Caring for our town - past, present and future

Registered Charity No 1000447

Basingstoke Heritage Society

 Latest News...…

Membership Information
If a Basingstoke resident why not Join us? -  We need your support
Help us by joining the Basingstoke Heritage Society today.
Annual subscription - £5.00 per person, or £6 per household
      (Students and under 18’s FREE)

Membership Benefits:

Quarterly Newsletter

Occasional free talks, walks and visits to places of local interest

Opportunity to attend the Society’s monthly Business Meetings & make views known

Opportunity to contribute to submissions on issues of concern

Support the protection of your locality from inappropriate development

To download an application form go to the ‘contact us’ page.
The Society focuses its attentions on the town centre area of the Borough where residents have no Parish Councillors to represent them.  Particular emphasis is on the six conservation areas and any surrounding area likely to impact on the town.  Subject to this the Societies objectives are -

To promote high standards of planning and architecture.

To inform the public in the geography, history, natural history and architecture in the area.

To secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest.

You can follow and contact us on facebook by following this link.

General Data Protection Regulations 2018 – please click here for the BHS Data Privacy Policy
Church Square plaque

On December 4th , the mayor, Cllr Diane Taylor, with her Consort, Andy Taylor came to unveil our new interpretation sign in the Gardens of Remembrance in Church Square. We are grateful to the council for installing the sign. On the morning of December 3rd when I walked past, the workmen digging the holes for the posts had hit what was presumably the foundations of the houses in Church Square. If you haven’t seen the sign yet, then it’s across the road from the back door of M&S,  and up the steps into the gardens, then just  on the right. It was good that designer, Andy Thomsen was able to come.
Annual General Meeting followed by a presentation by:
  Bill Fergie, of The Hampshire Buildings
 Preservation Trust

  “Under the Skin”  

The Timber Framed Buildings of Basingstoke

Bill Fergie is an expert in timber-framed buildings and was once Director of Development of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

Free to members of the Basingstoke Heritage Society. £2 to non-members. Refreshments.

As the AGM is in one of the town’s finest timber-framed buildings, we will have a wonderful example around us. Do come if you can, we like to meet our members. Visitors welcome for a small donation. Refreshments including good cake.

Gift of trees

The committee has decided to make a gift of a tree to each of the central town parks – Glebe Gardens, War Memorial Park and Eastrop Park. We hope our members will support us in this offer. More to come later.  The society was asked many years ago to include the Tree Wardens as part of our remit. We have always had hard-working Tree Wardens on our committee and this gift recognizes that association.
34-36 Winchester Street

This old painted sign is in the alleyway between The Wheatsheaf and the west end of the row of old shops. As there is a planning application in for 34-36,  which involves demolition of some of the buildings at the rear, we were concerned for this sign. In the early years of the 20th century, George Mansfield had a fruiterer and confectioner business in no. 34   and a baker called Henry Cleeve  was in no. 36. We think that the sign will date from then so is over 100 years old. The conservation team could
only protect the sign through a comment, and then a condition, on the planning consent. We asked the council to do this and it has happened. We did nominate the shops for the Local List, but they already have ‘notable building’ status in the Conservation Area and are not in a sufficiently original state for the Local List. The planning condition requires the sign to be preserved.

If you remember the SHLAA, then now we have the SHELAA. Essentially it is a hunt for potential housing sites. We looked at the sites listed, and one was Glebe Farm in Churchill Way. We don’t think that there was ever a Glebe Farm, but it has a sign on it, saying ‘Glebe Farm’.  It may be ancillary to the Vicarage which used to be in Chute  House. Comments welcome.

(Left) Part of the visible buildings on Churchill Way – the wall is the boundary with Chute House. This looks like a hayloft. These bits of the old town tucked so close to the new are interesting.
Local History Day  

This was part of our display at the Local History Day in the Discovery Centre on October 19th. It was a very successful day – over 200 people were counted through and there were displays from many groups and loads of old photographs of the town. This

An interesting article about some old stereoscopic slides of the Basingstoke Canal was sent to the society.  This map below, shows the site of the Wharf in Basingstoke. Eastrop Mill is where the Eastrop roundabout is today.

These are  two of the panels from the Triumphal Gates sculture designed by Peter Parkinson and made by blacksmith Richard Quinnell in 1992. There are 16 panels with local stories on them, and although there is a publication about them, there is nothing close by to help with identification.

The top one here is clear, is it not? But who knows quite what the bottom one describes.

We are considering a plaque of some kind, nearby, to help visitors with deciphering the panels.

In case you were puzzled. The top one shows Mrs Blunden, buried alive in the Old Cemetery, and the other is Thomas Hardy’s ‘Stoke Barehills’, his name for Basingstoke in his Wessex novels, showing Basingstoke nestled among the North Hampshire Downs.

Venue:    Church Cottage

Date:   Tuesday 24th March  

Time: 7.30  (park at Church Cottage after 7 pm)