The Tollhouse was originally located at Little Malvern, Worcestershire. It was built by the Upton-upon-Severn Turnpike trust in 1822 for a total cost of £56. Turnpike trusts were established by Act of Parliament from the late 17th century onwards. The trusts assumed responsibility for the maintenance and improvement of roads, which were essential for the transportation of materials and products, from local parishes. To fund work, trusts charged tolls for the use of the roads, which were collected at tollgates. This task was often delegated to a gatekeeper who, in return for a yearly rent, was allowed to keep the payments they collected. Many travellers despised the toll system as roads frequently showed little improvement and they began to suffer long waits.