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High St. - Fareham - geograph.org.uk - 1092554.jpg
High Street, Fareham
Grid reference: SU5806
Location: 50°51’0"N, 1°10’48"W
Population: 97,504  (2011)
Post town: Fareham
Postcode: PO14 - PO16
Dialling code: 01329
Local Government
Council: Fareham

Fareham is a coastal town, a market town, in the southeast of Hampshire. It sits between the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth, roughly in the centre of the conurbation which joins much of the county's southeast coast in townscape. It is a place of shops and yachts.

To the south of the town lies Gosport, to the east Portchester, to the north the M27 motorway and Wickham. Westwards lie Titchfield; Catisfield, Locks Heath, Warsash and Whiteley.

Fareham traditionally relied on its clay soil for industry, producing bricks, tiles and chimney pots. This past is commemorated through place names such as Kiln Road. The most famous example of a building constructed of "Fareham red bricks" is probably the Royal Albert Hall in London. The main economic activity in Fareham is now retail, employing 15% of the local population. Fareham has also become a popular choice for the location of business call centres; several of Britain's major banks have service offices in Fareham and Adecco, the recruitment agency, claims Fareham as the second best call centre location in the United Kingdom.

Fareham stands at the north-west tip of Portsmouth Harbour where the River Wallington flows to the sea. Small industries still operate, reflecting Fareham's maritime past. HM Royal Navy operate in Fareham with the Maritime Warfare School, HMS Collingwood, training well over 2,000 British and foreign sailors at any one time


Fareham Creek

Archaeological excavations: around the old High Street area and the church of St Peter & Paul; on high ground over the Wallington Estuary, have yielded evidence of settlement on the site contemporary with the Roman occupation. However, no extensive programme of investigation has been possible, due to the historic nature of the buildings in this area.

The town has a recognised and documented history dating back to the Norman era, when a part of William's army marched up from Fareham Creek before continuing to the capital of England, Winchester.

The town as originally known by the name of Ferneham, an its location was determined by the ford of Fareham Creek at the top of Portsmouth Harbour. The ford was also the location of the Bishop of Winchester's mills; the foundations of these mills were subsumed in the A27 near the railway viaduct. Commercial activity continued at the port until the 1970s, and continues to this day on a smaller scale. By the beginning of the 20th century, Fareham had developed into a major market town.

In the 1960s, Fareham experienced a huge amount of development, as it was one of the areas highlighted for major expansion in the "South Hampshire Plan". The idea was to create many thousands of homes to serve as a base for the many people who were looking to move away from the traditional urban centres of Portsmouth and Southampton. It was during this era that the large housing areas of Hill Park, Miller Drive, and much of Portchester grew until eventually one could drive through a continuous urban conurbation from Portsmouth City Centre to Southampton. By this time Fareham had expanded to almost encompass the surrounding villages of Funtley, Titchfield, Catisfield and Portchester.

Fareham is now at a stage of maturity as a town. As a place to live, it is increasingly popular, with plentiful housing and open space. Additionally the local shopping area has become more of a local destination since the arrival of a regular market and additional store openings in recent times.

In the late 1990s, a settlement called Whiteley, to the north of the town, was developed to the north of Junction 9 of the M27 motorway. The new development is predominantly residential, however it also features the extensive Solent Business Park. In 1995 Cams Hall and Cams Estate were improved upon and turned into a modern technology park.

Sport and leisure

  • Football: Fareham Town FC, which plays at Cams Alders.

Transport links

Fareham is well served by the major road and rail networks. The M27 motorway passes around the northern edge of Fareham, and is the main traffic artery into and out of the area. It provides easy access to both Portsmouth and Southampton, and from there to London by the M3 and A3(M).

The A27 was the original route along the south coast before the building of the M27, and runs from Brighton to Southampton, passing through the centre of Fareham. The A32 passes through Fareham at the Quay Street roundabout, known locally as a notorious bottleneck, on its way from Gosport to Wickham, and then through the picturesque Meon Valley to Alton.

Fareham railway station is on the West Coastway Line, with regular services to Portsmouth, Southampton, Cardiff and London. Until 1953, passenger services also ran south to Gosport.

Sights about the town

Upper Quay

Fareham has in recent years developed several attractions to draw visitors to the town. The historic High Street features a fine collection of Georgian buildings, home to many of the town's restaurants. The town centre has been improved to bring it up to modern standards, and the opening of the Market Quay development has added a cinema and another nightclub (party venue Chicago Rock) to the area, after the troublesome Prague Junction was knocked down. New to Fareham traders Next and Top Shop have opened stores to try to attract a wider range of shoppers, and Tesco and Debenhams have expressed interest in the town too - Debenhams having opened a small store in the shopping centre and Tesco a large supermarket on the edge of the busy Market Quay roundabout.

A theatre, Ferneham Hall, is located in the town centre, though it was announced in November 2010 that the venue had yet to make any profit whatsover during its 28-year history. A council report suggested a complete overhaul of its entertainments programme to bring it into the 21st century.[1] The Ashcroft Cenre specialises in amateur theatre productions.

In the surrounding area, there are several attractions of national interest:


Between 2015 and 2020, a new town will be built just north of Fareham, called Welbourne. It shall consist of at least 6,000 homes, and near Whickham. It may be visible from the M27.

Outside links