Blackwater, Hampshire

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Blackwater
Hampshire
Location
Grid reference: SU855595
Location: 51°19’41"N, 0°46’19"W
Data
Post town: Camberley
Postcode: GU17
Dialling code: 01252
Local Government
Council: Hart
Parliamentary
constituency:
Aldershot

Blackwater is a small town in the north-eastern corner of Hampshire, upon the borders with Surrey and Berkshire. It is about 4 miles north of Farnborough, Hampshire, 2 miles west of Camberley and 16 miles east of Basingstoke on the A30 road.

This relative proximity to the capital (the nearest point in Hampshire, and closer than much of Berkshire) has made the town popular with commuters. Blackwater is part of the "Blackwater Valley conurbation" which includes the towns of Farnborough, Aldershot, Camberley, Sandhurst, Yateley, Frimley and Farnham. The River Blackwater flows through the length of this urban area, forming the border between Hampshire and Surrey. The town lies at the point where the A30 trunk road crosses the Blackwater.

Blackwater railway station is on the main line almost precisely mid-way between Reading and Guildford.

History

The first recorded mention of Blackwater was in 1281, when it was known as Bredeford. It grew around the ford crossing across the River Blackwater.[1]

Character

Blackwater has occasionally received a bad press for the appearance of its built environment, especially given that it is a 'gateway' town into Hampshire on a main national route (the A30) and is does not give a good first impression of the county, whose prettiness opens up further in. The 'high street' area (the A30) is a dual-carriageway lined by a 1960s shopping parade and a large brick supermarket, which not attractive, and with an Aldi and a Lidl facing each other residents may fear that the town was only attracting 'cheap and cheerful' retail outlets, though major shopping complexes such as The Meadows in Sandhurst less than a mile away and The Main Square in Camberley are found for most needs.

There are two suburban villages to the north, Frogmore and Darby Green. Frogmore has its own modern village hall, village green, church, pub and a small shopping parade. Darby Green has a shopping parade (including a Tesco Express), a pub and a small youth centre. There is also a modern medical surgery between the two villages on Frogmore Road.

The village of Hawley, which has its own village hall, primary school, church, private leisure centre, cricket ground and equestrian centre, lies less than a mile to the south on the road towards Farnborough.

Economy

Entrance to Java House, Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems were a major employer in the Blackwater Valley and their UK headquarters were in Blackwater at Guillemont Park, at the M3 motorway junction on the site of the former Guillemont Barracks. Following Oracle's acquisition of Sun in 2009, employees were relocated to Oracle's UK headquarters in the Thames Valley Park.[2]

Popular culture

A major portion of Wilkie Collins's 1859 novel The Woman in White is set at the house of the character Sir Percivel Glyde, Blackwater Park, in Blackwater, Hampshire.

The single Moving to Blackwater by the band 'Reuben' refers to Hampshire's Blackwater: Reuben are from nearby Camberley.

Outside links

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("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Blackwater, Hampshire)

References