Village road names are not always named after the rich and famous. Instead they are used to remember individuals and families who have contributed in some way, be it by deed or gift to benefit the community and some just because they were well loved and respected members of the parish. Some village roads are named after Hampshire village names – Laverstoke, Horsebridge and Michelmersh. Roads on Nursling Estate are named after great ocean liners – Franconia, Mauretania, Canberra, Andes and Oriana.
Roads that are built on or near former green field sites or farms are named after those sites – Homefield, Shepherds Way, Phillips Close, Horns Hill Close, Routs Way. St Boniface Church contains memorials that explain four of Nursling’s street names:
Cranmer Drive – The Reverend Robert Cranmer was Rector of St Boniface Church for 33 years until her died in 1809 aged 70 years.
Wilks Close – The Revered Samuel Wilks died in 1872 aged 85 years after holding the position of Rector of St Boniface Church for 26 years. His last gesture to the parish was to appeal for annual subscriptions or donations for a new school to be built after the 1870 education act. He set a fine example by donating £20 and Nursling school was built on the site now occupied by the village shops.
Chambers Close – Revered G Chambers commenced his ministry in 1938 and in February 1941 he left to become an Army Chaplain never to return. He died less that a month before the end of World War II in the Far East as a prisoner of war in Japanese hands.
Crawford Close – Professor O.G.S. Crawford worked for the Ordnance Survey and lived in Redbridge Lane. Famous as an author, he was a fellow of the British Academy and was a pioneer in aerial surveys to assist archaeology. He researched and published a history of the village.
Blake Close – George Blake farmed at Adanac Farm and was also a builder. He built all the houses off Romsey Road at Maybush including Kennedy, Lancaster, Rosewall and Ashmead Roads. He had family connections in Canada – hence the name Adanac.
Loreille Gardens and Paulette Lacave Avenue – Michel Loreille, Mayor of Percy, together with Paulette Lacave, president Syndicate D’Initiative, headed the Percy delegation to Nursling and Rownhams in 1988 when it was agreed that a formal twinning should take place between the two villages. Normandy Close is also associated with the twinning.
Welch Way – The Welch family farmed Manor Farm in Church Lane, Nursling, retiring in 1970. Bob Welch did much work for the community and was a member of the Parish Council, the church and social club.
Emmett Road – The Emmets lived in a thatched cottage in Nursling Street where the old Police House now stands.
Lucas Close – Lucas Cottages were a pair of cottages between the Four Horse Shoes and entrance to Grove Place. They disappeared when the M27 was built.
Hurricane Drive and Nicholson Walk – Wing Commander James Brindley Nicolson was the first fighter pilot of the Second World War to be awarded the Victoria Cross for “Most Conspicuous Bravery” in his first flight in the Battle of Britain. During an engagement over Southampton his Hurricane was hit by four cannon shells, two of which wounded him. The other two set fire to his aircraft. When about to abandon the plane he sighted an enemy fighter which he attacked and shot down. He suffered serious burns and baled out, landing in Redbridge. His Hurricane crashed in the grounds of Rownhams Mount House (now the playing fields of Rownhams School). He received his VC from the King in 1940 and, after recovering from his injuries he took command of 27 squadron in 1944. He was killed when the Liberator he was flying crashed into the Bay of Bengal in May 1945.
Hedgerow Close – Along Balmoral Way can be seen two hedges. They are the boundaries of what was an ancient farm track. Rownhams Farm stood on this site, and the track led to the house. Test Valley Borough Council decided that this hedgerow was part of the village heritage and should be preserved. It was adopted by the Parish Council and the hedges have been professionally layed.
Fyeford Close – The spelling of Fyeford was somehow lost along the way. Henry Fiford was a Church Warden from 1877 – 1889 and Parish Sexton for many years. Somewhere behind where Sainsburys at Lordshill now stands there was row of cottages called Fifords Cottages. The Lane beside them was known locally as “Soapsuds Alley”. The tale if that the housewives who lived in the cottages did the laundry for the Army in the First World War. The cottages were built on a steep hill causing the soapy water from the wash-house to run down the lane, hence the name.
Phillips Close – Rownhams Farm was situated opposite St John’s Church and farmed by Fred and Doris Phillips. Fred spent his childhood at Bedwell Farm and delivered milk around the village for many years.
Mossleigh Avenue – Mossleigh House stood at the end of the path that runs from Bakers Drove alongside the lake. Occupiers included Percy Hendy, the garage proprietor and Princess Galitzine who lived there until its demolition – she was a relative of Peter Barker-Mill.
Rosebank Close – Rosebank was a large white house which stood back from Romsey Road half-way between Bakers Drove and Lordshill roundabout. It was occupied by Miss Gussie Barton.
Toogoods Way – Toogoods Seeds were world famous and the land on which the bungalows now stand was used as trial grounds for its flower seeds.
Fernyhurst Avenue – Fernyhurst House stood roughly at what is now Bridgers Close in an area that was known as Rownhams Woods. It was built by Reverend Wilson who lived there whilst he was vicar of the parish. There were large wooded grounds surrounded by a lake known locally as Poores Pond – this lake is now a feature of the Fernyhurst Estate and dates back to the Napoleonic War when it was constructed for the benefit of troops encamped nearby. During World War II the centre section of the house was destroyed during an air raid, killing several children who were evacuated there as a place of safety.
Watley Close – George Whatley was the landlord of the City Arms pub which stood roughly on the site of Cedar School. Commonly known as the “Hit and Miss”, the City Arms was used by many local farmers. The “h” got lost in the process of naming the road.
Hann Road – Ralph Hann was a Parish Councillor and his brother kept the Rownhams Cash stores which was, until recently, a hairdressing salon. They lived for many years in Salisbury Villa, Rownhams Lane.
Station Road – Nursling Station was closed in 1957 and most of the station buildings have been demolished leaving just the Station House, which was built in 1883. The house is now a private dwelling and is being kept as near to the original as possible.
Greenhill Lane – Greenhill is a large country house in pleasant grounds. It was built at the beginning of the 1900s and is now a rest home for ladies.
Nutshalling Avenue – This name is derived from Nutshulling, one of the ancient ways of spelling Nursling. It means “The family of the shelter by the nut tree.”
Broadbent Close – Len Broadbent lived in Greenhill Lane and was treasurer of St John’s Church for many years.
Bedwell Close – The Bedwell was the only public house actually in Rownhams. It was said to have the smallest bar in England. The pub was run by Walt Snelgrove and the last landlord was Mr Joslin. It closed in 1971.
Trowbridge Close – Mr Trowbridge lived at Rosemount in Bakers Drove and was well known in the village. He served for many years as a governor for Eastleigh High School.
Victory Way – Mr Barber occupied Rownhams House in the 1950s. The grounds later became the home of Victory Transport, a large and very successful long distance haulage company.
Blann Close – Harold Archibald Victor Blann was the village window cleaner