In the 17th Century, some of the knives and edge tool made by Sheffield cutlers as well as other manufactured goods were carried out of the town on a network of tracks and packhorse routes.
The roads which headed north or south from Sheffield were difficult as were the tracks over the Pennines to the west, except during good weather. Despite this, a weekly carrier service to London was operating by 1637.
After some opposition, a scheme was approved, in 1756, for a Turnpike Trust to be set up to improve the road going south along the Sheaf valley to Heeley and then through Norton, Coal Aston and Dronfield and then on to Chesterfield. Further Turnpike Trust improvements and new Turnpike Roads were started in the late 18th and early 19th Century.