Historical information

The Shire of Warrnambool operated toll gates from 1866 to 1869 as a means of revenue rai sing for road construction. There were three toll gate locations – on the main Belfast (Port Fairy) Road at Dennington Bridge, on the Woodford Road at Russells Creek and on the Geelong Road at the Allansford Bridge. The toll gates were unpopular and unprofitable for the lessees as travellers were able to avoid the tax by skirting around the gates. They had toll houses besides the gates.
The printers of these tickets, Fairfax and Laurie were the lessees at the time of the Warrnambool Examiner newspaper. This paper, founded by Richard Osburne and John Wilkinson, and published with some gaps from 1851 to 1880, is a key source today of Warrnambool’s history at that time.


These toll gates tickets are significant because:-
1. They date back to the 1860s and were only issued from 1866 to 1869.
2. They are the only artefacts we hold of the time when toll gates were operating in our local district
3. They are the best example of how the Shire of Warrnambool in its early history raised revenue for road building and maintenance

Physical description

This is a book of toll gate tickets for sale at the Main Belfast (Port Fairy) Road Toll Gate. The tickets (about 50) are yellow and in duplicate with provision to detach the outer ticket for the purchaser to keep. The tickets (two shillings and sixpence) are bound with an adhesive tape and the cover is mottled in pattern (brown and blue). There are also four loose tickets in blue (3 shillings).

Inscriptions & markings

Back Cover: ‘136’
Tickets in book: ‘Shire of Warrnambool, Main Belfast Road, Toll Gate 2s 6d., Fairfax and Laurie, Printers’
Loose tickets: ‘Shire of Warrnambool, Main Belfast Road, Toll Gate, 3s.’