This month is a big one for Waterlooville as the town marks its 200th anniversary. Below, local historian Steve Jones outlines the origin of the town, and Jeff Travis looks at the celebration events that are coming up.
The origin of Waterlooville began with a Parliamentary Act in 1810 for the Enclosure of the Forest of Bere.
Prior to this, the forest covered much of this part of Hampshire towards the Sussex border.
By the beginning of the 19th century there were about 16,000 acres of forest surviving, much covering the area north of what would become Waterlooville.
Through this area ran the London Road, a turnpike road since 1710, which ran from Portsmouth to London.
In 1812 the Enclosure Act was implemented and allotments of land were sold off along the area of the London Road and the older tracks that would become Stakes Hill Road and Hambledon Road which formed a crossroads close to Wheat Lane End, which the new settlement would initially become known as.
One of the first purchasers was Thomas Fitzherbert who in February 1814 sold his corner allotment of land of three acres to Charles Matthews, a Portsea brewer, who subsequently built an inn on the plot of land.
This inn became known as the Heroes of Waterloo Inn and is first recorded in the Hampshire Telegraph on April 1, 1816.
Around the same time a further four properties were built close by.
Legend has it that the inn was named after troops who had disembarked at Portsmouth after the battles of the Napoleonic Wars, including the great victory at Waterloo and stopped here on their journey.
There is no evidence to suggest this actually happened but it is feasible that troops passed this way on their way to other parts of the country.
Whatever the truth, the inn became known as the Heroes of Waterloo and the name subsequently became associated with the development which occurred in the locality.
The inn established itself as a coaching inn, halfway between Portsmouth and Petersfield, a convenient place to change horses.
Interestingly, the area to the west of the crossroads was part of the parish of Farlington and the land to the east of the crossroads was deemed ‘extra parochial’ – meaning that the land was not affiliated to any particular parish and was free of land tax, tythes, and parish rates.
During the 1820s and 1830s further development occurred close to the crossroads with a mixture of larger residences springing up attracting people from Portsmouth and other towns along with tradesmen forming the new development in to a self-contained community.
On the periphery of the new village larger estates were being formed such as Stakes Hill Lodge, Oaklands and the Hart Plain Estate.
In January 1831 St George’s church was consecrated giving the village its own church and it is during the 1830s that we first get the name of Waterloo and Waterloo Ville, other than Wheat Lane End as the name of the new community.
In a sales particular of September 17, 1832, we get the first mention of Waterloo Vill with an advertisement for a house to be let on the London Road.
In August 1834, the community was described as ‘Waterloo Ville extra parochial’ but for the most part the name of Waterloo was applied to the community in this period.
In general terms the name of the new village was becoming known as either Waterloo or Waterloo –Ville. Both the definitions appeared acceptable.
Would you like to get involved in Waterlooville 200?
There will be plenty of opportunities for local individuals, groups or companies to be part of this exciting project.
These include: volunteering to help with researching and looking into the history of the local area, supporting workshops, events and activities, sponsorship, running an activity or talk, stewarding or helping out at an event.
Until June 20
Waterlooville Town Trail and Quiz
Location: Waterlooville library and precinct
Take part in the Waterlooville Town Trail and enter the quiz throughout the local shops. Pick up your booklet from Waterlooville Library. Enter your completed quiz into the competition for the chance to a prize. 1st prize £50, 2nd prize £30 and 3rd prize £10. Prizes to be drawn at 3pm at Waterlooville library on June 20.
June 9, 7pm
Talk: Commemorating Waterloo 1815 - 2015
Location: Waterlooville Library. Cost £3. A talk by historian and author Dr Russ Foster. This illustrated talk will discuss the huge impact which the Battle of Waterloo had on the British nation in the years after 1815. Tickets are available from Waterlooville library.
June 10, 7pm
Talk: Waterloo; a magnificent victory or an inglorious blunder?
Location: Waterlooville library. Cost £3. A talk by the author and historian Nick Lipscombe, reflecting on the victory at the Battle of Waterloo. Tickets are available from Waterlooville library.
