What’s in a Name – A History of Bishopstoke Road Names
By Allen Guille
(From a talk first presented in February 2015)
We asked the question, what is the background behind some of the road names in Bishopstoke? and we did not know. We asked around and nobody else seemed to know either, so we tried to find out. The background behind the names of some roads is easier to determine than others, some are obvious, and others have tenuous links to people or places locally, whilst some are downright obscure. In some cases, your guess is as good as ours. A good starting point for our research was to discover what Local Authority procedures exist to provide guidance in the naming of roads. Of course, we must remember that these guidelines relate to the present, in the past it is probable that there were other considerations that may have been deemed appropriate. There are some roads for which we have not been able to establish a background, if anyone can advise why any of these roads were named, we would be very grateful for the information.
In the Borough of Eastleigh, Parish Councils are consulted for views on potential street names. It is actually a developers right to choose street names and the council have to agree or reject the proposal. There is also an option under the County guidelines for a parish council sub-committee to suggest to developers’ names or themes that would be appropriate. The intention is to create a sense of identity that links with the heritage, history, and people of the area. Only names of deceased people are recommended, not the living. It is considered important to avoid giving roads names within the same locality which are similar, for example Park Road, Park Avenue or Park Gate Drive. This helps the Royal Mail, Emergency Services, and general convenience for the public to avoid confusion. It is recommended that you can use Street, Road, Avenue, Drive, Way, Grove, Lane, Gardens, Place, Court, Close, Chase, Square, Hill and Mews – we have all of these in Bishopstoke. This is a brief outline of the guidance on the matter of naming local roads, but as you will see, during the course of this presentation, these guidelines are not always adhered to and some of the choices that have been made seem to be unusual.
Two hundred years ago, the Parish of Bishopstoke covered over 3,430 acres and extended as far as Fair Oak, Horton Heath, Crowd Hill, and Fishers Pond, yet according to a census of 1788, ordered by the Bishop of Winchester, the Manor contained only 746 people. From the 1826 Enclosure map, there were 40 buildings in the village, most of these were in the lower end, near the River Itchen & Bishopstoke Mill. The Manor House was one of these buildings, although no Lord of the Manor lived there. The Lord of the Manor was the Bishop of Winchester, who lived next to the Cathedral in Wolvsey Palace. The Rectory in Church Road was rebuilt in 1808 and of the many thatched cottages that existed at that time, today only 2 remain in Spring Lane. The 1825 Enclosure act established certain roads in Bishopstoke, now called Church Road (Winchester Road), Stoke Common Road, Jockey Lane, Spring Lane (Back Lane), Riverside and Fair Oak Road (Middle Street), which led to Fair Oak. That was it. These roads in the village would have been dirt tracks, dusty in dry weather and muddy in the wet, liable to flooding near the river, and without the luxury of pavements, drainage, or street lighting.
(Junction of Alan Drayton Way & Fair Oak Road)
Who remembers when the main road to Fair Oak, Alan Drayton Way, was just fields?
The old Fair Oak Road went right, in a dog leg here, past Frank Meaton’s cycle shop in the picture on your left. This is part of what used to be known as Middle Street. On the right of the same picture is a plantation of fir trees, behind these, where Fair Oak Road is today was the site of the old National School, abandoned around 1880.
(West Horton Lane) (O.S. Map 1872)
West Horton Lane, leads to West Horton farm, originally called Horton Farm. The area known as Horton must have been quite large, as this is West Horton, and we have Horton Heath to the south of Fair Oak and towards Upham there is East Horton Golf Club. At one time, all of this area was part of the Manor of Bishopstoke, as was Fair Oak. West Horton Farm has been owned by the Lavington Family for over 300 years to the present day. The present farmhouse is now cottages, and they are grade 2 listed buildings. On the west of this lane, peat was cut, and sedge used for thatching. With the coming of the railway people started burning coal in preference to peat and the site was abandoned in the 1840’s. I can remember at the end of this road there was a track leading up to the farm, to the left was a small caravan site. I know this as, that’s where my family lived when we first came to Bishopstoke, 60 years ago, having arrived from Guernsey as asylum seekers.
On the corner of West Horton Lane and Fair Oak Road stood Moody’s Garage.
The site has now been developed for housing and flats. In my opinion it would have been more appropriate to have called it Moody’s Mews after the business that belonged to three generations of a Bishopstoke family. The name Nine Elms comes from the Nine Elms Railway Works that was located in the London Borough of Battersea. The name does have a link to the area, as it was the railway workers from Nine Elms that moved here when the operation relocated in 1890 and changed Bishopstoke forever.
Next to Nine Elms Mews are the Whalesmead shops. Some of you may remember Renham’s cycle shop, or the fruit and vegetable shop next door. Whalesmead Road is to the left. This area gets its name from a family called Whale who owned land in various parts of Bishopstoke from 1564.
In the 18th Century rates books, there is mention of a Whale’s house, Whales pasture and Mead. In this context Mead is more likely to be an abbreviation of the word Meadow, rather than referring to the alcoholic drink made from fermenting honey. This is a picture of Whales Farm Cottage circa 1947.
Elkins Square is named after a local family who lived in St Margaret’s Road and ran haulage and transport businesses for a number of generations. Members of the family still live in the village. As you can see the family were and furniture removers. The coal lorry in the picture was converted at the weekends by putting on a different body and then used to take people on excursions and tours to places like Bournemouth and Weymouth.
These photographs show the vehicles they used to convey people on charabanc trips to the sea side, and very popular they were too. The photo on the left is a Morris built in 1937 and which, during the week was used as a coal lorry. At weekends, the chassis was converted for use as a coach. On the right is a picture of a trip to Weymouth under their trade name “Lion Coaches.”
(Hartley Road) (Orchard Avenue)
Hartley Road is named after the Hartley brothers who grew fruit at Weavill’s Fruit Farm which was listed in Kelly’s Trade Directory from 1939 to 1946. They also produced cider in Allington Lane in 1954. The name Orchard Avenue, nearby, is probably associated with fruit farming that took place in this area.
It is possible that Templecombe Road could be named after a small a village in Somerset which was a well-known Templar locations. Templecombe was the only Preceptory of the Knight Templar in Somerset. Who knows what inspires building developers to create road names. Mind you, it does seem to be marginally better than choosing to name roads on a whole housing estate after football club grounds from all over the country, as was done in Fair Oak during the 1970s. I don’t want to sound parochial, but fancy calling one of the roads Fratton Way around here.
