Caring for our town - past, present and future

Registered Charity No 1000447

Basingstoke Heritage Society


 Latest News...…


      July 2021



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
William Russell of Basing with his wife, Mabel and daughters Ann, Mabel, Elizabeth and Jane.
Christie’s will auction this painting in the Autumn, but when it was presented for auction, they contacted us to see if we could provide some information about  him.  We knew that William (1694-1767) was part of the Russell family associated with Goldings and Bedford House, and that he was the son of William and Jane Russell, and brother to John whose son, Francis, had a fairly illustrious career in India. William and Mabel have been difficult to trace – the HRO provided his will, which showed, unlike his wealthy siblings, that his bequests amounted to 1 guinea each for surviving daughters and one grand-daughter. After his death, rows seem to have continued about debts. Daughters Jane (Jenny) and Elizabeth show up in other records as does Ann Henchman (grand-daughter probably) and his wife, but apart from a birth record for Mabel (Mebello) and possibly a son, I haven’t found much trace of them. It is possible that not all the daughters were alive at the time the portrait was painted – the flowers they hold may provide a key to this. I do not yet know the size of the painting. Although William did not share the wealth which the next generation enjoyed, it was his descendant through his grand-daughter’s marriage to a William Apletre, whose son, another William married Lucy Shipperdson, niece of Anne Russell and thus inherited Goldings. Their descendants lived in the house throughout the 19th century.   
Visitors to The Vyne will know the portrait entitled Mrs Winifred Cufaude dressed as St Claire’. In a recent article in The Douai magazine, John Jenkins has researched evidence for the sitter as a connection to the Cufaude family – Mary Hunt who was a member of an Augustinian Order of English nuns in Paris and was the sister-in-law of John Cufaude d.1701.
Facebook turned up a post by Bob Moore, who likes to investigate interesting structures which are mostly abandoned. He posted a YouTube video of a Pump House at Basing Fen, close to Swing Bridge cottages. This looks relatively old and of interest. It is on the Hampshire Environment Record but with scant information and is said to have piped water up to Hackwood House or Farm and cottages.  Research was done by an Industrial Archaeology Group at Southampton University in the 1970s.  We would like to nominate it for the Local List and have established that it seems to have nothing to do with the Canal. Research continues. Anyone who can help, please contact us. 1888-1914 map below.
https://youtu.be/2ZQPyPOH4oo is the link to watch his video.
Changes to planning law coming into force later this year will affect what is called permitted development rights particularly for commerical to residential conversions. The change here is that the rights have been extended to conservation areas, so that for instance there may be an impact on the conversions of many of the Top of Town buildings. This may include changes to the ground floor of premises. Might Winton Square to Hackwood Road  become partly residential?

Flashback articles in the Basingstoke Gazette. We are submitting articles on a regular basis, sharing with Ian Richards, who runs a Facebook page on Basingstoke History and occasional archive Gazette articles by the late Robert Brown and Arthur Attwood.

The council are to rename some of their meeting rooms. We suggested first woman mayor of Basingstoke Edith Alice Weston among others …  Harriot Stanton Blatch, Dorothy Liddell, Jane Austen, Betty Holmes and Freya Stark. (Some of those must have rooms already).

Festival Place is planning some artwork inspired by ‘Basingstoke’ to go on the rather unprepossessing part of the wall between the Church Street exit from M&S and the ramp over Timberlake Road. Cathy and Debbie met with Centre Director, Neil Churchill and Emily Palmer from Property Management. They are planning a ‘Community Wall’   with 3 professional artists working alongside children. The work will be on large inflexible banners. We made the point about the Great Wall being a deliberate ‘castle’ which needs respect, but we could not argue that the bit in question does need some help. We had a thought that some ‘ghost’ images of former buildings from before town development might go here, but this is not what will happen, although they did say that we might suggest some images and information to go inside the centre.

Park Prewett’s cemetery. The little cemetery on the A339 at the Wootton turn is erroneously getting Facebook comments that it was for Canadian military who died at Park Prewett during both wars. It was however, for patients who died in the hospital over many years and presumably who had no relatives who wanted an alternative burial site. In more recent years it has been a site for neonates and stillbirth deaths. A few years ago, we tried fruitlessly to locate the burial records, which had been held at the North Hants Hospital, but were nowhere to be found.
The April 2019 newsletter explained that this installation at the now demolished Fort Hill school had been removed during the demolition. We had asked QMC if they could take it and they had agreed. We were told it was in the County Store at Manor Farm. Since then, the artist Rachel Fenner has gone to see them – they were lying in a field – and the lower parts were much damaged. She agreed that they were not repairable and that their history is now just this – a visual memory known to many pupils and teachers.
Do get in touch  - we like to hear from you.