Bishop's Waltham in old picture postcards

Bishop's Waltham in old picture postcards

:   John S.R. Bosworth
:   Hampshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3075-2
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Bishop's Waltham in old picture postcards'

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That man has lived for several thousand years in the area now occupied by Bishop's Waltham is now a certainty, for recent archaeological investigations have shown that close to the present town centre, flints were quarried from the river valley gravels in sorne quantity between eight and a half and ten thousand years ago during the mesolithic period or middle stone age. The discovery of this site indicates th at there was possibly a settlement here at a very early time and that a village of some kind has very likely existed in the vacinity ever sin ce. The newer sta ne and bronze ages are represented by the many struck flints and tools found in the area and by several burial mounds, two of which at Hoe are now scheduled ancient monuments and another off Little Share Lane near the town centre, which was excavated in 1953, revealed the remains of an inhumation and a cremation, together with a fine earthen beaker and two bronze daggers, dating from about 1500 B.C. The Iron age is not toa weH represented on current evidence, but a settlement site exists just north of the parish and several earthworks in the vacinity are thought to date from this time, also various Iron age pottery has been found around the town. The Roman Raad from Winchester to Chichester runs through the parish and several building and kiln sites have been found close to it and numerous finds of coins and other remains have been discovered throughout the area.

A Saxon Minster Church existed here in the early eighth century for we know that St Boniface received

a blessing th ere in 715 A.D. before setting out on his expedition to carry the Gospels to the heathen tribes of north west Europe and around 720 A.D. St Willibald received instruction at the Minster before attempting similar journeys, It was during the Saxon period that the place became known as Waltham, meaning a town in a forest, and in 904 A.D. King Edward the EIder gave Waltham to Denewulf, Bishop of Winchester, in exchange for lands at Porchester which the King required as a fortification against the Viking raiders, thus founding the conneetion between Waltham and the Bishop's of Winchester.

Foundations of ninth century buildings were recently discovered nearby the Square and these may have been part of the settlement which existed in 1001 A.D. when, we are informed, the Danes burnt the residence at Waltham. Presumably this was the Bishop's residence and the raiders no doubt destroyed the church and town as well, What sort of building this was we do not know but it pre-dates the palace, the ruins of which remain to-day, for that building was founded by Bishop Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester and brother of King Stephen, in 1135.

So we see th at by the time of the Norman Conquest, Bishop's Waltham already had a long and interesting history , and the Domesday survey informs us that this was quite an extensive manor with a large park for wild animals, two churches and three mills. The deer park is assumed to be the area which even to-day is mostly still surrounded by an embankment known as the Lug which is thought to be of Saxon origin,

but the sites of the churches and mills still cause arguments. The present parish church was also founded by Bishop Henry de Blois in the 1130's and there is now some doubt that it was built on the site of an earlier church as previously thought, so we are not only uncertain of the location of the second Dornesday church but the site of the first has yet to be authenticated. The mill at Waltham Chase on the eastern branch of the river Hamble, is generally accepted as being on one of the three sites mentioned but the locations of the other two remain open to speculation.

The Palace was an important residence in the Bishopric and numero us Royal visitors were entertained there over the centuries. The building itself was considerably altered and added to by succeeding Bishop's until its eventual demise in 1644 during the Civil War and has lain in a ruinous state ever since, though it is now in the care of the Department of the Environment and open to the public.

The town obviously developed under the influence of the palace but agriculture has played an important part in its prosperity. Markets were held here from at least the thirteenth century, a large market house existing in the Square until 1841 by which time the markets had disappeared, finding a more convenient venue at Botley, four miles down the river valley, after the construction of the railway there. The town continued to thrive however, and seems to have become quite a business centre in the early nineteenth century. This is evident from trade directories

of the period and the number of solicitors and suchlike professionals listed, also the local bank, which opened in 1809, continued to flourish. The second half of the nineteenth century saw the development of more industry, especially the large clayworks at Newtown which led to the growth of that area, and the coming of the branch railway in 1863 enabled goods to be more easily transported.

With the development of motorised transport, daily travel to nearby larger towns for work became commonplace and though there is still some industry here, the population no longer rely on it for a livelihood and the road improvements of more recent years have enabled people to commute fairly long distances regularly for employment. The numerous new houses th at have been constructed are in great demand by newcomers who find Bishop's Waltham an attractive area in which to live.

In conclusion, thanks must be expressed to the many people who have loaned their old pictures over the last twenty-five years or so, enabling the collection to be formed from which these illustrations have been selected for presentation in a permanent form which it is hoped will provide pleasure for locals nad newcomers alike. Appreciation must also be given to those early local photographers such as Paul Desa, Edgar Adams, Bob Symes and others who originally produced these excellent pictures.

1. The Square from the east circa 1920. The Crown Hotel, parts ofwhich date from the 1500's, was once a coaching inn and had two court yards at the rear surrounded by stables, brewhouses and suchlike, the inner yard being overlooked by an open gallery. In the 1960's the house reverted to its former and more correct designation of inn and considerable alterations have taken place since. The larger building in the centre, built about 1900, housed a public bar and clubroom and the door nearest the camera, since blocked up, gained the name 'Mortuary door' owing to the number of traveIlers carried through it after accidents on the old 'Crown Corner'. The road by-passing the Square was made through the old court yards in the early 1970's. In this picture Edward Robinson waits with the horse and cart while his father delivers goods and in the distance, behind theearly Hants and Dorset omnibus, Rooke's garage can be seen in Station Road.

