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Bursledon Windmill
Grid reference: SU488095
Location: 50°53’5"N, 1°18’42"W
Population: 6,188  (2011)
Post town: Southampton
Postcode: SO31
Dialling code: 023
Local Government
Council: Eastleigh

Bursledon is a village on the River Hamble in the south of Hampshire. It is to be found close to the city of Southampton, to the south-east of the city itself. Bursledon has a railway station, a marina, dockyards and a prominent landmark, the Bursledon Windmill. Nearby villages include Swanwick, Hamble-le-Rice, Netley and Sarisbury Green.

The village has close ties to the sea. The Elephant Boatyard located in Old Bursledon dates back centuries: the current boatyard is named after HMS Elephant built here, which served as Nelson's flagship at Copenhagen. Boatbuilding here though dates back at least to the days of King Edward III.[1]

The village, particularly the Jolly Sailor pub and the Elephant Boatyard, were used as the primary filming venue for the 1980s BBC TV soap opera Howards' Way.[2][3]


The village was known as Brixendona[4] or Brixenden in the 12th century, Burstlesden in the 14th century, and Bristelden in the 16th century.[5] The name probably means "Beorhtsige's Hill", after an otherwise unknown local landowner in the Dark Ages.


The original bridge carrying what is now the A27 road across the River Hamble was made of wood in 1783 and was a toll bridge.[5] Bursledon's waterside position and woodland surroundings made it a natural location for building wooden ships. Numerous vessels were built for the Royal Navy at private shipyards at Bursledon, although a claim that two eighty-gun ships were constructed at Bursledon during the reign of William IV is untrue.[5] The yard owned by Philemon Ewer in the 18th century was responsible for the building of the 50-gun HMS Falkland and the sloop HMS Lizard in 1744, the 50-gun HMS Ruby in 1745, the 24-gun HMS Fox in 1746, and the 60-gun HMS Anson in 1747 among other vessels.[5] There is a monument to Ewer, who died in 1750, featuring a model of the Anson in the parish church.[5] George Parsons's Bursledon shipyard built a number of naval ships from 1778 to 1807, when he moved to Warsash at the mouth of the River Hamble; this included HMS Elephant launched in 1786, which carried Nelson to the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801.[5] Although most of the construction of these ships was carried out in Bursledon, they were sailed after their launchings to Portsmouth to be sheathed in copper there.[5]

By the 1870s, the shipbuilding trade had disappeared from Bursledon and the main industry was arable agriculture, particularly the growing of strawberries.[5]

The Bursledon Brickworks, based in the village of Swanwick, was founded in 1897 and produced the famous Fareham red brick. Today it is the last surviving example of a Victorian steam powered brickworks in the country.[6] The brickworks were sold to Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust [1], and can be visited as the Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum.[2]


A local legend associated with the old Victorian bridge over the railway line on Coal Park Lane, is that of Polly Crook. It os said that her love of distilled apple cider and smoking a clay pipe caused her accidentally to ignite herself on this spot.[7]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Bursledon)


  1. Old Bursledon Conservation Appraisal and Management Proposal: Eastleigh Council
  2. Internet Movie Database: Howard's Way Accessed 29 April 2007
  3. The Daily Telegraph (7 April 2016). Pint to Pint: A Crawl Around Britain's Best Pubs. Icon Books. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-1-78578-040-0. https://books.google.com/books?id=vZrDCwAAQBAJ&pg=PT50. 
  4. Mills, Anthony David: 'A Dictionary of British Place-Names' (Oxford University Press, 2003) ISBN 978-0-19-852758-9
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 A History of the County of Hampshire - Volume 3 pp 283-284: Parishes: Bursledon (Victoria County History)
  6. Fareham Borough Council: Bursledon Brickworks Template:Webarchive Accessed 29 June 2007
  7. O'Leary, Michael (2011). Hampshire and Isle of Wight Folk Tales. The History Press. ISBN 978-0752461236.