The Hamble Valley has a wealth of fascinating local heritage connections and attractions which tell of years gone by and the role that the area has had in the history of southern Hampshire.
There are plenty of attractions across the Hamble Valley where the past comes to life! Discover Eastleigh’s past at Eastleigh Museum, which tells the story of a locomotive engine driver in the 1930s and has a regular programme of exhibitions, workshops, talks and family friend events and activities during school holidays.
See a fine example of the county’s agricultural heritage at the beautifully restored Bursledon Windmill. Built by Phoebe Langtry in 1813-14 and in full working order, you can have a go at grinding the flour and purchase a bag of the high quality flour to take home.
Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum at Swanwick was founded in 1897 and produced 20 million bricks a year in its heyday. Open on Sundays, visitors can explore the brickworkings and museum and see demonstrations of steam and pugmill engines. Regular open days and events provide exhibitions from historic cars to traditional crafts, along with a wildlife garden and coffee shop.
Westbury Manor Museum in Fareham tells the history of Fareham’s past including the ‘Fareham Reds’ which were locally produced bricks that built much of Victorian England; the largest export was The Royal Albert Hall, in London. There are local displays and events and activities for children, along with a Victorian public garden.
Visit the Heritage Centre within the Chapel at Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley and discover the history of largest military hospital. Opened by Florence Nightingale in 1863, Royal Victoria Hospital was over a quarter-mile long with 138 wards and around 1000 beds for the casualties of the Crimean War (1854- 56). Netley was also the home of the Army Medical School and one of its most famous doctors was Dr Watson, the partner of Sherlock Holmes. His connections with Netley are mentioned on the first page of 'A Study in Scarlet' the first Sherlock Holmes book.
Explore North Stoneham Park in Eastleigh and visit the remarkable WW1 War Shrine, which is being returned to its original condition. Part of the Restoration of Stoneham War Shrine project is the conservation of the historic parkland. Discover the history of the park and the connection of the Fleming family and St Nicholas Church, whose One Handed Clock which dates from the 17th century.
The Hampshire & Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology’s ‘Maritime Bus’ can often be found out and about in the Hamble region. The ‘Maritime Bus’ is a fully-accessible space in which people can move around and ‘play' with the interactive contents, all with a maritime archaeological theme. The contents are an inspiring cocktail of the ancient and futuristic and a visit to the Bus is a fantastic opportunity to find out about our maritime past. To find out where the ‘Maritime Bus’ will be next, please visit: www.hwtma.org.uk/futureevents.
Strolling through the villages and towns of the Hamble Valley you are guranteed to encounter a host of churches. Some are ancient, others are quite new; some are set in quiet spots, others on busy streets. Whatever their setting, these beautiful buildings have much to offer. Take a look at the Hidden Gems page for more information about these enchanting churches.
There are a series of heritage leaflets for the Hamble Valley covering the Maritime History and Aviation History, all of which is brought to life in the series of guided walks offered by the Hamble Valley Heritage Guides.