Netley Abbey Village in old picture postcards

Netley Abbey Village in old picture postcards

:   K.A. Ford
:   Hampshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5387-4
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Netley Abbey Village in old picture postcards'

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The village of Netley Abbey nestles amongst the trees on the share of Southampton Water, just a few miles from Southampton, in the ancient parish of Hound. There is evidence of early settlements such as the many Roman coins found in the vicinity of the village. However , by the time of the Domesday Baak, the population was quite sparse , but it does record, ' ... there is a small church ... .' which we believe was the forerunner of our parish church 'St. Mary's Hound' which was built in 1230 possibly on the same site. The vicar in 1313 was John De Overton giving us our 'French Connection' . The early meetings of the elders, vestry meetings, were held here until the later 1800's, electing 'guardians of the paar' and 'surveyors of roads' amongst other things. They even considered selling the Paar House to raise money for the paar! Later meetings were held at various pi aces in the village and became officially titled 'parish council' in 1894. The abbey from which the vi!lage takes its name, was built in 1239 by the Cistercians. A few years aftel' the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536, Netley Fort was built as part of the defences of Southampton. The ab bey was converted into a manor house where Queen Elizabeth 1 was entertained in 1560. Netley Fort was one of the pi aces 'Cromwell knocked about a bit' but he later rcpaired it against the threat of invasion by Prince Charles. Over the years it passed through various hands and eventually became a dwelling place, Along with most of the land in the area, it came into the ownership of the Chamberlaynes. In the early 1800's it was occupied by Mr. G. Hunt, who built the Abbey Hotel and Boarding House on Abbey Hili to assist with the growing tonrist trade. In 1881 the Castle , as it had

become known, was purchased from a Mr. Shirref by Colonel Crichton. He made many additions to it and became a prominent figure in the life of the village. A few of its features may be of interest: There are sorne fine carvings on the main entrance hall doors; there was a grand organ situated half way up the stairway, which was a wedding present to Lady Emma Crieliton from her father; the beautifully carved lions and griffins mounted on the stairway ca me from an old man-af-war; the Lord Warden; the coat of arms and motto over the front ent rance and fireplace was the family crest; the bay windows in the lounge have stained glass depicting: Henry VI!, Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII, Wolsey, Elizabeth 1 and Charles L In 1938 it became a convalescent home and rernains sa until today. By the early 1800's, the area had become a tourist attraction and with the building of the hotel, several marine villas. added to the existing farming cornmunity, had become the nucleus of a village. In view of the inadequate facilities for wounded soldiers, returning from the Crimea War, it was decided to build a new military hospital. The site chosen was near the ent rance of Southampton Water, at Netley, sa that the transports could sail up Southampton Water and unload the injured troops at a pier which was to be constructed. Sa, the ornate and quite impressive-Iooking Royal Victoria Hospital was built, the foundation stone of which was laid by Queen Victoria in 1856. It was completed in 1863. It was not without its critics however , one of the most notabie being Florence Nightingale. Unfortunately she was not shown any details until after the work had started and it was toa late to change anything. Aftel' the pier was built, it

was realised th at the water was too shallow and that the tide receded so far th at the pier was not really suitable for unloading wounded troops, but it did become a wonderfully pleasant promenade for both patients, their families and us villagers. The hospital however did achieve a good name for its facilities, research, training, etcetera. Even Florence Nightingale helped with the training of the nurses. It became the focal point of village life, for some time. The building of the hospital brought about a large expansion of the village population. Many service men Iived in the village and remained there after completion of their service. Through two world wars and over 100 years of history its name became wel! known throughout the world. With the advent of the Royal Victoria Hospital, need arose for a railway line and sa a single-line track from Southampton to Netley was opened in 1866, Netley being the terminus, complete with a srn all turntabIe. The single line was extended to Fareham in 1899 and doubled in 1909-1910. The original, single line included a special siding for the specifically designed carriages for patients and in 1900 the line was taken right through to the hospital. The growing population could now find work further afield. The proximity of Portsmouth and Southarnpton encouraged many to go into the Royal or Merchant Navy. Just a few miles away were several shipbuilding firms and also the burgeoning aircraft industry. The Supermarine Schneider Trophy planes in Southampton Water, later leading to the Spitfires, and the Hurricanes were repaired in wartime at Air Service Training which had an offshoot in the village working on the planes. Also nearby, were other famous narnes in aviation: A.V. Roe,

Armstrong Whitworth, Fairy Aviation and Follands. Others, not so wel! known, such as: Simmonds Spartan Aircraft, a couple of miles away, carried out test flights near the village. Even Hubert Scott Paine , renowned for his power boats on Southampton Water, was another pioneer in the early days of flying near Netley. There was na large-scale industry in the village. but in one of the smal! works even racing cars were being built in the thirties! Sa, the village changed from its agricultural beginnings, through the services to the Royal Victoria Hospital and its close-knit community to a more commuting aspect of industrial employment. The Royal Victoria Hospital has now been demolished except for its chapel, but luckily its magnificent grounds have been retained as a country park and as such attracts many vi sitars to enjoy its pleasant walks. It also acts as host to many county shows and exhibitions throughout the year, sa, on ce again, we have become a well-known tourist area. This has one unfortunate si de effect: the increase in traffic, which is one of the most dramatic changes as shown by the photographs of the village as it was!


I would like to thank the Winchester and Southampton Reference Libraries, the Publie Record Office, Royal Archives and Hound Parish Council for access to parish minutes and also of course the many people in the village for their help and assistance in the loan of photographs.

1. Netley Abbey , from which the village takes its name, was and still is a tourist attraction. Note the tables set out for the victorian tea party. Many village functions we re and are held here. All the scouts and guides of the district meet here on St. George's Day.

2. Lake House. This, in the early 1800's, was the Abbey Hotel, later the horne of Colonel Pennington and his family, who were involved with village life and great benefactors. He, and later his daughter, recorded details of the weather, which, together with others from various parts of the country, we re published annually. So we know there we re atmospheric extremes in those days.

? ~ro the Air. 4403

3. Net/ey Castte. From its origins as a fort, various owners have developed it into this imposing building. Colonel Crichton's boathouse and yard show up clearly. The large houses on the left are those of Abbey HilI and the start of the village.

4. The entrance hall, Net/ey Castle . This gives an idea of its transformation from its original usage.

5. Lower lodge, entrance to the castle. The lodge is still there and lived in. The road to the castle is not as clearly visible nowadays.

6. Colonel Crichton, entertaining the patients of Royal Victoria Hospital. Many village functions were held at his home: the report of 1887 jubilee fete' ... with 1500 men, wamen and children of the parish sitting down to tea ... , with various activities ... and brought to a close by a displayoffire works. The proceedings passed off with great eclat.'

7. Abbey House. Home of another benefactor, Miss Rashleigh, who gave Jubilee Hall to the village. Later the Misses Downie ran their well-known school here for young ladies, one of whom was Barbara Cartland who didn't like the teachers and spe nt her time making up stories!

8. The vicarage built circa 1860. It is assumed that the reverend J. Addison was the first to occupy it. The next three vicars were: William Ffrench, William Chevalier and William Henty-Summers. The latter extended it in 1919. It then was inhabited by A.J. Beach from whom it passed on to private hands. A new vicarage was built near the church. The new owners are carrying out many renovations.

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