The College Road, Dulwich, London SE21 Tollgate

As Seen In April 2005

This is the last historic tollgate in London to remain in use. It was constructed in 1789 by John Morgan who built a road from the top of the hill to fields he rented from Dulwich College. He charged a toll on people who passed through his land, and on their animals. After his death the College continued to charge.

Tollgate ahead sign
above and below: the view looking north.

College Road Dulwich London SE21 Tollgate

paying at the tollgate
The view looking south.
The machine on the left was not working so an attendant collected the tolls (& gave paper receipts).

Dulwich London tollgate 'table of tolls'
The "Table Of Tolls"

More information about this toll gate can be found here: .

Pre Decimal Money Conversion Table

The conversion table below will help readers compare the pre-decimal "real" money tolls with modern (inflation-prone) decimal monetary values.

6d (ie: six old pence) = 2½ pence decimal.
2/6 (ie: two shillings and six old pence or "half-a-crown"*) = 12½ pence decimal.
3d (ie: three old pence) = when in 1971 we changed our money this was valued at 2 pence decimal.
10d (ie: ten old pence) = 4 pence decimal
2½d cannot be converted as such because the use of halfpenny (and farthing - quarter penny) coins were abolished before decimalisation. The approximate value would be between 1½ new pence and 2 new pence.

It is perhaps noteworthy that lorries had to pay five times more than cars (5x 6d = 2/6 - which in effect was 30 old pence, although it was never expressed as such).

As a reverse comparison the 2005 toll of 50 pence (50p) would equate to 10/- (or 10s 0d) in pre-decimal money. (ie: ten shillings).

Brief Pre Decimal Money (L s d) Information

In pre-decimal L s d (£ s d) days there were 12 pence (d) to a shilling (s) and 20 shillings to a pound (£). This system of monetary values was at least 1000 years old! For most of that time monetary values were such that only the wealthier people used pounds - for everyone else only shillings and pence mattered.

The letter "d" when refering to the penny in writing was short for 'denarius'. This was an ancient Roman silver coin as well as the name for an Olde Englishe (sic) silver penny.

As part of learning about money school children were also taught that there were 240 pence (d) to a pound (£), although for amounts greater than one shilling monetary values were usually discussed as shillings and pence.

Retail shops often quoted prices above one pound as shillings, rather than in pounds and shillings; for example, £4-18-0 would be written as 98/- or if the amount included pennies then rather than £2-5-7 it would be as 45/7

In addition to (£ s d) there were also other values too, such as the "guinea", which equated to 21s, or £1 1s. Even after the use of guinea coins had ended shops often priced items such as luxury goods, furniture and men's suits (bespoke tailoring) in guineas (gns). In addition professional fees and payment for land, horses, art, auction purchases etc., were frequently priced in guineas. Typically the pounds went to the barrister / seller whilst the shillings went to the clerk / the auction house as their fee (commission).

*The term 'half-a-crown' for 2/6 (12½ pence decimal) was very frequently used in spoken English. In monetary values a 'Crown' was 5/- (25 pence decimal). At one time there were coins of both these values, however the 2/6 coin did not survive decimalisation. The 5/- (25p) coins still exist but are hardly ever used. Other coin / monetary values with names included the 'Florin' which was valued at 2/- but when it was mutated into the 10p coin after decimalisation in 1971 this name more or less died, and the 'Tanner' which was for the 6d coin - which after decimalisation was withdrawn without a replacement decimal coin of equivalent value.
As an aside the 'Crown' still exists as units of currency in some Scandinavian countries, and until they were replaced with the Euro the 'Florin' was also used in Holland, where it was also known as the 'Guilder'.

Links to a few of the many web pages about our pre-decimal money can be found below - the historic European connection might be a surprise: .

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