(Earls Close) (Charden Road)
There is no indication why these roads are named, Chardon Road, Green’s Close, Winsford Avenue, Winsford Gardens and Winsford Close. Remember the guide lines about not naming roads with the similar sounding names, well this has been magnificently ignored as we have Winsford Avenue, Winsford Gardens and Winsford Close, which makes life difficult for deliveries and emergency responders. Earls Close could possibly be linked with Haig Road, to commemorate Field Marshal Douglas Haig’s role as Commander of the British Expedition Force in WW1. He was given the title Earl Haig for his leadership. Haig Road, we believe, was not named after him, but his brother, who was a Bishopstoke resident.
Weavills Road takes its name from a farm, first called Wavells Farm, then later named Weavills Farm. The farm being located at the far end of this road. In 1907, Weavills Farm consisted of a 6 bedroom farm house with a range of farm buildings, a large, thatched barn with adjoining cart house, stalls for 25 cattle, a large open cowshed with a corrugated iron roof, a stable for 4 horses with loose box and loft, also a fodder house, lean-to piggery and poultry house. Water was supplied by force pump from a well. During WW2, number one, Weavills Road was damaged by a flying bomb on 11th. July 1944, and what was left of it was demolished the next day.
Haig Road is most likely named after Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Edward Gordon Haig 1866-1935. He resided at OakGrove House. He was educated at Winchester, Oxford and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He had a distinguished Military career, serving in India, Egypt and South Africa with the King’s own Scottish Borderers. He fought in WW1and was severely wounded in France at the Battle of Cateau in 1914. He and an injured officer were evacuated in an ambulance however, on learning that there were two other soldiers with worse injuries than themselves they gave up their places. Following treatment for his injuries which required an anaesthetic, Lt Colonel Haig woke to find that he had been taken prisoner, whilst unconscious during his operation by the advancing German forces, and then spent over four years as a prisoner of war. He was repatriated in October 1918. In his later life his recreations were cricket, lawn tennis and golf. He was chairman of Stoke Park Council until it was dissolved in 1932. After WWI he took great interest in the welfare of the British Legion, becoming chairman of the local branch.
(Middle Street Hill)
(O. S. Map of 1872)
In the 1861 Census, this part of Middle Street known locally by some of the older residents as Middle Street Hill, had no houses listed at all. The only buildings listed in what we now call Fair Oak Road are, Manor Farm, The National School, the Grove (later called OakGrove House) and Horton Farm. This Ordnance Survey map of 1872 shows the old route to Fair Oak
After Middle Street we join the B3037, Alan Drayton Way which now directly connects Bishopstoke to Fair Oak, bypassing the old Middle Street route. This new road opened up a large area of agricultural land either side of the highway for development. But who is Alan Drayton?
Alan Drayton, as a local athlete, won a bronze medal in August 1978 at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada, competing in the Decathlon. This photo shows Alan Drayton (left) and Daley Thompson competing in one of the decathlon events in Canada, Daley Thompson went on to win the gold medal. County guidelines that say roads should not be named after living persons were ignored on this occasion. By coincidence, Alan happened to work for Hampshire County Council.
On the north side of Alan Drayton Way heading back towards Eastleigh are Olympic Way, Oak Coppice, The Ridings, Brasher Close, Cosford Close, The Spinney, Torch Close, Marathon Place, Wooderson Close, Athena Close, and Stoke Heights. It seems that there is a common theme. Many of the roads are named after athletics as there are some Olympic references in Olympic Way, Torch Close, Marathon Place and Athena Close, Athena is the Greek Goddess of heroic endeavour, and the City of Athens is named after her. Continuing this theme, Brasher Close is probably named after Chris Brasher who in 1954, acted as pace maker for Roger Bannister, when he ran the first sub four minute mile. Brasher also won the gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, in the 3000 Metres Steeplechase. He was also the founder of the London Marathon in 1981, around the time that these estates were developed. When the road was named, Chris Brasher was still alive, but had probably never set foot in Bishopstoke. Still continuing the athletics theme, Cosford Road was possibly named after RAF Cosford indoor athletics track, which regularly featured on national television for its annual indoor championships. The stadium was housed in an aircraft hangar so had its limitations, tight bends, and a relatively low ceiling. An additional connection to Stoke Park Woods seems to have been adopted to name some of the roads as Oak Coppice, Stoke Heights, The Ridings and The Spinney.
Mitre Copse seems a strange choice of name as a Mitre is a type of formal ceremonial head-gear worn by Bishops. There is a tenuous link between Bishopstoke and the Bishop of Winchester who, historically was Lord of the Manor, but I am clutching at straws with this one, as perhaps were the developers.
There seems to be no rhyme nor reason linking the names of the estate around Torwood Gardens, with Bishopstoke. Torwood is a small Scottish village near Falkirk. Abbotsbury is a Dorset Village, famous for its Swannery. Rhinefield House is located in the New Forest and was once a private country house. (The name is supposed to mean Badger Wood apparently). Exbury, another grand house in the New Forest, famous for its gardens is owned by the Rothschild family. Bolderwood is an area in the New Forest, that hosts a Deer sanctuary. Cowdray Park is a country house, situated on the South Downs. The estate is home to the Cowdray Park Polo Club, where they have played Polo for over 100 years (just like we do in Bishopstoke) and finally Sunningdale, an upmarket village in the Royal Borough of Windsor, famous for its golf course. I can only think that the builder was trying to instil delusions of grandeur when marketing this development. In fact, the naming of roads along Alan Drayton Way shows how, during this period, different developers applied different themes, and were allowed to choose unrelated names that better suited their marketing concepts than our community identity.
On the south side of Alan Drayton Way, estate roads are named after animals and nature, Bracken Crescent, Squirrel Close, Fox Close, Stag Close, Salmon Drive, Badger Close, Otter Close and Lynx Close all sound fine and perhaps reflect what was once a rural community. Itchen Avenue reflects the name of the famous local river and nearby Hunters Way was perhaps not the best choice for this grouping as Lynx and Beaver were hunted to extinction. Squirrels are considered vermin, whilst Stag and Fox hunting were popular country pursuits at the time these roads were named. Perhaps there was a certain tongue in cheek element in the choosing of these names that bypassed the selection committee, who nowadays, due to a shift in public opinion, could be considered to have scored a spectacular own goal. Never mind, Tally Ho.
At the junction of Alan Drayton Way with the old Fair Oak Road, is Manor Road, you would think this road was named after the Manor House, however, the Manor House is located a good half a mile from here. Seems odd. It is more likely that the road was named in recognition of Manor Farm, whose fields were adjacent.
Manor Road leads to Oakgrove Road, named after a house, called “The Grove”. This house was described as containing three sitting rooms, three servant bedrooms and spacious offices. A coach house, stables, walled kitchen garden with lawn and orchard comprising about two and half acres. Walter Twynam owned The Grove in 1861. The house lay back from the road in the vicinity of Manor Road and Oakgrove Road. Later the house was renamed Oakgrove House and was, for a number of years, occupied for the most part by gentlemen of the military profession. In 1886, it was sold to Major General Macbean, before becoming the residence of Lt. Col Haig, who we mentioned earlier. Colonel Haig was known locally as “Earl Haig”, presumably getting this nickname because Douglas Haig, his brother, who was in command of the British Expedition Force in WW1, was given the title of Earl for his military leadership.
