Thanks to Chippy Minton and Mrs Chippy enjoying their walk in Cranbury Park, readers may be interested to hear about another piece of history attached to the park …
I am sure we are all familiar with the Buttercross in Winchester’s High Street. This fifteenth-century market cross stands 43 feet high and is reckoned to be the finest in the country. True to its name, its original function was for market traders to display the butter they had for sale, as well as cheese, eggs and milk. With four statues in niches, only the one of St John the Evangelist is original, the other three having been replaced during restoration in 1865 by Sir George Gilbert Scott (architect of many notable buildings and monuments including the Albert Memorial in London).
So remarkable was the Buttercross that Winchester was lucky to hang on to it all. In 1770 it was sold off by the Paving Commissioners to Thomas Dummer, a county magnate and owner of Cranbury Park, just north of Chandler’s Ford. When Mr Dummer tried to have the cross removed to his property, he hadn’t counted on the determination of the people of Winchester. When the workmen arrived with winches and ropes to move it, the local people caused a minor riot and drove the workmen out of the city.
From then it has been preserved as a monument for the city. I hope Mr Dummer got his money back!