This house in Bournemouth Road, situated near the junction with Brickfield Lane in Chandler’s Ford, was called at the turn of the nineteenth century, “Prestonpans Villa”. In 1901 it was occupied by Mr Samuel Batley, Elizabeth, his wife and a domestic servant.
Samuel was born in Medway, Kent but grew up in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. His father Robert was a brickmaker and by 1871 at the age of 19 Samuel was already making his mark as a sanitary pipe manufacturer. It is not certain when Samuel moved south but in the 1890’s he was working for Hooper & Ashby, a large Southampton based company of builder’s merchants and manufacturers of cement and bricks.
We know that in 1897 a patent was registered in the joint names of Ashby and Batley for a system of heating drying sheds using steam pipes. Samuel Batley was the manager of the new Hooper and Ashby brickyard situated just a short distance behind his home. This was the first works in Chandler’s Ford to use machinery to make bricks and was capable of making 30,000 bricks per day. At this rate of production the available clay was soon exhausted and a new larger brickworks was opened near Swanwick in 1897 based on the one already open in Chandler’s Ford.
Mr Batley would have been very busy at this time travelling between Chandler’s Ford and Swanwick overseeing the building of the new works and installation of the machinery. We do not know the exact date the Hooper and Ashby yard in Chandler’s Ford closed but it would have been very early in the 20th century. Samuel Batley moved closer to Swanwick and died aged 57, in 1909. His estate, which amounted to £1818, was bequeathed to the church, specifically to the Wesleyan Minister Albert Salmon.
The works near Swanwick became The Bursledon Brick Company. It is now a museum (Bursledon Brickworks) open to the public. On display is original machinery, some of which was moved from Chandlers Ford.