You Can Buy a Bridge… in Britain!
Auction Sales, Britain, History, Swinford Bridge, Traditions
The Swinford Tollbridge, crosses the Thames half a mile from Eynsham in Oxfordshire, was built in 1769, and has its own act of Parliament allowing its owner to collect tolls, and banning the construction of competing bridges for three miles up and downstream of its location.
It is believed that George III additionally granted a tax exemption on all its toll revenues.
It is used by four million vehicles annually, and charges a toll of of 5p per car and 50p per truck producing (tax-free!) revenues of 190000 pounds (US$320000).
It sold today at auction for 1.08 million pounds ($1.66 million).
The fly in the ointment is the existence of considerable agitation on the part of the unruly peasantry seeking the abolition of the toll.
Swinford Tollbridge web-site