Manor Farm was on the South side of Middle Street (now Fair Oak Road), whilst the grand Victorian Manor Farm House was built north of the road, where Manor Farm Close is today. When this was an agricultural community, tracks that later became roads ran between farms as farms were the centre of prosperity and employment. The old Victorian Farm House, a substantial building, was demolished to build the houses on Manor Farm Close and Manor Farm Grove, sometime around 1970. Devine Gardens was developed in the 1980s and replaced the farmyard and barns of Manor Farm. It now leads to an old cottage which is called Manor Farm House. This rather nice old house was probably a farm cottage, for the tenant farmer, when the farm was owned by the Bishop of Winchester. Manor Farm House, on the other side of the road was a far grander building and was built by the new owner after the farm was sold by the Bishop in Victorian times. The brick built barns which backed onto Fair Oak Road were used by the Club Packing Company, in the 1960s and 1970s for a potato packaging business which was known locally as “The Spud Factory”. How the name Devine Gardens was arrived at is one of life’s imponderable questions. The only definition found is that it is an Irish surname, but who it relates to is unknown.
The photo on the left shows Underwood Road before it was developed. Underwood Road, although close to Stoke Park Woods, is named after Mr. Ivor Basil John Underwood, a Southampton builder and property developer who brought the old Longmead Estate after the death of Mrs. Gubbins in 1928. Longmead House became derelict and was demolished in 1938, but the estate remained mostly undeveloped throughout WWII before it was acquired by Eastleigh Borough Council In 1952. Eastleigh Borough Council designed the new housing estate in an imaginative style, for the period, with gently curving roads and varying sizes and shapes of gardens, in contrast to the grid iron pattern of straight roads and terraced houses that had previously built in Eastleigh and Bishopstoke only 60 years before.
(Map from 1938) (Map from 1953)
The plan on the left shows you the Longmead Estate in 1938, and the developments that had taken place to the north and the south since the late 1800s. The layout on the right shows how many roads and houses were built on the land in 1953. It is pleasing to note that the roads that were added by this new development were all named after people or places associated with Bishopstoke’s past.
Some of the subsequent developments and road names in the 1970s did not follow the same protocol. Off of Underwood Road is Bodmin Road. Somebody must have had fond memories of a holiday in Cornwall, as all of these roads are named after towns in the West Country. There will be some of the older residents who remember when there was a sand pit, just about where Truro Rise is today. The sand pit seemed huge when you were a child and was a magnet for many kids in the area as a place to play. The sides were steep and crumbling and the bottom of the pit formed a pond in which trees and shrubs struggled to grow. It was a haven for wildlife with Sand Martins nesting in an inaccessible section of the bank, whilst the pond was full of wildlife including Frogs, Common Newts and Crested Newts. The site became a dumping ground for rubbish and eventually became an official landfill site before being covered and built over.
A little further up Underwood Road is Shears Road, which took its name from one of the many owners of the Mill, that stood at Riverside. The Miller and his family lived at Mill House, next door to the Mill. The photograph on the left shows the Mill at Riverside, in the early 1900’s when it was owned by Shears and Sons, Millers and Corn Merchants. This junction was traditionally known as “The Mill”, although the name now seems to have fallen out of use. The building pictured was demolished in 1932.
Above Shears Road, also off Underwood Road is Cotton Close, which is named after Thomas Atkinson Cotton, the last resident owner of the Mount. He and his wife were interested in ornithology and botany, and both are credited with finds and the cataloguing of rare plant species. They created one of the finest natural museums and aviaries in the county. The Cottons and Thomas Cotton in particular were very active in the community, both socially and politically. He was a Justice of the Peace for Hampshire; a Member of Hampshire County Council; a Governor of Hartley University, Southampton, (now known as the University of Southampton); a Member of the Hampshire County Education Committee; Chairman of the Bishopstoke School Managers; and a Member of the Eastleigh and Bishopstoke Urban District Council. He was also a member of a number of distinguished learned bodies and societies.
As a local councillor, Thomas Cotton presented commemoration mugs to the children of Eastleigh and Bishopstoke for the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902, and King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Many of these mugs survive to-day in the homes of old Bishopstoke families. The Cottons sold The Mount in 1921 and moved to Stuart Lodge, Highcliffe, near Bournemouth. The estate was bought by Hampshire County Council and the premises were converted for use as a Sanatorium. The site is now Bishopstoke Park, an assisted living community operated by Anchor Developments. The old house has been restored and is one of the few houses to survive from Bishopstoke’s days of Victorian splendour.
East Drive, off Underwood Road above Cotton Close, connects with Sedgwick Road, but the name East Drive is a misnomer. People believe that it is named after the carriageway which led to Longmead House. Longmead House was approached from the west, not the east. Longmead House was sited near to the junction of East Drive, West Drive and Sedgewick Road, near to where the Bishopstoke Methodist Church stands today.
The photo on the left is looking up Underwood Road in the mid 1950’s, soon after the houses had been built. The picture on the right was taken recently from just below the junction with East Drive.
Underwood Road became the centre of attention for a T.V. programme called “Hey look that’s me “shown on BBC South in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Anybody remember it? The programme was designed to encourage children to take up new hobbies. It was presented by a chap called Chris Harris, who would tour England on his bicycle towing a miniature pink caravan, whilst being filmed for the programmes. A Soap Box Derby in Underwood Road was organised by the T.V. company, with Underwood Road closed to vehicles for the duration. Bales of straw were used at strategic points for safety and to act as an emergency stopping point near the entrance to Stoke Park Junior School, as most of the carts did not have any brakes. Underwood road is rather a steep incline and as you can imagine, some of the machines reached significant speeds. As far as I can recall, no parents or children were killed during the making of this programme. Chris Harris is pictured in his upmarket cart, “Hot 1”, going down Underwood Hill. Bet he did not build it himself.
Harvey Road, off the service road at the bottom of Underwood Road, follows the perimeter of what used to be the grounds of the old Victorian Manor Farm House between Fair Oak Road and Sayers Road. There is nothing to indicate why the name Harvey was chosen.
The picture on the right is of Sayers Road, taken from its junction with Fair Oak Road. We believe that Sayers Road is named after constable Hedley Victor Sayer who was a popular and respected village policeman from 1912 to 1920. The village police house was at Esther Villa, 5, Scotter Road, and this remained the “Police House” in the village until the 1950s. When Constable Sayers retired, he moved to Church Road. Why constable Sayers was singled out for immortality is not clear. There was a rumour that he had saved somebody’s life, although no records have been found to substantiate the story. His grandson is in possession of a book signed by many prominent members of the village which was presented to him on his retirement from the police force. He was clearly very well regarded. He is portrayed in the picture on the left at the junction of Spring Lane and Church Road.
