Life continued as normal for an agricultural estate until the Dukes of Bedford decided to improve the "lot" of their community.

Communications had been established across the causeway linking Thorney to Eye and Peterborough. The Turnpike also continued on to Guyhirn and Wisbech. At each end of this "Turnpike", marking the limits of the Bedford Estate were Toll houses. In the east there is now, a community named Thorney Toll! In the west there is Causeway Toll farm.

Thorney was, during this time a "Posting Station" and the Dukes Head Inn stood on the south west corner of the traffic lights at Abbey Place and the Wisbech Road. It was demolished after it fell in to disrepair at the end of the nineteenth century.

The Museum holds copies of some directories of the period, such as Pigott's, White's etc. The village and its communications are described, as are many of the residents.

It was decided to improve the state of the village, as the Dukes were also doing at other estates, such as Ampthill. Samuel Sanders Teulon was engaged as the architect, and a wide range of buildings were created after 1848, including workers' cottages, larger farmhouses, the Tankyard (1855) which was the focus of water and sewage systems, and public facilities like schools and shops. Most of this building work still survives, and displays in the Museum also describe it - and the reactions of local people to their new homes!

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