2. St George's Square from the west circa 1905. The story goes that once several prominent men all named George lived around the Square, hence the name, which can still be seen painted on the house at the right, now Estate Agents offices. This was the tewn's old market square with the market house in the centre untill841, standing approxirnately where the boys are on the left. Distant Eastways House was demolished about 1970 and a housing estate built. The Kings Head on the left closed around 1914 and became the offices of another firm of Estate Agents. The large steps leading to the front door were taken away about twenty years ago, the side door behind the man with the bicycle being used sin ce. The sign on the wall advertises accommodation for cyclists, alocal cycling club once having their headquarters here and part of their sign can still be seen at the rear of the building.

3. Lloyds Bank corner 1917, was until the 1890's used by the Killick family, grocers, carpet dealers, etc., when, we are told, Mr Killick had become reasonably weil off and wished to join the local hunt. In those days, however, a common tradesman was not acceptable so he sold his business to become a gentleman and ride to hounds. Various traders afterwards occupied the premises inc1uding Mr Eddoils the saddler, Mr Harris, grocer, and Rooke's as a cyc1e and motor-cycle store. Capital and Counties Bank took the corner and were later themselves taken over by Lloyds who built a new bank on the site in the early 1920's. The shop around the corner with the motor-car outside was occupied by Mr Lot Churcher, cabinet maker and furniture dealer, part of his premises being also used for a short time as the 'Ab bey Tea Rooms' and has now all been rebuilt by Lloyds. The steps to the old Kings Head can be seen at the right,

4. Christmas meat display circa 1895. Members of the West family were butchers at Bishop's Waltham for weil over 100 years and this picture shows sides of beef and a few carcasses of mutton outside their shop in the Square. The cattIe would have been slaughtered locally and the darklumps on the pavement are the anirnals heads, The snow on the rooves indicates that this was probably their display of meat for Christmas. The name of Walter West still appears in decorated glazed tiles below the shop window to-day and the building, which dates from the early 1600's, is still a butchers. On the left is the Crown Hotel, the small cottage in the centre being demolished about 1900 for the erection of a public bar and clubroom.

S. St George's Square south west corner 1902. Pictures looking this way are uncommon as the camera had to be pointed into the light but this view shows the town band playing around the lamp-post during the celebrations marking the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1902. The ivy-covered building on the left was then a private house, later becoming offices and the range of buildings in the centre background, old stables, workshops and suchlike, were reached by a lane running from the corner of the Square. These buildings together with the house on the right, last lived in by Miss Padwiek. were all demolished around 1970 to make way for the new road which by-passes the Square.

6. Welcome Prince Leopold, August 1864. Under the instigation of Arthur Helps (later knighted), who was private secretary to Her Majesty Queen Victoria and lived at Bishop's Waltham, a large new hospital was to be built here and the eleven year old Prinee Leopold was to lay the foundation stone. This picture, which is one of the earliest photographic records of the town, shows High Street decorated to welcome the Prince. As we shall see later, the 'Royal Albert Infirmary' never really materialised as such though, as 'The Priory' the town received certain benefits from the building even if not as originally intended. One interesting point is that the gas street lamp to be seen on the left, one of the first to be installed in the town only a short time before this picture was taken, eo st the parish i3 complete. In 1984 areproduction Victorian lamp erected on almost the same spot cost the town over i1,000.

7. Opening the Oddfellows Hall, 1895. The Loyal Bud of Friendship Lodge of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows opened their new hall in the High Street on 30th December, 1895, and the town celebrated with a half holiday. This picture shows the parade with the hall itself visible just left of the banner. 170 guests attended dinner in the hall presided over by W.H. Meyers, M.P., with the band of The Royal Marines Artillery playing. The grand concert in the evening was attended by about 500, more being refused entry because of lack of space. To make way for the new hall, a shop, house and outbuildings were demolished. The shop had been used by grocer Brian Gifford at one time and the last occupant was Thomas Sargeant, grocer and draper. The hall was used for dances and entertainment until about 1920 when it became the Palace and later the Classic cinema until the 1960's and has since been converted into furniture showrooms.

8. High Street from the south circa 1897. The Oddfellows Hall and the lamp over Mr Payne's shop, now the 'Wine Merchants', are visible on the left and the shops on the right look familiar but catered for different trades. In the distance 'Kates Korner' was occupied by Mr Taylor, butcher, 'Annabell's' ladies shop by Mr Brown, baker and confectioner and Veek's furniture store, rebuilt in 1911 as a grocers, was a private house once used as a school. Further down 'Madelines' sweet shop was the Post Office the postmistress being a miss Veale and Janaway's shoe shop was Mr Joliffes fancy repository. The white building in the centre which had once been 'The Dolphin' public house, was used by Mr Beek the tailor. Later it became the Gas Copmany showrooms and is now 'Hylands' greengrocers. Nearest the camera is Churcher's furniture and glass shop, now the Post Office, and Tickner's ironmongery, now a grocers and newsagents.

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