(Produced from presentations compiled by Allen Guille and Chris Humby in 2011 & 2012)
In feudal times Barton Manor was a tiny kingdom in itself. It is recorded that Sir Thomas Peverel, in 1280, was summoned to appear before justices contesting his claim to take and hang malefactors at Barton. His claims are upheld because King Henry II had given to Nicholas, of Hampton, and his heirs (predecessors of the Peverel’s) – all the land of Barton with the right to take and punish thieves and pursue and take them beyond the bounds of his own manor.
In 1306 mention is made of a Mill, the founding of which was attributed to Sir Thomas Peverel, descendent of Sir William Peverel, who was reputed to be son of William the Conqueror. (Drewitt, A. (1935) Eastleigh’s Yesterdays).
This picture, thought to have been painted in 1844, shows Barton Farmhouse, to the left, with Barton Mill in the distance. To the right can be seen the wall of Barton Farmyard. At the far end of the wall, the road turns right towards Chickenhall Farm, not straight on to Bishopstoke as it does today.
This picture shows the same scene photographed in the early 1900s. The new road was constructed around 1900. Barton Mill is clearly recognisable from the previous picture, whilst the Road now continues directly to Bishopstoke. Chickenhall Lane’s junction is at the end of the farm yard wall and was previously the route used to get to the village. Gas lighting has been provided and there is a paved area for pedestrians. The side of the barn, adjacent to Barton Road, has been used as an advertising hoarding. Prominent adverts are for Hartley’s Preserves (They had a large fruit farm in Allington Lane), and Armour’s Veribest Canned Meats plus other smaller posters for local traders, variety shows, and farm auctions.
Prior to the new road to Bishopstoke being built, the condition and nature of the road between Bishopstoke and Bishopstoke Station, in the 1890s was poor. “It was common practice for travellers to and from Bishopstoke to change their boots/shoes at the railway station, both going and returning until the new bridges and road were constructed with side-paths”. (Drewitt,A. (1935) Eastleigh’s Yesterdays).
Barton Mill pictured from the corner of Barton Road around 1916/1917. The three gentlemen in the centre of the picture are patients from Eastleigh Clearing Hospital which was based in Chamberlain Road and Eastleigh Recreation Ground in Leigh Road. The building shown in the left-hand corner of the picture is Barton Farmhouse.
In 1918 the Eastleigh Secondary School had outgrown their premises in the Wesleyan School Rooms, moved to Barton Farm House, and became Barton Peveril School. (Harrison, D. 1990. Eastleigh & District History Society – Special Paper No 18 – Early Days at Barton Peveril).
In 1908 the Pupil Teacher Training Centre moved from rooms in the Eastleigh Railway institute to the Wesley Hall at the back of the Methodist Church in High Street and, in 1918, it occupied Barton Peveril Farmhouse at Bishopstoke. The house was surrounded by streams leading to the nearby Mill; it was a red brick building with a white pre-fab classroom behind it… There was a large orchard at the side of the school and a swing hanging from the branches of a tree…There was a farm on the other side of the road. (Paris, B. 1989. Eastleigh & District History Society – Special Paper No 12 – Memories of Barton Peveril).
Perhaps “farmhouse” is a misnomer because it was a large, elegant house with an impressive porch with columns and an entrance hall from which opened various rooms. In the garden a wooden annexe was built of four rooms to accommodate the pupils who numbered about 200… The surroundings… were a delight – lawns running down to the river, beautiful trees, including a huge tulip tree which was then reputed to be the only one in Hampshire. There was a swing fixed in the tree – for the use of girls only… we also had an orchard to play in and a grass tennis court… The interior of the school was rather bleak, the rooms being lit by gas and warmed by an iron stove with a big fireguard round it. (Wiseman, M. Eastleigh & District History Society – Occasional Paper no 50 – Barton Peveril in the 1920s).
The site where Barton Farmhouse once stood is now occupied by G.W. Martin & Co Ltd who moved to these premises when they were built in the 1970s.
Barton Mill was a popular location for photography in the early 1900s.