These are the handcuffs and truncheon which belonged to Constable Sayer. (Many thanks go to his grandson for the use of these photo’s)
Guest Road in 1922 showing Edward Knight on his milk round. Note the milk churn on the milk cart, the delivery can which is being filled to order, and his delivery book in his jacket pocket. The houses or “Villas” were given names by the builders. Today there is Kempsey Villa, Park Villa, Osborne Villa, Brooklands Villa, Providence Villa, and Glendale Villa built in 1894, Sidney Villa, Danycraig Villa and Glyntawe Villa built 1895. No idea why they are so named. The houses are all detached or semi-detached and when built were regarded as the posh houses, being occupied by foremen and engine drivers from the railway and teachers. Another nickname was “penny-dinner” Street. When buses started running between the Railway and Bishopstoke, it was possible for the men to get home for lunch at midday by paying their one penny fare. If you look at the far end of the road there are no houses and Guest Road ends at Hamilton Road. You may have also noticed that there are some trees planted in the pavement outside some of the houses. Apparently when first built, occupiers could pay a small charge to have a tree planted in the paved area outside their property. A little local one upmanship between neighbours.
(Pictured 1922) (Pictured 2014)
You would be forgiven, with all this information, for thinking that there is a clear understanding how Guest Road came to be named. It is believed that like other roads in Bishopstoke, built around the late 1800s/early 1900s that it was named after a member of the L. & S. W. Railway, but there is no certainty. There was a Richard Guest who worked for the L. & S.W.R. as an Inspector in the 1890s. These photographs were taken 92 years apart. The obvious differences being that it is no longer common for milk to be delivered every day and nobody comes around at dawn and dusk to adjust controls on the gas powered street lighting. Bet you thought I was going to mention the cars parked in the road.
Scotter Road houses were built around 1895, they were mainly detached on the west side of the road, which were mostly owned by foremen and engine drivers, whilst semi-detached houses were built on the on the east side. The “Villas” were given names by the builders, set into the bricks of the frontage of the building, Millstream Villa, Ada Villa and Grange Villa. As mentioned before Esher Villa at 5, Scotter Road was the village Police House from 1895 to 1954.
Scotter Road today. Scotter Road was named after Sir Charles Scotter who was Chairman of the London & South Western Railway from 1904 to 1910. Sir Charles Scotter had also been General Manager of the Company from 1885 to 1898 and would have been influential in choosing Bishopstoke and later Eastleigh as the location for both the Carriage Works and Locomotive Works.
To the far right of Montague Road, where it meets Scotter Road there is a distinct house with a steeple like roof. This house was called Hazelmere and was owned by Edmund Wretham Simmons, the village Doctor, who lived there in 1912. He owned one of the first motor cars in Bishopstoke. The modern photo shows that not a lot has changed but I couldn’t stand in the middle of the road to take the photo without getting run over. Interestingly, two of the semi-detached houses in these pictures have a slight tilt, a bit like a Bishopstoke version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. These, and other pictures we have, demonstrate that these two houses were either built like this, or have been like this for a considerable time. We are not entirely sure of the origins of the name Montague Road. There was land in this part of Bishopstoke belonging to Lord Swaythling, of South Stoneham House, whose family name was Montagu, although the surname is spelt differently. It is also possible that the name may have been that of a senior member of the L.& S.W.R.
The picture on the left taken in the 1960’s shows a rare sight at the junction of the Mill and Fair Oak Road. There is no traffic. There was a time when this junction was considered the focal point of the village and simply known as “The Mill”, although the Mill has not been in existence for many decades, there were five separate bus stops located here in the 1960s. The modern photo on the right also shows no traffic and no, this picture has not been photoshopped. It was opportunely taken when the railway bridge in Eastleigh was closed for maintenance some years ago.
This picture shows the Mill in the background and the shops Riverside and an old yew tree on the left.
The Mill is long gone, demolished in 1932. The shops and post office building are still standing, so is the old yew tree on the corner of Spring Lane.
The photo on the left was taken in the 1960’s, looking up Spring Lane. On the left you can see the old cottages whilst the Post Office is on the right. The Workingmen’s Club is further up on the right and you can just make out the petrol pump outside the bicycle shop. The building in the middle of the picture is the National Provincial Bank. The photo on the right, taken in 2014, shows the Bishopstoke Workingmen’s Club and Ann-Gee’s hairdressers on the right, where the bicycle shop used to be. Across the road are the flats that replaced the old cottages. Can’t help but think that this part of the village used to look far more attractive than it does today.
It is believed that Portal Road was named after Wyndham S. Portal, Chairman of the London & South Western Railway Company from 1892 to 1899. This part of Bishopstoke was developed to house workers of the railway and it is fitting that the roads were named after the men who brought prosperity to the area. Four chairmen of the London & South Western Railway have had local roads named after them:
- The Hon. Ralph Heneage Dutton (1875 to 1892) – Dutton Lane, Eastleigh.
- Wyndham S. Portal (1892 to 1899) – Portal Road, Bishopstoke.
- Lt. Colonel, the Hon. H.W. Campbell (1899 to 1904) – Campbell Road, Eastleigh.
- Sir Charles Scotter (1904 to 1910) – Scotter Road, Bishopstoke.
These four men were highly influential and between them they were responsible for changing the character of Bishopstoke and creating the town of Eastleigh.
(Maldon Close) (Spring Lane looking north)
Spring Lane was known as Back Lane two hundred years ago, when the village only had two roads and it is believed that it was re-named to reflect the natural water springs that used to occur in the vicinity. Maldon Close was named after the town of Maldon in Essex and was one of only two roads developed on the old Longmead estate before the onset of WWII. Underwood, the then owner, had plans to develop the area for housing and, for some reason intended to name the roads after towns in Essex.
The name Asford Grove is derived from the house called Asfordbye, which once occupied the site. The house was originally named Highfield and is believed to have originally been a granary before it was converted into a large family home. The house then became known as St. Johns, before being named Asfordbye. It was demolished in the late1950s. The grounds of the house sloped down to the River Itchen. At one time the grounds had been glebe land, owned by the church.
Hamilton Road is named after Henry Best Hans Hamilton who bought the Longmead Estate from Alfred Barton. At the time, the Longmead estate was occupied by the Gubbins family who were tenants. Henry Hamilton was an absentee landlord, living in Yorkshire. Ten acres of land, to the South of the Estate, were sold to the Hampshire Building Society, enabling the development of Hamilton Road, Scotter Road, Guest Road and Montague Terrace. Houses were built by William Whitehead, a local Bishopstoke builder, to accommodate workers of the London &South Western Railway when the Carriage Works were relocated from Nine Elms in London, in 1891.
