If you live in Merdon Avenue, did you know that it used to be called The Crescent? And that Twyford Road, Eastleigh, was once Winchester Road, Eastleigh? And that Consort Road, Eastleigh used to be Park Road?
I expect you have detected a pattern here. When Eastleigh became a borough that included Chandler’s Ford, it was found that some road names were duplicated between the two towns and, presumably so as not to confuse the postman, some were renamed so that there was only one of each.
It is interesting to spot some logic in the renaming. Winchester Road, Chandler’s Ford, is the old turnpike main road between Southampton and Winchester so quite rightly retained the name. In Eastleigh the road does go to Twyford before it reaches Winchester, so that makes sense.
Interestingly, Consort Road in Eastleigh lies between Victoria Road and Albert Road. And in Chandler’s Ford Merdon Avenue is indeed a crescent shape so that was not a surprising first name. I had always wondered why it is called Merdon Avenue as the now ruined Merdon Manor is not in Chandler’s Ford, but the other side of Hursley. Perhaps the land once belonged to the manor and so they took the name when it needed to change.
Does anyone know of any other road name changes in Chandler’s Ford? It adds a fascinating angle to our local history knowledge, if you’d care to share it.
However, I am told this is a little inaccurate as Geoff Dobson tells me:
“Merdon Avenue in Chandler’s Ford, I think you will find, was named for Merdon Manor which stood at the Southern end of what are now called Hiltingbury Lakes. The lakes and gardens which surround them were once the garden of Merdon Manor. The building was demolished many years ago.
The building to the north of the village of Hursley – now in ruins – was Merdon Castle after which Merdon Manor was named. Merdon Castle was built in the 12th Century by the Bishop of Winchester, Henri de Blois, and was his “palace” for about 200 years, and continued to be used by the Bishop’s staff for another couple of hundreds of years.
My Masonic Lodge, which meets in Hursley, is named after the Castle and our banner depicts a castle and a Bishop’s Mitre and Crook.
The “territory” known in bygone times as Merdon Manor covered many square miles and included the village of Hursley. But why someone in the 19th Century or earlier built a magnificent house in Hiltingbury which he called Merdon Manor is lost in the clouds of history.”
Note: The original article was published in the Parish Magazine, August 2016. Editor: Christine Clark.
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