Locks Heath

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Locks Heath
Locks Heath Free Church, Hunts Pond Road, Locks Heath (May 2019) (2).JPG
Locks Heath Free Church
Grid reference: SU516072
Location: 50°51’46"N, 1°16’5"W
Population: 7,104  (2011)
Post town: Southampton / Fareham
Postcode: SO31
Dialling code: 01489
Local Government
Council: Fareham

Locks Heath is a village which has become a western residential suburb of Fareham, in the south of Hampshire. It is immediately surrounded by a collection of villages including Sarisbury to the west, Swanwick, Park Gate and Whiteley to the north, Warsash to the south-west and Titchfield to the south-east.

There is a parish church, St John The Baptist, and one pub, the latter located within the Locks Heath Shopping Centre and called The Strawberry Tavern, but previously known as The Lock Stock and Barrel.

The population of the village itself in 2011 was 7,104 whilst a wider 'Locks Heath residential area' has been identified which, including surrounding villages, has 43,359 inhabitants in 2011.


St John the Baptist, Locks Heath

In the late 19th and early 20th Century, the most important local activity in this area was strawberry growing. The industry developed as a result of the 1866 Enclosure Acts which allowed the common land to be split into a large number of small plots.[1] The new plot owners needed a crop that would give them a quick income from a small outlay. The combination of suitable soils and a mild climate, free from spring frosts, proved ideal for the production of early cropping strawberries. Their early ripening made them desirable in markets across the country. Swanwick railway station opened on 2 September 1889[2] and helped to facilitate the transportation of large quantities of strawberries to customers all over the country.

Strawberries were transported to the waiting trains by horse and cart. A lasting reminder of this is a rail on the outside edge of what is now the pavement leading down the hill to the station. This was used to line up the wheels of the horse-drawn carts, so as to enable easy unloading of the carts. The station was also originally much bigger with what remains of a second branch line still visible under the tarmac of what is now the station car park. A short way from the station a warehouse can be seen which used to be the 'Swanwick and District Basket Factory' which supplied the baskets to pack the strawberries into for transportation. The outline of the old signage is still visible on the outside of the building.

The strawberry industry hit its peak in the 1920s and then began to slip into decline. This was caused by a variety of factors, including the demand for development land, competition from abroad and the increasingly strict requirements of retailers for standardised products.

Although strawberries are still grown in the area, much of the land once used is now covered with houses. Because of the nature of the plots of land which were once the strawberry farms, many of the houses are built in relatively small estates. The mixture of old and new gives Locks Heath a unique character, and there are numerous references to strawberries in the area, such as The Talisman pub (Talisman being a variety of strawberry)[3] and the Joseph Paxton pub, the name of a locally grown strawberry named after the gardener and designer of the Crystal Palace.

About the village

The mid-1980s saw significant development of the Locks Heath area with the construction of new housing and The Lockswood centre was built to provide additional facilities including The Lock Stock and Barrel pub (renamed the Strawberry Field Tavern in 2013) and a supermarket operated by Waitrose. The centre now provides a focal point for the area and also includes a library/community centre and a GP surgery which, as of May 2013, is only accepting additional people from Warsash.

Sport and leisure

  • Football:
    • Locks Heath F.C.
    • Locks Heath Lions (for ages 5–18)
  • Badminton
  • Bowls
  • Tennis

Outside links


  1. "Fareham Borough Council: Locks Heath". Fareham.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. https://web.archive.org/web/20120207144345/http://www.fareham.gov.uk/discover_local_area/whats_here/locksheath.aspx. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  2. Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 225. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199. 
  3. "Accession : TALISMAN - GenBerry Database: Strawberry Genetic Resources in Europe". http://www.bordeaux.inra.fr/eustrawberrydb/accession/79. Retrieved 30 April 2015.