This is a picture of a Hamilton Road Street party, probably in the 1940’s, celebrating the end of WW2. Note the air raid shelter in the middle of the road and the drainage channel in the middle of the road.
(Pictured 1945) (Pictured 2015)
Hamilton Road, then and now, 70 years later.
Escombe Road is named after the Escombe family who lived in Manor House from 1874 to 1883. Dorothy Escombe was the author of Bygone Bishopstoke, published in 1935. She wrote of her own and those of her sisters Edith, and Ethel’s childhood memories of living in Bishopstoke.
Sedgwick Road is named after Reverend Sidney Newman Sedgwick who was Rector of Bishopstoke from 1905 to 1922. He was a man of exceptionally wide interests and talents, who wrote operettas and books on various subjects. Some of his plays were performed locally to raise funds for a new parish hall. He died in 1941 and was remembered with such affection in his old parish that when the new Longmead housing estate was built in 1953, this road was named in his memory.
West Drive links Sedgwick Road with Spring Lane, and originally formed the carriageway to Longmead House. The picture on the left shows the Gate Keepers Cottage which stood on the corner by Spring Lane. The people in the picture are Rowland Hill and his family. He was employed as Butler to Mrs Gubbins of Longmead and the picture was taken in the 1920s. Just beyond the cottage and just out of picture there was a gate across the road. It was still there in the 1950s, as was the Lodge. The modern picture on the right was taken from a similar position to the Lodge and shows how the avenue of lime trees still stand majestically along the line of the approach to the once grand house.
The carriageway which now forms West Drive led to the spectacular Longmead House which, as we mentioned earlier, was sited near to where the Bishopstoke Methodist Church stands today. Pictures of this grand house are rare, so we have included this picture so you can see what it looked like. The Longmead estate was by far the largest in Bishopstoke and the boundaries were originally formed by Fair Oak Road to the south, Spring Lane and Church Road to the west, Stoke Park Wood to the East and the wooded area behind, what is now Edward Avenue, to the north.
In 1898, land belonging to Longmead was sold for housing development and Stoke Park Road became the new northern boundary for the Longmead estate. The picture to the left shows how the road looked in the early 1900s when it was little more than a track which led to Stoke Park Woods. The picture on the right shows the road today, from a similar position. Stoke Park Woods was originally a deer park, in the ownership of the Church Commissioners, on behalf of the Bishop of Winchester. At one time Stoke Park had been a small civil parish, separate to Bishopstoke, with an area of about 1250 acres.
St. Mary’s Road is named after the “new church” that had been built in 1891 on land from the Longmead Estate, donated by Alfred Barton of Longmead House, after the “old church”, also called St. Mary’s further down the road was deemed unusable. These houses were built to accommodate the growing number of railway workers, after the carriage works moved from Nine Elms. The terraced houses on the eastern side of St. Mary’s Road were built with bathrooms and hot water was provided by a range in the kitchen. The houses on the opposite side of the road were built without bathrooms and people had to bring in a tin bath from outdoors and fill it with water heated in the coal fired copper in the kitchen. This was what people were used to doing around 1900. Many years later I lived at number 14, and by then all the houses had bathrooms and central heating.
Nelson Road was originally going to be called Barton Road after Alfred Barton, but there was already a Barton Road, named after the ancient manor of Barton, near Eastleigh which would have been confusing. The name Nelson is believed to have been chosen to commemorate Horatio Nelson, one of Britain’s greatest admirals. How his name is linked with Bishopstoke is not entirely clear and we have already dismissed the popular rumour that Hamilton Road was named after his “floosy” Emma Hamilton. In fairness, he is considered a national hero and with a number of admirals and high ranking military gentlemen living in the village, the choice of name would have been a popular one.
Drake Road was originally going to be called Springfield Road. These houses were originally meant to be built at the same time as St. Mary’s and Nelson Road, but the area was left undeveloped until the 1930’s whilst the area was used for the excavation of clay for the making of bricks. Presumably the theme of famous Admirals was continued, and the road was named after Sir Francis Drake, who carried out the 2nd circumnavigation of the world from 1577 to 1580, on the Golden Hind, for which he was Knighted. What was not so well known at the time was that Francis Drake was considered, particularly by the Spanish, to be a privateer (pirate) who plundered the waters of the Caribbean. He had had the good sense to have established the patronage of Royalty, so he could seek shelter in British held islands after plundering the Spanish fleet. All this for the small consideration of a percentage of his booty being shared with the Crown enabled him to become a national hero. This picture depicts a street party in Drake Road, celebrating V.J. Day in September 1945.
(Pictured 1945) (Pictured 2015)
Drake Road, then and now, there are 70 years between photographs.
Colchester Avenue was built by Underwood on the Longmead estate before WWII, and like Malden Close, reflected his intention to name all roads on the estate after towns in Essex. The picture on the right was taken in 1948 before Underwood Road was developed.
A development map from 1912 indicates that Rogers Road was intended to be called Woodland Road, and development for housing was planned to take place after the Brickworks, which once occupied nearly all of the area north of Stoke Park Road between Church Road and Stoke Park Woods ceased production in 1927. Development of this road did not take place until the 1960s when it was named Rogers Road.
(Woodes Rogers 1679-1732)
Considering that Nelson Road and Drake Road were named after British seaman, it is possible that Rogers Road could be named after Woodes Rogers, who was the 3rd person to circumnavigate around the world. He was a privateer, a legal pirate like Drake, and had been authorized by the British government to attack foreign vessels during wartime, mainly the French and Spanish.
He wrote a detailed memoir of his 1708-1711 circumnavigation around the globe in a book called “A Cruising Voyage Around the World” in 1712. In it he described rescuing a castaway named Alexander Selkirk. His account of the isolation and eventual rescue was read by his friend Journalist, turned author, Daniel Defoe and became the chief inspiration for Defoe’s book called Robinson Crusoe. Woodes Rogers had an adventurous life as a sea captain and privateer and became the first Royal Governor of the Bahamas. He was awarded this title when he suppressed the pirates of the Caribbean. When he arrived in 1718 at the chief Bahamian port of Nassau, it was a stronghold of some 2,000 pirates, many under the sway of Captain ‘Blackbeard’ Teach. Rogers disarmed some by offering them a King’s Pardon to return to England, but others like Blackbeard fought to the death. His accounts of his anti-piracy activities formed the basis of another book, and it is likely that many a fictional pirate tale since has been based on his books, such as “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
To the north of the old Longmead Estate, the development plan from 1912 proposed a single road running east to west called Highfield Road. This could have been related to the earlier name of Asfordbye. Instead of adopting the proposed grid iron pattern planned, the final layout incorporated two roads which we know to-day as Longmead Avenue and Edward Avenue. Longmead Avenue, named after the estate to which the land once belonged, was built on the site of an old brickworks. At the Western end it was bound by a bank that extended from the church to the top of Church Road, as you can see in the picture on the left, taken before the road was built. The entrance to the brickworks was via a track which ran just north of the church and before what is now the junction with Longmead Avenue. You can still recognise where it was to-day, at the back of the houses on the corner. The land was excavated to access the clay for making into bricks and as the area was cleared, these bricks were used to build the houses. The houses in Longmead Avenue were built in the 1920’s by E. H. White and Sons of Newton Road, Eastleigh.
