Chandler’s Ford is like a well-engineered machine. It works smoothly, runs well and does not break down.
It is serviced thoroughly by Eastleigh Borough Council; traffic flows are fluid and it has good bus services and a railway station.
The shops here are more than adequate with three supermarkets (Co-operative Food, Asda, and Waitrose), and two shopping precincts (Central Precinct and Fryern Arcade). There are recreational facilities, nature conservancy areas, woodland and lakes for walks.
Chandler’s Ford buildings
Guide books mention castles, monasteries, cathedrals and ancient ruins. We have none and even Pesvner, that prolific chronicler of buildings in British towns could only mention the churches St. Boniface and Edward the Confessor which he describes as ‘simple’.
Since his time English Heritage has identified four worthwhile sites for listing as Grade II. Ford Cottages, part of Fortune Court; Zion Hill Farmhouse, an early 19th century timber framed house; a thatched early 19th century cottage in Cuckoo Bushes Lane and Hiltonbury Farmhouse and cottage with ornamental tiles and Flemish Bond bricks.
A millennium ago
One claim to history is that the corpse of William II, William Rufus, passed through on the way to Winchester Cathedral. It is said that yew trees were planted along the route to commemorate the event, whether in celebration or sadness we are not certain.
Some of the yew trees are said to be still living. This is possible as some yew trees can survive up to 1600 years but their average life is 400-600 years.
Modern developments include the Fryern and Central precincts and the library, the latter by the Hampshire County Council architect, Sir Colin Stansfield Smith being of some architectural distinction.
We can all agree that the area works well. Access is good and people can circulate comfortably and there is car parking. Chandler’s Ford has excellent schools with playing fields.
While there may be no buildings of award winning merit, the housing stock is good and relatively modern. Residential areas are pleasing on the eye especially in springtime when the cherry trees, mimosa, almond, rhododendrons and azaleas are all in blossom.
Chandler’s Ford was formerly a forest and trees have been preserved wherever possible.
Chandler’s Ford has industrial estates providing employment and useful facilities including large warehouses for furniture, building materials and even a renal dialysis unit. The office estate off Templars Way is one of the most attractive anywhere.
Whatever you think is missing from Chandler’s Ford: bingo hall, airport, hospital, cinema or football team, you can find in nearby Eastleigh, Southampton or Winchester. This applies to parking meters also.
One meets Londoners who think Chandler’s Ford must be irretrievably parochial but we residents can get into central London much quicker than many of them.
What would be a guide book entry for Chandler’s Ford?
What would be a guide book entry for Chandler’s Ford? Set the challenge by Janet, I had to have a go.
To say the best thing to come out of Chandler’s Ford is the slip road onto the M3 would not be true. An old 1950’s American guide book said, about Southampton, “If your ship docks in Southampton, take a cab to Winchester.”
I have tried to give a picture of Chandler’s Ford; it is not a place for tourists although we would welcome them if they came. It is a place for good living.
What would you add to the Chandler’s Ford Guide Book? Send you comments, please.