Hedge End

Hedge End

Infobox UK place
official_name= Hedge End
map_type= Southampton
country= England
region= South East England

static_image_caption= The town centre
latitude= 50.9135
longitude= -1.3041
os_grid_reference= SU490128
post_town= SOUTHAMPTON
postcode_area= SO
postcode_district= SO30
dial_code= 01489
constituency_westminster= Eastleigh (constituency)
civil_parish= Hedge End
shire_district= Eastleigh
shire_county= Hampshire
website= http://www.hedgeendtowncouncil.co.uk

Hedge End is a town located in Hampshire in England. It is situated to the east of the City of Southampton, neighbouring the district of West End and Botley. Hedge End lies within the administrative borough of Eastleigh and is part of the Southampton Urban Area.

It is sometimes mistakenly claimed that the Rose Bowl, home of Hampshire County Cricket Club is part of Hedge End. The Rose Bowl is situated nearby in West End benefitting from the road and rail links that serve the area and allowing Hedge End residents to benefit from its proximity, but the Rose Bowl is not within the administrative boundaries of Hedge End.


The earliest history of the area now known as Hedge End is lost in the Dark Ages. There are few records. The Belgae tribe inhabited this area prior to the Roman conquest. The Roman Road that ran from Clausentum (Southampton) to Portus Adurni (Portchester Castle) and Noviomagus Reginorum (Chichester) is known to pass through the area The Changing Face of Hedge End. Joyce B Blyth] [Ordnance Survey] . 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 932 AD [King Athelstans's Charter, 932 A.D.] . The road that linked those two river crossings would have followed the approximate route of the modern Grange Road . 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. At that time, Winchester was the capital of England. Formerly, it was the capital of Wessex. 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.

Farming at the Manor of Shamblehurst is mentioned in a record dating to 1219 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. That area is towards the bottom of the hill that rises up to Netley Common and is rich with natural streams and springs. Prior to the Erection of Cottages Act 1588, an Englishman could build his house on common land if he could raise the roof over his head and have a fire in the hearth between sunrise and sunset and claim the dwelling as his home. That procedure and the presence of a reliable water supply would have allowed a few dwellings to become established on Botley Common from 1250 onwards.

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

The Manor of Shamblehurst died out in the sixteenth century. Botleigh Grange was built in the 16th centuryA tale of two villages. Bill Lyon. 1992. ISBN 0-86146-085-3] on land that was formerly part of the Manor of Shamblehurst. 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 May 19th 1735, 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. Hedge End is also marked on a 1759 map of Southampton.

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.

Growing into a village

brought travellers closer to Hedge End. 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. 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. Some plots were used for development, two acres were for Allotments and three acres were assigned to the Lord of the Manor, William Warner to be used for a Recreation Ground.

St. Johns School was built in 1863, admitting its first 13 children on January 18th 1864 . By 1885, the building had been enlarged twice. By 1888, the building was also used as a Library.

St. John's Church was consecrated on July 15th 1874. In February 1876, St. Johns, Hedge End was constituted as a separate parish for ecclesiastical purposes. [London Gazette, Feb 29th 1876] .

A sub-Post Office was established on August 2nd 1894. Hedge End was constituted a civil Parish at its inaugural meeting on December 14th 1894. In 1895, the Parish took over responsibility for the recreation ground. 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 strawbery growing area. Its produce was despatched to London and Scotland by train service from Botley station .

St. Johns Room was built in 1907, which was the Church Hall until the Underhill Centre was opened in the late 20th Century. St. Johns Room now serves as a day nursery for small children.

Wartime history

In 1943 and 1944, during the build up 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 CHampshire and D-Day. Martin Doughty. ISBN 1-85741-047-5] Hedge End was actually part of sub-area Z within Area C with the nearest camp, camp C3, located at Netley Common. St Johns Road and Upper Northam Road are shown on a military map dated 1st May 1944 as being operational routes for the flow of military vehicles around the area. Upper Northam Road is also recorded on that map as being used as a vehicle park.

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

A V-1 flying bomb fell on HMS Cricket [Local Heritage initiative website] a military camp just outside Hedge End on 15th July 1944Southampton. An Illustrated History. Adrian Rance. 1986. ISBN 0-903852-95-0]

Becoming a town

Development of another new road, the M27 motorway enabled Hedge End to expand further in the second half of the 20th century.

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, almost reaching the village of Fair Oak. In the early 1990s the village gained Hedge End railway station, a stop on the Eastleigh-Portsmouth line. In 1992 the Parish Council was upgraded to Town Council status.

Population growth

The population grew rapidly from an estimated 1,000 in the 1950s to around 17,978 in 2001.

New residential areas are still under development. The Hedge End population is predicted to reach 21,456 in 2012. [Hampshire County Environment Department's 2005 based Small Area Population Forecasts http://www.hants.gov.uk/factsandfigures/eastleighpop2005-12.html]

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 is 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 June 2008, 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 (The WAVE) has been built at Wildern School with support from Eastleigh Borough Council.


The town is served well by Wildern Secondary School which currently holds around 1,800 pupils. The Wildern site, on Wildern Lane near the town centre, houses a high-tech media facility known as the "d.@rt Centre" (d.@rt representing Digital Art"). It also has a recently renovated sports centre which serves the local community with a large sports hall, indoor heated swimming pool, toddlers' swimming pool, gym facilities and a professional dance studio. The school also has a £250,000 Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), an all-weather surface similar to Astroturf.

King Copse School is also in Hedge End, located near Cranbourne Park. Kings Copse Primary School is currently undergoing a complete rebuild and will open as a state-of-the-art school in 2008.

An additional primary school, "Wellstead", opened at Dowds Farm in Grange Park in April 2008.

Radio station

The town has its own radio station - Skyline on 102.5FM (http://www.skylinecommunityradio.co.uk/) [radio station - Skyline Community Radio 102.5 MHz FM http://www.skylinecommunityradio.co.uk/] which is non-profit and exists to promote and support community organisations and events. The station broadcasts reach up to 110,000 people in Hedge End, nearby Botley and West End and beyond. The station was initially funded by grants and by founder David Gates and now relies on competitively low cost 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. Most of the people involved in the station are unpaid volunteers. Skyline produces a wide variety of programmes: rock, country, pop, local bands, easy listening and it regularly features interviews from local community groups from the arts, environment and altruistic societies. The station, as of 10th of February 2007, now streams live on the internet

Performing arts

The award-winning Performing Arts Company practises Monday and Sunday nights in the HEYCA (Hedge End Youth and Community) centre, formerly St. Johns School,. opposite The Fountain pub. Recent shows include "Fame", "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and "Summer Holiday", all of which have been met with popular support and positive reviews from the local media. The group has been active for over ten years and started producing shows at Wildern School. Following a long period performing at the Eastpoint Centre in Thornhill, the company has now progressed to The Point, Eastleigh, its biggest venue yet.


External links

* [http://www.lhi.org.uk/projects_directory/projects_by_region/south_east/hampshire/hms_cricketcricket_camp_heritage_initiative/background.html Local Heritage initiative: HMS Cricket]

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