by Lundin Miln, will please apply to Mr Christie of Durie and Mr Calderwood Durham of Largo."
Once the road was 'made', the infrastructure for collecting tolls would follow. An early reference to the toll-gate can be found in the Caledonian Mercury of 18 Oct 1807 (see below). Further below is an 1824 notice that Lundymill Toll is to be let by public roup. The highest bidder would become lessee of the toll-bars would live in the toll house, attending to all that stopped at the gate. In 1841, 69-year-old Agnes Bell was recorded in the census as Tollkeeper at Lundinmill. She was the mother of Andrew Bell, innkeeper at the old inn which occupied the site of the Lundin Links Hotel. By 1851, Pittenweem-born David Fulton was in the post of Lundinmill Toll Collector (he would move to Wellsgreen Toll Bar near East Wemyss by 1861).
"On entering the road from the east (and having paid at Lundinmill toll-gate, in the St Andrews District, only two miles back), we are taxed at Scoonie toll-gate....what is called a half toll..."
...the writer then describes being charged at the bridge at Leven and again at Methil-hill toll-gate.
A William Pagan of Cupar wrote a paper entitled "Road Reform" in 1845 which called for the abolishment of the system. He argued that less than half of monies raised were actually spent on upkeep of the roads and suggested that rules were frequently being bent "...with smallholders evading tolls and pikemen attempting to take more than were due to make up the difference" from others. Court cases were common.
More on the toll bar and turnpike system in the next post.