(Henry Road) (White Road)
It is a rarely granted privilege to have two roads named in your honour although there is no set precedent in the County guidelines that says you can’t. Henry Road and White Road are named after Henry White, who was a very prominent figure in the village. Henry White lived at Oakbank in the early 1900’s and was a Justice of the Peace for Hampshire as well as a church warden at St. Mary’s. According to the book, “Eastleigh’s Yesterdays”, Henry White retired in 1915, from the Clerkship of the Urban District Council of Eastleigh, a post that he had held since its creation in 1892. The books author, Arthur Drewitt considered that to no single man does Eastleigh and Bishopstoke owe more than to Henry White. To him more than any other it was due that the foundations were well laid. Possessing legal knowledge and ability to an extraordinary degree, he exercised those gifts to their fullest extent in the discharge of his office. There may be two roads named after him, but they are very short roads. Henry Road should be in the Guinness book of records for only having two houses, White Road originally only had one house, but now the new houses have been built on the old Longmead Arms site, White Road now has four houses to its name.
This picture shows a street party in Edward Avenue, celebrating V.E. Day in May 1945. An educated guess is that Edward Avenue is named after King Edward VII, the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, he reigned from 1901 until his death in 1910. The houses in Edward Avenue were built in the 1920’s by Blake Brothers of Totton and like the houses in Longmead Avenue, were built from bricks made at Longmead Brickworks.
(Pictured 1945) (Pictured 2015)
Edward Avenue, then and 70 years later.
Having looked at the developments which took place on what was the Longmead Estate we return to Riverside. The centre of the old village was at the junction of Spring Lane and Riverside. As this picture denotes, it was the centre for fairs and carnivals during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Riverside was part of the main road which led from Bishopstoke to Winchester and nearly all of the grand Victorian houses were built along its route. Spring Lane by comparison, as Back Lane, a short dirt track road was home to the working class artisans and agricultural workers.
There were two taverns located at Riverside. The Anchor, now converted to flats, was also used as the Coroners Court when bodies were recovered from the river. A little further towards the bend in the road is the Anglers Arms which is still trading. In the distance, where the road curves sharp right is the beginning of what we now call Church Road.
(The old St Mary’s Church) (The Manor House)
(The Cottage now called Itchen House)
The old St Mary’s Church stood at the bend in the road, at the beginning of what was once Winchester Road. It was next to some of the grand houses which still stand today and whose occupants would have had the privilege of owning faculty pews in the old church.
(Oakbank Road) (Oakbank House)
On the northern boundary of the old churchyard, Oakbank Road leads to Oakbank House. Mellor House, shown on the right, in the left hand picture, was built in part of the garden of Oakbank House and named in memory of Dr Mellor who lived in Oakbank for many years.
(Spring Grove) (The Rectory)
Slightly further up the hill was Spring Grove which was opposite the Rectory. We have letters addressed to Reverend Thomas Garnier posted from London in the early 1820s with the address simply written as Bishopstoke, Winchester. As the properties we mentioned were substantial and occupied by prominent people, a more detailed address or road name was not necessary. In those days, people living in cottages in back lane would not have been able to read or write, and therefore would not have been likely to receive a letter.
Next door to Spring Grove was Afordbye, which can be seen in the distance in the picture on the left, which shows part of the servant’s wing of the rectory being demolished in the 1930s to widen Church Road. The picture on the right shows Asfordbye, with a tennis court alongside.
This photo shows the junction with Spring Lane and in front of the cottage on the left was the entrance to Asfordbye. The old Longmead Farm House can be seen to the right of the picture.
(Whitehaugh from the back) (Stagg’s Bakery)
Next to Asfordbye was a house called Whitehaugh. There was an old high hedge to the front of the garden, so we have no clear picture that shows what the front of the house looked like, although from memory it was of a relatively plain appearance and possibly Georgian in style. We do have a number of pictures of Stagg’s shop, which was next door at No 25 Church Road.
These pictures show Stagg’s shop. The picture top left is the earliest shop frontage, and you can just make out a glimmer of the front of Whitehaugh to the side. There was a driveway entrance which led to Whitehaugh and also to the rear of the bakery. The bottom picture is of Mr & Mrs Stagg on the driveway and yard at the back of the shop. Census information in 1901 recorded people to be living in Winchester Road. The choice of Winchester Road seems most logical as it was the main road in the village, which went to Winchester, which is why so many prestigious houses were built along it. By 1901 housing had been developed in the village on a large scale to house railway workers and the naming of roads and numbering of houses had become more important as the population expanded, and education levels increased significantly.
(St Margaret’s Road)
The reason for the naming of St. Margaret’s Road is unclear, particularly as traditionally the churches of Bishopstoke have always been called St Mary’s. It is probable that this road was built about the same time as St Mary’s Road and an ecclesiastical theme was considered an appropriate choice at the time.
The reason behind the naming of Sydney Road is obscure.
This picture was taken in 1907 looking at the junction with St Margaret’s Road and Stoke Park Road. In the background is the new St Mary’s Church which was built in 1890. You will notice that there is no church tower and that there are no houses built between the church and the lone house on the corner of Stoke Park Road.
This picture of St Mary’s Church was taken after the bell tower was completed in 1909. It is not clear when the name of the road changed from Winchester Road to Church Road, but it is recorded as Church Road for the first time in the 1911 Census. This makes sense as, although there has been a church in Bishopstoke since Doomsday, it was at Riverside so there is a logic that the name was not changed until after the new church was built, and probably not until the new tower and peel of bells had been added around 1910.
Just past the Church, on the opposite side of the road stands an old Victorian Estate which was known as The Mount. Bishopstoke Park has been built in the grounds of the Mount as an assisted living retirement village. The first phase opened in 2015. The old house has been retained as a centre piece of the development and refurbished to include a swimming pool and gym. There is also a hair and beauty salon, a bistro, restaurant, library, and delicatessen on site for the residents. Pictured on the right is an artist’s impression of what Bishopstoke Park would look like when completed.