These pictures were taken after 1900, when the new road and bridges had been built to Bishopstoke.
Barton Mill with the miller stood in the central doorway. It was a simple, elegant, and functional building which fell into disrepair and was demolished in the 1960s.
Barton Mill was driven by an under wheel from the mill stream which ran parallel with Bishopstoke Road, not from the Barton River, which can be seen in the foreground.
This picture shows the relationship between Barton Mill, Barton Farmyard, on the left, and Barton Farm House, on the right. The next picture is not such good quality but shows the relationship more clearly.
It seems hard to imagine nowadays how tranquil Bishopstoke Road appears in many of these pictures, compared to the volume of traffic that travels through this area today. But all is not what it seems. Barton Farm was a dairy farm, and cattle from the surrounding fields, including what is now The Hub would descend on the farmyard to be milked twice a day, and then be returned to grazing. Cars, vans, and particularly pedestrians kept well clear, and people were careful where they trod afterwards. The farmyard would wreak from the smells of the country. You knew when you had left Eastleigh and were heading home to rural Bishopstoke.
The Swimming Pool was opened in 1935 and Eastleigh Boy’s Club was established in 1937 as a branch of the National Association of Boy’s Clubs. Access to both was over the Mill Stream Bridge, opposite Chickenhall Lane, next to Barton Mill.
This picture shows Eastleigh Boy’s Club in the 1960s, after the old building had been replaced. The Club had a strong football section, with a senior and junior league teams. Sandy Powell led the boxing section, and Jan Magdziarz was probably the club’s most successful boxer. He boxed at middleweight level and went on to take part in 27 professional contests between 1972 and 1979.
The open-air swimming pool was a popular place during the summer months, although the water, pumped straight from the River Barton once a week, was usually cold. Pat Purchase (nee Rice), a swimming instructor and pool attendant had the job of using a net to catch the fish and eels that had entered the pool during refilling.
Arnold Spencer and his wife Gladys ran the swimming pool. A season ticket was 7s & 6d in the 1960s. You could change in the grass by the side of the kiosk, or there were cubicles around the pool to the right for boy’s, and girls had separate cubicles at the deep end. Cubicles had to be shared with strangers and cost a shilling, alternatively there was a large wooden shed, at the shallow end, with the girl’s changing rooms on the left and the boy’s, on the right which costs 6d for a day ticket.
The water always seemed to be freezing, so they would not let you know what the water temperature was until after you had bought your ticket. It was a good day if the water temperature was above 60 deg. Fahrenheit. Hot Bovril, hot toast, and Bovril crisps which were for sale at the kiosk certainly helped to warm us up.
Inter school swimming galas were held here. We were brought here once a week by bus from Stoke Park Junior School for school swimming lessons. We learnt to swim at the shallow end, near to the changing hut. At the deep end there were two diving boards and a slide.
The Stoke Park Junior School Log for 1958 to 1966 records that on “6th July 1959, Sergeant Carrington of Netley, and PC Clifford of Bishopstoke attended in the afternoon to interview all children who were at the swimming pool last Saturday afternoon (4th July) in connection with the drowning of a girl aged 12 years which took place there on that afternoon”. I (Chris Humby) can still recall this event. Sadly, a young girl drowned, and on the following Monday, in assembly, the headmaster asked all those who had been at the pool to remain in the hall and we were informed we would be interviewed by a policeman that afternoon. We then had to wait in a corridor whilst, one by one, we entered an office, and were interviewed, on our own, by a police detective. This was quite traumatic, as policemen in those days were feared as figures of authority, and it felt particularly intimidating, as a young child, to be interviewed in this manner without the support of a teacher, parent or adult.
During winter months the pool was a sorry abandoned site.
It was derelict when this picture of Eastleigh Swimming Pool was taken in 1977, after it had permanently closed.
In 1979, Sparshatt’s opened a Mercedes dealership on the site of the old Swimming Pool, and Boy’s Club complex.
Today (2021) the car dealership has been demolished and the site is now home to Housing Association offices.
