The turn-pike road network had expanded exponentially from the mid-1750s, with over 700 trusts (responsible for the upkeep and the collection of the profitable tolls) by the end of the century. These roads, fanning out from London throughout the country and connecting almost every major town and city, dramatically diminished travel-times, frequently to an astonishing degree, with a journey to Edinburgh from London being reduced from around 256 hours in 1700 to 60 in 1800 and a journey from London to Exeter reduced from 240 hours to 32 over the same period. The superior surfaces of the road allowed a great increase in freight, as well as requiring fewer horses for the transport of the goods.
Part of the King’s Topographical Collection, Paterson’s British Itinerary, though clearly focused on the roads and direction of travel, includes some topographical features and places of interest outside of the necessary towns and coaching inns. Thus, on Maps 3 and 4, we see the principal country seats with the names of their owners appended, as well as ‘Caesars Camp’, an ancient hill fort near Potton.