When the Mount Estate was purchased for development, Anchor, which is England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care homes for the over 55s, approached Bishopstoke History Society and asked for guidance relating to people who had lived at, or had connections with, the estate so that names could be chosen for the roads on the site which linked to the history of the area. We provided a list from which they could choose and supported this with an outline of the relationship each person had with the site. It was the first time we had been approached for advice that links with the heritage, history and people of the area and found it to be a very interesting and rewarding experience. It is exactly what County Guidelines desire developers to do. When the retirement village is finished there will be new road names, one of them being Garnier Drive, named after Dr. Thomas Garnier, the Rector of Bishopstoke from 1807 to 1868 and Dean of Winchester Cathedral 1840 to 1872. This photo of Thomas Garnier is a wax medallion made by Richard Cockle Lucas in 1850 and is housed in the National Portrait Gallery London. Dr. Thomas Garnier owned land that became part of the Mount Estate and is credited, as a leading botanist, with planting many of the specimen trees that still grace the grounds.
This is an aerial picture of the clock tower, stables, vegetable gardens and old cottages on the Mount Estate. Roads within the new development are also to be named Walter Lane and Twynam Way. Walter Twynam was born about 1810 and owned the land where “The Mount “is situated today. He built the first house on the site in 1844, which we believe was originally called Stoke Hill Cottage. He also built Oakbank, Spring Grove and lived at Quobleigh, in Allington Lane at this time. He could perhaps be viewed as the first property developer of Bishopstoke. His sons also owned properties. Henry Twynam 1760-1840 was a gentleman farmer and merchant who lived at Grove House and later, at Quobleigh in Allington Lane. In 1834 he established a charity to provide fuel and clothes to be distributed on the 21st December, each year, to the poor. Edward Twynam, his brother, owned Stoke Park Farm and also at one time lived at Quobleigh, probably inheriting it after his father’s death in November 1861. The Twynam Family are recorded as landowners in Bishopstoke from 1680. The first known occupant of the site we know today as “The Mount” was Edward Walter, who lived at “Stoke Hill Cottage” from about 1844. He was a military gentleman who rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel with The Honourable East India Company. Walter Lane is to be named after him.
Gilman Court is another new road, to be named after Richard James Gilman, who on returning from China in 1855 after making his fortune, purchased Stoke Hill Cottage in 1858, when he married. He enlarged the estate and extended the accommodation. Richard Gilman, as a young man, had travelled to China, becoming a tea taster with the Canton based firm of Dent & Co. After spending some years in their service, Richard, in 1847, founded the highly successful and influential firm of Gilman & Co. According to an article written by his great-great-great nephew, Richard Gilman had “helped to found both the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank”. Gilman Street and Gilman Bazaar in Hong Kong are also named in his honour.
Hargreaves Walk is to be named after Thomas Hargreaves, or Captain Thomas Hargreaves as he preferred to be known, who bought the estate for the sum of £7000 in 1870 and had the house rebuilt in the Italianate style as depicted in this sketch. Thomas Hargreaves, who owned a large Steam Yacht with a crew of 18, was an honorary Lieutenant in the Royal Navy Reserve. He was also permitted to retain the rank of Captain when he retired from the 3rd Royal Lancashire Militia. Thomas Hargreaves lived with his wife and six children at Arborfield Hall near Reading when he bought the Mount Estate and completely re-built the house. The census of 1871 showed a Mrs Warriner as head of household, with her three children and Captain Hargreaves was listed as a visitor. He and Mrs Warriner also had a child together. Form you own opinion, but he was never recorded as living at Arborfield again, although he publicly listed Arborfield Hall, and The Mount as his businesses addresses. (Read our article The Mount for more of the juicy details). In 1875 Captain Hargreaves paid £800 for the building of the “Reading Room and Library “for the improvement of the community”. It is still used today by the Bishopstoke Men’s Institute as a Snooker Club in Church Road.
This is the hill in Church Road, just above the church. The caption on the picture says Scorye’s Hill. This is probably a local colloquialism used for this specific part of the road. Other descriptions such as Park View, and Mount Cottages have also been used for brief periods. In the 1911 Census, there is a Stephen Scorye living at 101, Church Road and he was a wood-hoop maker. It is possible this is how this name came to be used. This postcard shows a general stores, House of Hair now occupy the shop. At one time it was Chandler’s Off-License. I used to go there on a Sunday lunch time to buy a bottle of brown ale and lemonade to make a shandy, they served me even though I was in my early teens.
(Burrow Hill) (Burrow Hill Place)
The photo on the left shows the houses constructed in the 1870’s on Burrow Hill at the top of Church Road and on the photo on the right is Burrow Hill Place, built on the other side of Church Road and accessed from Breach Lane.
(Breach Farm) (Breach Lane)
Breach Lane is named after the farm that was at the bottom of the Lane. It was originally part of the Mount Estate. Although it was built without any foundations, this farm house was said to be at least two hundred years old, when this picture was taken a few years ago. There were six rooms, three up and three down, and as you can see it was sited at the bottom of the slope near the banks of the River Itchen. Water came from a spring in the field opposite the house.
County Guidelines advise that roads should be named to reflect people or places linked to the community. The naming of Dartington Road and the roads associated with it deserve special recognition. The choice of these road names is completely irrelevant to Bishopstoke. As far as I have been able to establish, Dartington is a village in Devon, where there is a factory which makes luxury crystal glassware. Slightly more relevant is Avington which is a small village in Hampshire, located on the banks of the River Itchen, Northeast of the City of Winchester. The biggest landmark in this village is Avington House, a grade 1 listed building, that dates back to the late sixteenth century. Sheffield, a City in South Yorkshire, famous during the 19th Century for the production of Steel, especially Stainless Steel and Sheffield Plate used to make cutlery seems to have no relevance with Bishopstoke. The only link to Kensington Road, seems to be the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Kensington Gardens were once the private gardens of Kensington Palace. Mintern Close could also be named after a street in Islington London with this spelling. Initially it was thought that Saville Close may be named after Savile Row, following on from what appears to be a London connection with two of the other Closes, however the spelling is different. The spelling used for the close is the same as the surname of the infamous and disgraced Disc Jockey, Jimmy Saville. Whilst there is no suggestion that the close was named after him, it may be a salutary reminder that maybe County Guidelines need to be amended to ensure that a sufficient period elapses after a person’s demise to ensure that no skeletons are hidden in the proverbial cupboard. Some parishes have adopted a policy of not naming roads after any person whatsoever, probably for this reason. This part of Bishopstoke was named without regard to any cultural history of the community, either through lack of knowledge or deliberate marketing strategy by developers. In reality, providing the names meet the criteria that no confusion is created with other road names, does it really matter?