June 11, 7pm
Talk: Dancing into battle: the Duchess of Richmond’s ball
Location: Waterlooville library. Cost £3.
A talk by James Peill, curator of the Goodwood Collection, about the background to the ball, the Duke and Duchess of Richmond and their family’s involvement in Waterloo.
Market Place Music
Market Place Music, a day with lots of bands and performers playing throughout Waterlooville town centre in a massive musical celebration.
June 13 to 21
Waterlooville Music Festival 2015
Location: St George’s Church, Waterlooville town centre
A week-long musical extravaganza, offering a wide range of musical genres and attracting musicians from right across the county and beyond.
June 17, 7pm
Talk: Waterlooville, the first 200 years.
Location: Waterlooville library. Cost £3.
A talk by local historian and author Stephen Jones, looking at the story of Waterlooville and its history.
The unveiling of the Waterlooville 200 commemorative plaque
Location: Waterlooville Precinct near bandstand
From 10am there will be music provided by the HMS Nelson Saxophone Quintet and at 10.30am the plaque will be unveiled. Refreshments will be provided afterwards at the Waterlooville library
JUNE 19, 7pm
Performance of ‘A Damn’d Close-Run Thing’. Location: Waterlooville library. Cost: £3
An opportunity to hear from the author and historian Rupert Matthews about Waterloo and its commanders followed by the performance of ‘A Damn’d Close-Run Thing’ written by Piers Burton-Page, about an improbable posthumous encounter between the Emperor Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington. This short specially written entertainment for Waterlooville 200 is comic and serious and is staged and performed in costume by the Winton Players.
Waterlooville 200 Day
Location: Waterlooville precinct
A day filled with commemoration and festivities throughout the precinct. This will include:
11am Procession from St George’s Church to Waterlooville library
11.45am The flying of the new Waterlooville Flag and unveiling the plaque
12pm Firing of the cannon
1pm Winton Players in A Damn’d Close-Run Thing
2pm Performances from Fine Voice Singers Academy
2.30pm Winton Players in A Damn’d Close-Run Thing
3.15pm Announcement of the town quiz winner at Waterlooville Library, Wellington Room
In praise of Waterlooville
3pm. Location: The Church of the Sacred Heart and St Peter the Apostle
Local churches will join together at The Church of the Sacred Heart and St Peter the Apostle, for songs of praise in honour of Waterloo and Waterlooville. Tickets are free but there are a limited number. Book tickets through Waterlooville library or participating churches.
YOUNG people from across the area have been busy designing the new town flag.
Local schools and groups were challenged to come up with a fitting design to represent Waterlooville.
Clare Jefferson Jones, project manager for Waterloo to Waterlooville 200, said: ‘Lovely work has been produced and the judges are going to have a hard time picking a winner.
‘The winning design will be raised up the new flag pole on Saturday, June 20 as part of the Waterlooville 200 Day.
‘Artists and historians have been visiting schools creating a timeline of Waterlooville’s history.
‘Ten banners will be designed from the schoolchildren’s work and these will be available for exhibitions and school projects.
‘The finished designs will be shown as part of the Waterlooville 200 festivities at Waitrose and Waterlooville library. ‘
Meanwhile Rachel Madocks School, in Cowplain, and local Scouts and Brownies are helping with the creation of eight regimental banners which will be used in the parade.
Clare added: ‘We’re delighted to announce a photographic competition for Waterlooville.
‘If you are an enthusiastic photographer, either amateur or professional, enter a digital image that you feel describes Waterlooville today.
‘The final winning design will be printed and framed and exhibited in the Waterlooville library.’
All photographs should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 10.
Kate Saunders, heritage and participation manager at The Spring in Havant, which is a partner in the project, said: ‘It’s coming together well and it’s going to be exciting.
‘People have been very enthusiastic.
‘Waterlooville is very excited about celebrating its 200th anniversary.
‘People are coming to take part all over the place.’