The Esso Petrol Station has replaced Barton Farm, and the smells of the farmyard have been replaced by petrol on the corner of Bishopstoke Road and Chickenhall Lane.
From 1890, the main feature of the area, that had once been The Manor of Barton was the L & S W Railway Carriage and Wagon Works, which had moved to Bishopstoke from Nine Elms, London under the stewardship of William Panter, Works Superintendent.
The road from Bishopstoke Station to Bishopstoke can be seen, via Chickenhall Lane, and Bayley’s Bridge, heading towards Bishopstoke. Barton Farm, Barton Mill and Cottages are shown only on the left of Dutton Lane. It should be noted that these cottages were built by the L. & S.W.R. to house members of the Works Fire Team to support the new Carriage Works. The houses were provided with a Telegraph system to alert members of the team to respond to an emergency, but were not provided with what we today, would consider the essential of an indoor toilet and bathroom.
An interesting feature from this map is the Recreation Ground to the north of Dutton Lane. This was built by William Panter, before the recreation ground in Leigh Road came into being, to provide sports facilities for railway employees and the people of Eastleigh. In its heyday it boasted one of the finest banked cycle tracks in the country as well as football pitches, cricket pitches, a running track, seated sports pavilion and changing rooms.
The Carriage and Wagon Works became the dominant feature of the area. The main entrance can be seen on the right. The clock tower housed the bells, which were used to summon workers for the start of their shift. On the left is the Works Canteen and in the distance Barton Mill.
The Carriage Works offices are the large building on the right.
A view on Carriage Works hill as workers begin to leave for lunch break. It would get a lot busier than this. The Carriage and Wagon Works employed up to 2,500 people until it closed, and the employees were transferred to the Locomotive Works in 1967.
The bells which once summoned workers to their shift were replaced around 1920 with “The Works Hooter.” The three small bells from the clock tower were re-cast and a new Tenor bell, presented by the directors of the company to St Mary’s Church, Bishopstoke, where it was installed in 1921, and inscribed as a “Memorial of all the railwaymen who gave their lives in the Great War, and among them especially the men of the Parish.” Also Notice the large bell on top of the works offices. This was a back up alarm to summon residents of Dutton Lane, opposite, who were members of the “Works” Fire Team.
The Works Canteen was located opposite the entrance to the Carriage Works and, as its name suggests, provided refreshment for employees at lunchtime. It was also a Social Club for railway employees and used to support various concerts and fund- raising activities.
This is the interior of the works canteen. There is a stage located at the far end and, in this picture, chairs have been arranged for the audience to view a play or, more probably, a concert. To permit a larger audience, the tables have been removed.
This picture taken during WWII, shows a Female Military Band performing a lunch time concert in the canteen. The tables have remained in situ for the performance, and you can still see some empty dinner plates on the tables.
It is difficult for us today to imaging the number of employees who worked here. They rode a bicycle or walked to work and back again. Many also went home for lunch. It was not vehicles that were the cause of congestion, it was people.
On Thursday the 9th of September 1971, the landscape of Bishopstoke Road was changed when fire destroyed the old Works Canteen on the corner of Dutton Lane.
The old Works Canteen has been replaced by the ATS tyre service centre.
On the corner of Dutton Lane, No. 1 Bishopstoke Road, was probably built around 1900. A doctor by the name of John Henderson is recorded as running a surgery here from 1907, but from the early 1920s, until the mid1970s the premises became an off-licence. The shop became Force Seven Bearings Co Ltd and then Blue Diamond Bearings Ltd until the mid-2000s.
It became J’s Corner Café and Takeaway between in 2005 and 2015.
No 1 Bishopstoke Road is now established as the popular Steam Town Brew Co.
The first cottages were constructed by the London & South Western Railway around 1890, on the left of Dutton Lane, and allocated to Carriage Works employees who were also trained fire fighters. The road had been originally called Fisherman’s Lane, according to Drewitt, writing in Eastleigh’s Yesterday’s’, and it had been the service road to the Hampshire Cheese Market, formed in 1852.
