THE COACHING AGE

‍Beginning to End

‍There are various claims to be the first scheduled stage coach service. One of them is the Chestier Coach which began in 1657.

‍It ran between London and Chester and was a commercial success. Other coach services followed.

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‍During the 1700s and 1800s coach travel improved beyond recognition. Mail coaches began in 1784. Before then the Royal Mail was carried on horseback but coaches had become faster by then and had started (illegally) to carry some mail. To counter this, the Post Office set up a system of mail-coaches, run by coach operators under franchise. The mail coaches became the fastest and most efficient of all the coaches.

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‍By the mid 1800s, the country was networked by dozens of crack stage and mail coaches running at speeds of between ten and eleven miles per hour,  to strict timetables, day and night, and connecting all parts of the United Kingdom.

‍A network of coaching inns every ten or twelve miles peppered the country to service both the coaches and their passengers. 

‍This was the height of the coaching age and it lasted until the railways were built. As each line opened, the coaches which had served its route lost their passengers and stopped running.

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‍From the first coach in 1657 to the last in around 1848 we have a period of one hundred and ninety-one years in which we have the beginning, the growth, perfection and final extinction of the old coaching era.


‍Next: Coaches to All Parts



‍Section 1 Menu

‍The Age of Coaching
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‍Before Coaches

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‍Beginning
to End

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‍Coaches to All Parts
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‍London to Stamford

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‍Driving a Mail Coach
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‍Two Short Videos
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‍Then and Now

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‍An Incident at Wansford

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‍Charlies and Hackneys

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‍The Peacock at Islington

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‍Perils by Water

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‍London Coaching Inns

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‍Some famous London Inns

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‍Go to Section 1

‍Tales of the Road


‍Go to Section 2

‍History of Roads


‍Go to Section 3

‍History of Coaches


‍Go to Home Page

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