Hedge End

From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
Hedge End
St John's Church, Hedge End
Grid reference: SU490128
Location: 50°54’49"N, 1°18’15"W
Population: 18,696  (2001)
Post town: Southampton
Postcode: SO30
Dialling code: 01489
Local Government
Council: Eastleigh
Website: Hedge End Town Council

Hedge End is a village in Hampshire found to the east of Southampton, adjoining West End and Botley. Hedge End is effectively part of the "Southampton Urban Area".

Nearby, at West End, is the Rose Bowl, home of Hampshire County Cricket Club, which benefits from the good road and rail links that serve the area, and Hedge End residents are not slow to avail themselves of its proximity.



Of the earliest history of the area now known as Hedge End there are few records. The Roman Road that ran from Clausentum to Portus Adurni and Noviomagus Reginorum is known to pass through the area.[1] There is also a record that dates the crossing of the River Itchen at Mansbridge and the crossing of the River Hamble at Botley to AD932.[1][2] The road that linked those two river crossings would have followed the approximate route of the modern Grange Road.[1] There is therefore evidence of travellers passing through the Hedge End area prior to the Norman Conquest. From Mansbridge, it is only 4 miles to the port of Southampton and 12 miles to Winchester, ther capital of England in Anglo-Saxon times. The route through the Hedge End area towards the town of Portchester would therefore have been an important one. Kings of England owned land here originally known as King's Forest, now King's Copse, which was used for hunting.[1]

Farming at the Manor of Shamblehurst is mentioned in a record dating to 1219[1] Although this area is within the boundary of modern Hedge End, the original hamlet of Hedge End first established itself on Botley Common. This land was granted to the men of Botley as common pasture in 1250.[1] That area is towards the bottom of the hill that rises up to Netley Common and is rich with natural streams and springs.

In 1267, Royal charters allowed Botley to hold an annual fair and a weekly market.[1] It became a market town, with people from the neighbouring Manors buying and selling goods there.[1] The inhabitants of Botley Common would have found the proximity of that market and the mills at Botley and Bursledon to be conveniently situated.

The Manor of Shamblehurst died out in the sixteenth century.[1] Botleigh Grange was built in the 16th century[3] on land that was formerly part of the Manor of Shamblehurst.[1]

The origin of the name "Hedge End" is not known for certain, but it was clearly in use by the beginning of the 18th century. There is an explicit reference to Hedge End in a Court Baron held at Botley Manor on 19 May 1735,[1] concerning the tenancy of a cottage and garden at Hedge End. There is further reference to dating to 1764 concerning a £10 fine for taking in part of the common at Hedge End.[1] Hedge End is also marked on a 1759 map of Southampton.[3]

The Enclosure Acts ended the system of open farming on common land. Such land was required to be fenced in and title-deeded. This allowed a number of farms to establish themselves in the Hedge End area during the late 18th and 19th centuries.[1]

Growing into a village

St John's Rooms, Hedge End

The development of two new roads to serve the toll bridges at Northam and Woolston brought travellers closer to Hedge End.[1]

Northam Road was opened in 1799, with a Tollgate at Hedge End. In 1839, another new road was built to provide access to the Floating Bridge at Woolston.[1] This new road cut through the centre of Botley Common, opening the way for further development. In modern Hedge End this is St. Johns Road.

An Enclosure Act of 1863–1865 formally divided Botley Common into plots.[1] Some plots were used for development, 2 acres were for Allotments and 3 acres were assigned to the Lord of the Manor, William Warner to be used for a Recreation Ground.[1]

St. John's School was built in 1863, admitting its first 13 children on 18 January 1864.[1] By 1885, the building had been enlarged twice.[1] By 1888, the building was also used as a Library.[1]

St John's Church was consecrated on 15 July 1874.[1] In February 1876, St. Johns, Hedge End was constituted as a separate parish for ecclesiastical purposes.[1][4]

A sub-Post Office was established on 2 August 1894.[1] Hedge End was constituted a civil Parish at its inaugural meeting on 14 December 1894.[1] In 1895, the Parish took over responsibility for the recreation ground.[1] The Recreation ground between St Johns Road and Bursledon road is all that remains of Botley Common.

In the late 19th Century, Hedge End, like many neighbouring villages in the area, was a strawberry growing area. Its produce was despatched to London and Scotland by train service from Botley station.[1]

St John's Room was built in 1907, which was the Church Hall until the Underhill Centre (Named after the Reverend Mervyn Spenser Underhill, Vicar of St Johns Church 1961-1994) was opened in 2002. St. John's Room now serves as a day nursery for small children.

Wartime history

Hedge End War Memorial
To avoid the air-raids, some of Southampton's citizens rented[5] accommodation or otherwise sought shelter in Hedge End during Second World War

In 1943 and 1944, during the buildup to D-Day and the invasion of Europe, Hedge End was on the outermost edge of a huge marshalling site set up in Hampshire by the military, known as Area C[6] Hedge End was actually part of sub-area Z within Area C[6] with the nearest camp, camp C3, located at Netley Common. St Johns Road and Upper Northam Road are shown on a military map dated 1 May 1944 as being operational routes for the flow of military vehicles around the area.[6] Upper Northam Road is also recorded on that map as being used as a vehicle park.[6]

Hedge End was situated within Regulated Area (No 2) established 31 March 1944,[5] which placed restrictions on the movement of people in the final build-up to D-Day.[5]

A V-1 flying bomb fell on HMS Cricket[7] a military camp just outside Hedge End on 15 July 1944[8]

Post-War growth

Development of another new road, the M27 motorway, enabled Hedge End to expand further in the final two decades of the 20th century, although as a Southampton suburb, rapid development had commenced in the two decades before the arrival of the motorway.