The Hon. Ralph Heneage Dutton built Timsbury Manor, near Romsey, on the site of Timsbury Farm when he inherited the estate from his father, around 1840. He was elected an M.P. for South Hampshire in 1857, a seat he held until 1865. During his tenure as an M.P. he was also a director of the London and South Western Railway Company. After his retirement from politics, he became Chairman of the Company in 1875. Ralph Dutton died in 1892 and he was the longest serving chairman of the London and South Western Railway Company. As a director of the London and South Western Railway for 38 years and chairman from 1875 to 1892, Ralph Dutton would have been hugely influential in selecting and approving plans for the development of the railway at Bishopstoke. We owe him a debt of gratitude, which over time has been forgotten. There is an argument that Eastleigh was created by Thomas Chamberlayne of Cranbury Park, as he owned the land, or perhaps, Jonas Nichols, who laid plans to develop the town. It is probable that the man who sowed the seed, the man who exerted his influence which created the community called Eastleigh, and gave rise to the railway in Hampshire, was the Hon. Ralph Heneage Dutton, a man we should consider to be the true father of the Town.
Bishopstoke station was opened in June 1839. Bishopstoke Station was re-named Bishopstoke Junction in December 1852. When Bishopstoke station had been built in 1839, Eastley and Barton were two small tithings with a population of 78 people living in 13 houses. All residents were associated with farming. Eastley had two farms, a tavern and a couple of cottages. one writer at the time described Eastley as “a village near Bishopstoke”. This early picture of the station at Bishopstoke Junction shows livestock pens in front of the station entrance.
The Hampshire Cheese Market, held on the third Thursday of every month, was opened in February 1852, and became so successful that an additional livestock market was introduced. On the opening day 350 tons of cheeses were displayed, and the event exceeded expectations with over 300 tons of cheese sold. The Junction Hotel, by the station, was enlarged to cater for the trade generated by both the cheese and livestock markets.
Bishopstoke Junction was re-named Eastleigh and Bishopstoke in 1899, and it finally became Eastleigh in 1923. This picture taken in 1918 shows a troop train on route to Southampton Docks, and the buildings behind the station are those of the old Hampshire Cheese Market.
Past the Cheese Market at the north of Dutton Lane, William Panter had established a recreation ground for railway employees and the people of Eastleigh.
In its heyday the recreation ground boasted one of the finest banked cycle tracks in the country as well as football pitches, cricket pitches. A running track, seated sports pavilion and changing rooms.
In this picture patients from Eastleigh Clearing Hospital can be seen assisting the start of a bicycle race.
Patients from Eastleigh Clearing Hospital can be seen watching a Ladies bicycle race. It is believed that the race was intended to be won by the slowest contestant around the course without them touching the ground or riding in circles. The recreation ground in Dutton Lane, as well as the site of the Hampshire County Cheese Market was re-developed by the Railway towards the end of WWI as railway sidings and marshalling yards.
Many years later, around 1970, a major sports area was created not far from here, between the Barton River and Itchen Navigation, which is today known as The Hub.
The new recreation park was created in what had been the fields of Barton Farm, where cattle had grazed and was named Bishopstoke Playing Field. The picture above is of the new pavilion.
The pavilion was extended to include a function room and in 1975 became the home of Eastleigh Rugby Club, who had originally been formed as Eastleigh & Bishopstoke Rugby Club, for a match against St. Edmund’s, on Southampton Common in September 1887.
This picture shows the pavilion waiting to be demolished when the new leisure centre has been completed. There was also Bishopstoke Tennis Club, run by Reg Wilkinson and his son, Chris, who had their Tennis Academy here in the 1990s. Chris Wilkinson was a former British No.1 tennis player and played on Centre and No.1 court at Wimbledon on many occasions.
The purpose-built leisure centre, now known as The Hub, was completed in 2005. It became the new home of Eastleigh Rugby Club, and prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Eastleigh Rugby Club had the honour to display the Webb Ellis Cup, at The Hub, as part of a UK promotional tour for the competition, and in recognition of the club’s work to help develop community rugby.