Malalhide Historical Society
The trustees, mainly wealthy landowners along the route, appear to have sought to maintain a degree of exclusivity by discouraging the building of all but large houses. They imposed special tolls on building materials, making them so costly that only the prosperous could afford to build along the road to Malahide. Unlike other toll roads, the Malahide Turnpike Trustees operated their road at a profit. Competition from the railways and general dissatisfaction with the toll system led to the abolition of the turnpikes in 1855. After 65 years of operation the Malahide Turnpike Trustees arranged for the sale at auction of the toll-houses, gates and pillars. This enabled them to settle their debts and even pay a small surplus to the grand jury that took over responsibility for the road upkeep and who were the authority charged with building and maintaining roads and bridges throughout the county.The records of the Malahide Turnpike Trustees for the first forty years went missing in 1826 but the minutes and some account books from mid 1826 until the winding up in 1855 are held at Fingal Local Studies and Archives in Swords.Distances on the old coach roads were measured from the gates of Dublin Castle but the turnpike trustees measured from the GPO. The Malahide turnpike trustees erected granite stones every mile along the route. These have inset metal plates stating the number of statute miles to the GPO on top and to Malahide underneath. Eight of these stones survive on the right hand side of the road in front of the Casino at Malahide. How many can you spot?