Hedge End is situated near Junctions 7 and 8 of the M27 motorway. With good access to the new infrastructure, there was rapid expansion of the village with office parks, out-of-town superstores and new residential areas.

The most recent major development in Hedge End has been that of Grange Park, situated to the North and East of the village centre. It has continued to grow extensively for several years, and now includes an extensive public park at Dowd's Farm. In the early 1990s the village gained Hedge End railway station, a stop on the Eastleigh-Portsmouth line. In 1992 the Parish Council renamed itself as a town Council.

On 22 May 2011 Marwell Wildlife was called in by Hampshire Constabulary to advise how to tranquilise a white tiger lurking in grass in the village. The tiger turned out to be a life-size cuddly toy.[9]

Population growth

New residential areas are still under development. The Hedge End population has continued to grow, and now exceeds 20,000, with new houses having been built at the former Dodd's Farm site adjacent to Grange Park, next to Kings Copse and Cranbourne Park.[10]

The nearby village of Botley was better established than Hedge End, but when the M27 was built, living close to the new motorway became more desirable. For this reason Botley has not grown as much as Hedge End, and was projected to shrink between 2001 and 2012.

Natural resources

In 2005 an oil company sought permission to search for oil reserves. These have not been exploited, due to their proximity to the residential area. The company is still, as of February 2010, seeking ways to access the oil.

Community facilities

Catering for the growth in population, new community facilities have been provided, including a library and a golf centre. A children's paddling pool has been built on the recreation ground that was once part of Botley Common.

A community theatre/cinema called the Berry Theatre has been built at Wildern School with support from the council. A new professional theatre on the site, funded by council tax, with seating up to 300 members of the local community, was completed in 2011. The Berry Theatre has gained a strong reputation in its opening months for drama, comedy, music, dance and film.

Hedge End Carnival

The Hedge End Carnival is one of the oldest carnivals still in existence in this part of Hampshire. The first Carnival was held in 1921, and raised money to pay for the services of a nurse, as there were no medical facilities in Hedge End at that time. Records do not exist to show whether or not a Carnival took place every year and it is thought that during the Second World War, the Carnival did not take place. The Carnival takes place the first Saturday in July, and the week leading up to Carnival Day sees a variety of events and entertainment organised by the Hedge End Carnival Committee, including a quiz night, dog show, whist drive, Bingo, heritage walks, and children's sports day. Other events throughout the year include a Senior Citizens' lunch in October, open to all pensioners in Hedge End; a Fireworks Fiesta and Fun Fair in November; and quiz nights. On Carnival Day, the Carnival Queen is crowned by a local dignitary, and leads the Carnival procession, accompanied by the Carnival Court consisting of princes and princesses, as well as the Senior Carnival Queen, through the streets of Hedge End. All profits raised by the Carnival and associated events are donated to local voluntary and charity organisations. According to the Constitution of the Hedge End Carnival Committee, all money raised must be used to benefit the people of Hedge End.

Radio station

The town has its own non-profit radio station — Skyline on 102.5FM[11] — which exists to promote and support community organisations and events. Broadcasts reach people in Hedge End, nearby Botley, West End and beyond. Founded by David Gates, Skyline was initially funded by grants and now relies on advertising from local businesses. This aims to cover the necessary running costs, i.e. radio licensing, utility bills and performing-rights fees for the music played on air. Skyline produces a wide variety of programmes — rock, country, pop, local bands, easy listening — and regularly features interviews from local community groups from the arts, environment and altruistic societies. All of the people involved in the station are unpaid volunteers. As of 10 February 2007, Skyline streams live on the internet.

In 2008 following a number of unsuccessful takeover attempts, presenter Mike Green bought the station which continues to broadcast its original blend of music.

Performing arts

The Performing Arts Company


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 The Changing Face of Hedge End. Joyce B Blyth
  2. King Athelstans's Charter, AD932
  3. 3.0 3.1 A tale of two villages. Bill Lyon. 1992.}}
  4. London Gazette, 29 February 1876
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Southampton and D-Day. Ingrid Peckham. 1994. ISBN 1-872649-04-1
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Hampshire and D-Day. Martin Doughty. ISBN 1-85741-047-5
  7. Local Heritage initiative website
  8. Southampton. An Illustrated History. Adrian Rance. 1986. ISBN 0-903852-95-0
  9. Gabbatt, Adam (22 May 2011). "White Tiger Toy Scare Causes Hampshire Police Alert". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/22/white-tiger-toy-alert-police-southampton. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  10. Hampshire County Environment Department's 2005 based Small Area Population Forecasts http://www.hants.gov.uk/factsandfigures/eastleighpop2005-12.html
  11. Skyline Community Radio 102.5 MHz FM

Outside links