This article examines the distinctive position of the parish of Thorpe to the northwest of Ashbourne in relation to the eighteenth century turnpikes. The northern part of the parish lay on what was at one time the main road between London and Manchester. Branching from this route was a subsidiary link to the Potteries. Both these major routes were superseded by alternatives. As a result the original nineteenth century routes remain largely unchanged and can be traced as they were when the alternative routes replaced them. Many local routes dating from the turnpike era have been adopted as modern roads and their history has been hidden beneath infrastructure improvements.