|New Forest East|
Totton is a town in Hampshire on the eastern edge of the New Forest and at the top of the tidal reach of the River Test. It close to the city of Southampton; not quite part of the city but greatly affected by the latter's urban growth and its road systems. Totton shares a civil parish with neighbouring Eling, which is contiguous with it and lying just to the south, separated only by the slicing path of the A35 dual carriageway.
Totton is often considered to be made up of several smaller villages, such as Testwood, Calmore and Hammonds Green (as well as the original village of Totton) which have been connected by new clusters of housing to form the town as it is today. This is backed up by the presence of several areas of local shops, which served their respective villages in the past, and to an extent still do today. Until the 1967 forest perambulation fencing, New Forest ponies were free to roam its streets. At their closest points, Totton and Ashurst are less than 400 yards apart, if measured from the closest buildings.
Totton's town centre has changed little since the 1970s. Commercial Road and the A35 causeway are the main exit routes from the town.
About the town
The areas behind Calmore Industrial Estate by the River Test have been regenerated with lakes for boating, but their main use is for fishing and as a water supply resource.
Eling can be accessed 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.
There is a Town Council-run heritage centre, with details of the history of Totton and Eling.
The Iron Age Hillfort at Tatchbury Mount is evidence of early settlement in the Totton area and Netley Marsh on the edge of Totton was the site of an early battle between Anglo Saxon invaders under Cerdic and native Britons under Natanleod. The construction of Testwood Lakes revealed a treasure-trove of ancient artefacts including one of the oldest known bridges in England, believed to date to around c.1,500BC. The area's history is inevitably closely connected with ship and boat building but more with its timber trade. It was the site of much illegal dealing in the timber unlawfully obtained from the New Forest.
The original village of Totton can be described as the areas of Totton, Testwood and the Salmon Leap, dissected by the A36 and the A336 and bordered by the River Test. From this, many new developments were made to expand the town. The Calmore estate was built in the early 1970s to the north of the town, and subsequent housing has merged the estate to the town as a whole. Extended housing to the Hounsdown region also occurred during the 1970s, with the construction of the school and the increased housing found there. In the late 1980s and 1990s, more housing was built to the west of the town towards Netley Marsh and along Ringwood Road. These developments, collectively referred to as West Totton, consisted of a new communal area and church and hall as well as huge amounts of new homes.
New Developments on the former BAT sports ground and Little Testwood Farm by Linden Homes is set to take the population of the town to a new high of over 29,000 people. Despite this no new facilities are to be provided, and the current ones will, as a result, be put under larger pressure.
Since the end of Second World War, the town has emphasised its connections and proximity to Southampton, due to the prosperity to be found there, but more recently – particularly since the building of West Totton transformed the area beyond all recognition – the Totton and Eling community has attempted to return to its roots as a smaller independent New Forest settlement.
The town has easy access to the nearby M27 motorway, to Salisbury by way of the A36 Salisbury Road, to Lyndhurst and Southampton on the A35 and to the Waterside region by the A326.
The town also has numerous cycle routes, which started with the suburban cycleway through West Totton, constructed when the estate was built and running from Hounsdown to Calmore Road. This has further been extended to two on-road routes to the centre of Totton from Calmore schools down Water Lane, and down Salisbury Road. In addition, there are several links to the New Forest cycle network at Ashurst and Foxhills.
- Cricket: Totton and Eling Cricket Club
- AFC Totton, who play at Testwood Stadium
- Totton & Eling FC, who play at Little Testwood Farm
- Rugby union: Tottonians, playing at Totton College.
These churches and that of Eling form the Team parish of Totton and are part of the Diocese of Winchester.
- Baptist: Testwood Baptist Church
- Methodist/United Reformed Church: Trinity Church, in West Totton
- "Netley Marsh". .hants.gov.uk. 8 November 2006. http://www3.hants.gov.uk/localpages/south-west/southampton/netley-marsh.htm. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- "Testwood Lakes | Wessex Archaeology". Wessexarch.co.uk. 28 April 2008. http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/projects/hampshire/testwood/index.html. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- TNA ADM 106/904/199, 238 Mr. Winnington. Opinion on the knee of timber allegedly stolen from the New Forest 7 July 1738: ADM 106/904/244 Mr. Winnington, Lincoln's Inn. Account of the trial of Thomas Tucker for receiving the knee of timber from the New Forest. Found not guilty 17 July 1738
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