Places of Interest
PLACES OF INTEREST IN THE PARISH
The church of St Mary was built in 1753 on the site of an earlier church which dated from the mid-seventh century; the tower was added in 1769 built with bricks which were carted from the Duke of Bolton’s hunting lodge at Abbotstone ( since demolished). It contains a memorial to Mary Sumner, an elaborate tomb to Admiral Rodney’s wife
Old Alresford House was rebuilt by Admiral George Rodney, who became Lord Rodney in 1782. Admiral Rodney (1719-1792) had a distinguished career in the Navy winning many battles against the French and Spanish fleets. His family lived in the house until 1870.
Old Alresford Place partly dates from the early seventeenth century. It was the rectory until 1908. The house generally dates from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. A private house until when it was bought by the Diocese of Winchester in 1961. It is now a retreat and conference centre.
Old Alresford Pond (which is almost entirely within the parish boundary) was constructed about 1199 by the Bishop of Winchester to provide fish. The Great Weir is reputed to be the oldest manmade artefact in the country.
The Village Green was reclaimed in the 1960s by the efforts of villagers from a marshy state. It is now owned by the Parish Council.
The Christy Memorial Hall (named for Joseph Fell Christy, a prominent villager of the early twentieth century) was opened in 1912 and since been twice enlarged.
The Fulling Mill (off the Abbotstone road and over the River Arle) dates from the early 13th century. There were originally a number of fulling mills in the area used in the processing of cloth from the many sheep grazing locally.
Upton House in Colden Lane was built by Lord Rodney’s brother James in 1768. The Onslow family, who lived there from about 1812 to the late nineteenth century, built the village school in 1846 (it closed in 1985 and is now a private house), the Onslow Almshouses (now two but originally three) in 1843 and Southdowns in 1838 which was originally for the training of girls for domestic service, then a children’s home from about 1886. Since the mid-1990s it has been a housing development.
Old Alresford Working Men’s Reading Room (now Rose Cottage) was started by the Rev George Sumner and built at his expense in 1879. There was a Library and a Games Room and elaborate rules banning alcohol and listing subscriptions. About 58 men were present at the opening ceremony
Hill House, Colden Lane
Reputedly a lodging house on the old Winchester road. Rebuilt mid-eighteenth century it was the Rectory from 1905-38.
Weir House, Abbotstone Road
Rumour has it that Sir Francis Lindley, the owner at the time, was fishing there with Neville Chamberlain on the afternoon that the latter returned from his visit to Munich to obtain Hitler’s signature.
There are other old houses in the Parish such as Pinglestone House, Manor Farm ,and the much restored CareHome.
The Drovers Return, Basingstoke Road - now a private house. Originally three adjoining cottages built in the mid seventeenth century to provide an inn and accommodation for drovers bringing cattle to the market in New
Upton House in Colden Lane was built by Lord Rodney’s brother James in 1768. The Onslow family, who lived there from about 1812 to the late nineteenth century, built the village school in 1846 (it closed in 1985 and is now a private house), the Onslow Almshouses (now two but originally three) in 1843 and Southdowns in 1838 which was originally for the training of girls for domestic service, then a children’s home from about 1886. Since the mid-1990s it has been developed for housing.