Just past Stoke Knoll, in Church Road is Bishops Court. This name seems to have been chosen as a marketing ploy to connect this development with Bishopstoke’s Manorial past under the ownership of the Bishop of Winchester. The houses were built on the old orchard of Stoke Knoll. Naming this upmarket development Rotten Apple Row would just not have attracted the right type of resident. You can just make out the letters of Stoke Knoll on the metal gate in the picture on the right.
The last notable building as you leave Bishopstoke, towards Winchester, is the Forester’s Arms which stands at the junction of Church Road and Stoke Common Road. The first Landlord we have recorded for these premises is George Blow who was a beer retailer and shopkeeper in 1867. The road that now leads towards Colden Common is a narrow lane, with single file restrictions in some places. Hard to imagine that this was once the major highway out of the village. If this lane was upgraded, vehicles from all the new development towards the north of the village would have an alternative means of access. As it is, all major traffic has to leave Bishopstoke via The Mill onto the congested Bishopstoke Road, which, by the way, was not constructed direct to Eastleigh until 1900.
The last road, on the right, as you leave Bishopstoke is Stoke Common Road. Stoke Common was once a fully formed and independent community, distinct from Bishopstoke and came under control of the Parish of Twyford. Opposite the Forester’s Arms was a Blacksmiths, run for three generations by the Woodford family and a Bible Christian Chapel was established in Stoke Common Road in1848. Access to Stoke Common would have been mainly by footpaths which connected to Fair Oak, Crowd Hill, Colden Common and Stoke Park, as well as Bishopstoke. Stoke Common Road did not connect to Bishopstoke via Edward Avenue until the late 1920s.
(Wilmot Close) (Pendula Way)
Wilmot Close and Pendula Way lead off of Stoke Common Road but the background behind either name is unclear. Pendula Way was built on the site of the old poor house, the “House of Industry” was built in 1796 and demolished in the early 1960’s. The houses that occupy the site today are far more prestigious than the old cottages that once graced this location. Poor House Place would not have been a name that the developers, nor residents, would have found attractive.
The last, and now one of the least significant roads in Bishopstoke is Jockey Lane. It is one of the earliest roads in the village, yet the origins of the name remain a mystery, the meaning of which has been lost in the mists of time. In earlier times, Jockey Lane provided an important function in that it gave an alternative route onto Church Road, from Stoke Common Road, before Edward Avenue was built and would have been invaluable in case of emergencies or as a pedestrian short cut. To-day it is unadopted, gravelled and in most part little more than a track which leads through the allotments on Burrow Hill and provides a footpath which connects to Dartington Close.
This image shows how one part of the old Longmead Estate has developed and we are most grateful to Chris Smart for producing this for us. This layout very clearly shows what has been a massive development in what is now only a small part of our community. The old paths, roads, and buildings from the 1920s are outlined in black. As we have journeyed around the village seeking to unravel what lays behind the naming of our roads we have come to the following conclusions.
In the early 1800s formal identification of roads was not deemed necessary in small communities like Bishopstoke. If you were important, people knew who you were and where you lived. If you were not important, you were not worth finding.
The expansion of Bishopstoke began with the arrival of the railway, although this mainly consisted of grand houses being built along the main road to Winchester. Bishopstoke’s expansion really occurred with the arrival of industrialisation and the Carriage Works in 1890. Housing was developed to house the workers. Even around this period, shops in both Eastleigh and Bishopstoke did not use addresses when advertising their businesses in trade directories like Kelly’s. They did not need to, people knew where to find them and they certainly did not need street names or numbers to do so, even though they existed.
This layout does show most clearly the location of Longmead House. We always refer to it being located close to where the Methodist Church stands because it is an easy concept for people to understand. As you can see from this image, it was a little further to the east, the surrounding area was farmland.
Up until the 1950s when this estate was developed, road names in Bishopstoke seem to have been chosen to reflect the past by using names of people or places which were once well known. Unfortunately, over time, we have lost sight of the reasons behind these choices. Not that long ago, when we were kids we could meet at the Mill, walk up Middle Street Hill, go to play in the Lyde or play pooh sticks at Bow Lake. Today we would challenge kids and probably quite a few adults to know where we were. This raises an important point.
County Guidelines suggest communities should use road names to develop a sense of identity which draws on the past and these guidelines were probably developed to reflect what communities have been doing for centuries. But when a community expands at the rate that ours has, no records are maintained to help develop a community identity to keep that knowledge alive.
When I started this research, I thought that the Parish Council would be guardians of the community to protect our heritage, I was wrong. Road names are chosen by developers who make proposals as part of the general planning approval process and when the parish has the opportunity to respond, it is only where there is concern that the proposed name may be misleading because of a similarly named road in the area when approval is usually refused, although as we have seen, not always.
In the 1980s and 1990s there were large scale developments on Itchen Vale, land to the south of Whalesmead Road and Burrow Hill at the top of the village. As you will have become aware during our talk to-day, despite a long tradition of linking heritage to new developments, we as a village, abstained from managing our community expansion sensitively. It is understandable that developers want to choose names that purchasers may find attractive and that have marketing appeal. It is also probable that with the rapid expansion that has taken place in probably only one or two generations that there are very few people still in the community, then or now, who have the background to be able to recall these traditional connections. Perhaps the Parish Council should take a more active role when road names are chosen and certainly, in recent times, there does appear to have been an attempt to redress this issue on some new developments.
The difficulty will always be in deciding who is and who is not worthy. There is also a risk that somebody who was once highly thought of might in the fullness of time fall from grace. This is a good reason why roads should not be named after living individuals. However, if you leave selection for too long, the dilemma is that there is nobody who remembers the person either. The other dilemma is that over time understanding of connections to the past will be forgotten or become irrelevant. Perhaps some of the older road names should have a small explanation plaque added so that this information can be retained and shared in the community for future generations. If we are to continue the tradition of naming new roads after local people, local places, or links to the area’s past, we the members of Bishopstoke History Society may be able to offer some help to identify names that could be considered appropriate for new developments, although names from the past may not be so appropriate for the present. The Gubbins family who lived in Longmead House were probably the most well connected family in the village, yet they have not been recognised. Who would want to choose to live in Gubbins Grove?
Bishopstoke has been a community for over one thousand years, yet for the last twenty years even our village name was removed from our postal address, it has now been reinstated. A sobering thought is that a person’s name and Bishopstoke was all that was needed two hundred years ago to deliver the mail.
Simmonds, J. (2003) From Rural to Residential
Simmonds, J. Our Changing Village – Bishopstoke from 1840
Westwood, Maureen. Memories of Old Eastleigh and Bishopstoke
Kelly’s Trade Directories
Tony Spratt, Fred Betts, Malcolm Dale, Joan Simmonds, Chris Smart, Stan Roberts, Chris Humby.