Llanteg's Milestones and Turnpike Road

---County Boundary Stone---

We are lucky to have at the eastern end of our village a Grade II Listed Boundary Stone set into Castle Ely Bridge - this is just outsde our village.


---Milestones---

We also have two Milestones - one opposite Myrtle Villaa which is at the eastern end of the village and one on a disused loop of road close to Oakland's House.


---Milestone Makers---

The Milestones are marked 'MOSS & SONS 1838'.


---Turnpike Road---

They are on what was the old main turnpike road from Carmarthen to Hobb's Point.
Later to become the A477 trunk road into South Pembrokeshire.


---Llanteg Toll Gate---

Llanteg Tollgate was run by 'Billy the Gate', William Oriel - who was the village cobbler, tollgate keeper and vilage schoolmaster all rolled into one.
William's wife was an invalid and he would puh her around the village in a basket invalid chair.
Nothing remains of our village tollgate but it appears to have been situated at the S.W. corner of Llanteg Crossroads to the west of Llanteg Garage.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Billy The Gate (William Oriel)

From 'Llanteg - The Days Before Yesterday'.



Billy the Gate (William Oriel)
extracted from the Narberth Weekly News, April 19th 1923 and October 11th 1923
At Llanteague the then new turnpike road to Hobbs Point crosses the two old roads, one from Tavernspite, and the other from the church and beyond, where they joined, and then immediately separated again - one for
Trenewydd etc., and the other for the direction of Amroth. At this point there was a gate across the new road, which you could not pass with any vehicle, horse, ass etc., without paying a certain toll. In connection with this gate, and built up to it on one side of the road, there was a little house of two floors with a hipped and slated roof, with a window at each side on the ground floor to enable the occupant, who was the collector of the toll, to watch the traffic up and down the road. There was a door in two heights looking across the road, and a window in the upper floor right over it. I am dependent on memory, but I judge the building was not more than 12 feet by 12 feet out to out.
In this little house the toll collector lived. At the time I want to refer to, this office was held by a bachelor of peculiar parts and appearance named William Oriel, known locally as ‘Billy the Gate’. In addition to this
public position, he was a cobbler, and made and mended boots and shoes, and besides kept in his little house above described a school for the instruction of youth in the rudiments of knowledge. This at that time was 
the only school in the parish, and was attended by about twenty children between four and perhaps ten years of age, who were taught the alphabet, a little spelling, reading, and a little - very little - writing, mostly on a slate.
It is no discredit to the pluralist head teacher to add that this covered the curriculum of his capacity, for it represented the extent of his opportunities in that direction, and he did not attempt to go beyond his depth.
His peculiar appearance was due to a severe curvature of the spine, which gave him an undue proportion of length of leg, and shortness of body, and set his head unusually low between his shoulders. This also
was no discredit to him, but on the contrary appealed to everybody for sympathy and consideration, as it arose from some accident or weakness or neglect during his infancy. He was a strict disciplinarian, and I can even now feel the bitter sting of his ebony ruler on the palm of my hand, and of his cobbler’s knee-strap across my shoulders, and I am honestly convinced that I was not by any means an unruly little boy.
To this academy of learning my brother Tom and I were introduced in the summer of 1856 walking daily from the Roses, where my parents then lived, but my father had taken Garness Mill, and was entering into possession in September. I was then four and a half years old.
We were probably 20 children or thereabouts attending this school, each paying a penny a week for the privilege, finding his or her own slate, pencil, spelling book, etc., and were drawn from eight or ten households in the parish. I often wonder what has become of them. I don’t think I have met more than four of them since we were children. They are scattered in many directions, and the majority are in all likelihood laid beneath the sod by now.

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