Eling Tide Mill at night
|New Forest East|
Eling is a village in Hampshire at the top of Southampton Water, effectively contiguous with the town of Totton to the north. Eling and Totton are separated by the A35 Southampton ring road, but access between then is gained by crossing the railway line which divides the original old village of Totton and the areas of Eling, and Hounsdown. This goes to Brokenford which has some pathways from Totton to the A35 Bypass road at Eling recreation ground, by Bartley Water.
Bartley Water neatly curves around the south of Eling as a natural southern limit, and ebters the River Test (or Southampton Water) here. The Eling Tide Mill stands here taking its power from the turn of the tide.
The village's name is pronounced i:liɳ (the same as that of the Middlesex town of Ealing).
The parish church is St Mary the Virgin, which is the biggest and oldest church in the area.
Several years ago during the reordering of the church excavations, part of a Celtic cross dating back to the 9th (possibly the 6th) century was found, indicating that the site of St Mary's has been a place of Christian worship since that date.
Today the church stands on the hill looking out over the bay to the container port on the Southampton side of Millbrook. On this side, not far away is the expanse and beauty of the New Forest. St Mary's finds itself at a threshold between the industry of Southampton and the quiet of the forest. Within the tension of both lies the possibility of both old and new. The church itself reflects this with a modern interior that brings a light, open effect and the traditional stone, including a Saxon arch.
St Mary the Virgin Church is a part of the Anglican team ministry that covers Totton and Eling with 38,000 people within its area. Historically the mother church to the area, St Mary's is now one of four churches in the team ministry along with Calmore, Netley Marsh and Testwood.
Sights of the village
Eling's attractions include its tide mill that is at one end of the harbour and its Norman parish church, St Mary's, built on Saxon foundations with registers dating back to 1537. Eling Tide Mill is one of the very few working tide mills in Britain but cannot be equated with the mill listed in the Domesday Book.
In addition, Eling contains Hampshire's only surviving mediæval toll bridge across Bartley Water by the side of the Tide Mill. This has been in use since at least 1418 and still charges users today. There is a Town Council-run heritage centre, with details of the history of Totton and Eling.