KENSINGTON: The rapid increase in regional traffic on our various parish roads during the 1850s, accelerated further by the advent of horse racing, saw the introduction of a number of toll houses. One such stood at Tayís Reserve at the intersection of Anzac Parade and Alison Road., and flourished until 1894. By then the other toll houses had long ceased their function.

They were considerable revenue earners, the income used for maintenance and upkeep of the roads. There were initially two main arterial routes from Sydney to the region. One was by the now Old South Head Road, then Bronte and Frenchmanís Road and Avoca Street. The other followed what is now Anzac Parade, Alison and Belmore Roads, toll houses were located along their ways.

Originally a State venture, control eventually passed to the individual councils. The tolls ran the gamut from a farthing to a shilling, depending on the animals and conveyances involved.

Robert Booth

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