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New Romsey Railway book

“Eastleigh to Romsey and Salisbury” by Nigel Bray  

If anyone wants to purchase a copy of the "Eastleigh to Romsey and Salisbury" railway book by Nigel Bray and support Romsey Signal Box Working Museum, the Signal Box will be open on dates below.

The railway line that opened between Eastleigh and Romsey 160 years ago on 1st March 1847 was part of Salisbury’s first rail link with Southampton, and at Romsey it became intertwined with the “Sprat and Winkle Line” (Andover to Redbridge) when it arrived nearly 20 years later.  In this new book, which complements his books on the Andover to Redbridge and the Salisbury & Dorset Junction railways, Nigel Bray draws on his local knowledge and experience as a career railwayman to tell the complete story of the line.  

In 120 pages, Nigel tells how the line came to be built, its subsequent history, and its effect on the local economies of Salisbury and Romsey.  The story of the demise and rebirth of Chandlers Ford station is told, together with the replacement of the old level crossing at Halterworth, the saving of Romsey signal box and the development of the MoD sidings at Dean Hill.  

Around 160 photographs cover various periods in the line’s life, and show early views of Romsey, Dean and Dunbridge stations and Crampmoor Crossing.  There are also pictures of interloping Great Western Railway locomotives in Southern Railway territory at Romsey, as well as more recent photographs of the various types of steam and diesel trains, that have used the route over the years.  

This fascinating book will appeal to anyone interested in Romsey’s local history, its railway network or both.  Copies are available from Romsey Signal Box Working Museum and the Heritage Centre at King John’s House.  It can also be ordered from any bookshop (ISBN: 978-1-905505-42-5) or for £17.95 post-free from Kestrel Railway Books, PO Box 269, Southampton, SO30 4XR.  Further information is on their website: 

Romsey Signal Box Open Days 2018

January 2018 Saturday 20th
February Sunday 4th; Saturday 17th
March Saturday 3rd; Sunday 4th; Saturday 17th
April Sunday 1st (Easter Sunday); Saturday 21st
May Sunday 6th; Saturday 19th
June Sunday 3rd; Saturday 16th
July Sunday 1st; Saturday 21st
August Sunday 5th; Saturday 18th
September Sunday 2nd; Saturday 15th; Sunday 16th;
October Sunday 7th; Saturday 20th
November Sunday 4th; Saturday 17th
December Sunday 2nd

Romsey Signal Box Restoration Website

Romsey Area Websites and Businesses


100 Records




Abbotswood Community Association


Anorak Man 1






Cedar Lawn


Ganger Farm PYO


Hants County Council


Hilliers Gardens


King Johns House


Levy Family History


Barham Levy Kitcher Family History


Lockerley Village


Mottisfont Abbey


Plaza Theatre


Paultons Park


Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)




Romsey Australia


Romsey Advertiser


Romsey Abbey


Romsey Art Group


Romsey Choral Society


Romsey Carnival


Romsey Good Neighbours


Romsey Library


Romsey Local History Society


Romsey Old Cadets Showband


Romsey Town Council


Romsey Rugby UFC


Romsey Sea Scouts


Romsey Signal Box Restoration


Southampton FC


Wheatsheaf Pub Braishfield


Woodley Scouts

Romsey Hospital, Winchester Hill (Tel. 01794 513347)

Greatwell Drive, Cupernham Lane (Tel. 01794 517878)

Sports and other facilities

Romsey Sea Scouts,

Romsey Sports Field, Southampton Road, Romsey SO51 8AT Tel: 01794 514387


Romsey Bowling Green

Romsey Memorial Park (Contact Mrs Eileen Scovell, secretary, Tel:- 01794 513594)


Romsey Bowling Club

We play bowls during the summer months, and we have social events during the winter months. We have "Roll ups" for members on Tuesday and Fridays , we take part in County Competitions and We have two Ladies and two Men's teams in the Southampton and District leagues. We also have friendlies on Wednesday and weekends. We have three coaches to assist members with their game, or help beginners to start. It is very pleasant on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to sit in the sunshine watching a good game of bowls in the Park. we don't charge for watching, and there is plenty of benches to sit on. Or alternatively you could join. Our subscription is £75.00 per year with a joining fee of £15.


Fisheries Officer

(Tel. 01962 713267). Romsey Memorial Park only, permits available from Test Valley B.C., Duttons Road (Tel. 01794 527700) and local sports shops.


Romsey Rapids

swimming and fitness centre (Tel. 01794 830333)

Hunts Farm Sports Ground

Timsbury & Romsey Sports Centre (Tel. 01794 515103)


Sports facilities

Available at Romsey Community School (Tel. 01794 522106)

and Mountbatten School (Tel. 01794 523037)


Heatherstone Dental Practice

65 The Hundred (Tel. 01794 513100)

Price, Samantha,

1 Station Road (Tel.01794 522222)

Ratcliffe, P.,

15 Palmerston Street (Tel. 01794 512319)

Smith, G.L. & Pearson, H.I.,

100 The Hundred, (Tel. 01794 512550)

Community Dental Clinic,


Boots, The Chemists,

1 The Hundred (Tel. 01794 513143)

Lloyds Chemists,

123 The Hundred (Tel. 01794 522716)

Boots Pharmacy,

7/8 Market Place (Tel. 01794 513193)


10 The Hundred (Tel. 01794 512074


Abbeywell Surgery

(Tel. 01794 512218)

Alma Road Surgery

(Tel. 01794 513422)

Local Schools

Braishfield Primary


Cupernham Infants


Cupernham Juniors


Cupernham Pre-School


Mountbatten School


Romsey School Priestlands


Stroud School


All Local Schools Website



Belbins Garage, Unit 4,Belbins Business Park, Cupernham Lane, Romsey, SO51 7JF  (Tel: 01794 516999) 


Greatbridge Motor Services, 70 Greatbridge Road (Tel. 01794 516398)


Motor Vehicle Repair Centre , Unit 14 Wynford Ind. Park, Belbins Romsey (Tel: 01794 367512 or 07889 754123)


Ray Meader  & Sons, Crampmoor Garage, Halterworth Lane (Tel. 01794 512227)


Snows of Romsey, Winchester Hill A3090 Romsey, (Tel. 01794 513185)


P & B (Romsey)Tyre and Exhaust Centre, Unit 2 Budds Lane Trading Estate (Tel: 01794 516545)

Local Shops and Take-Aways

Great Woodley Shops at Warren Gardens

Co-op Supermarket, Off License etc. Tel:01794


Great Woodley Hardware, Tel:  01794 513705


Great Woodley Newsagents


Jade House, Chinese Take Away Meals, Tel: 01794 524355


Romsey Launderette, Tel: 01794 513617


Viney Ave Shops


Premier Supermarket & Post Office


Spice of Romsey, Indian Take  Away, Tel:01794 523976


SeaFare 2, Fish & Chips, Tel: 01794 512026



Grave Tending Services


A professional grave tending service that offers seasonal, monthly, and one time visits.


Grass cutting, Edge clipping, and weeding

Removal of debris, unwanted vegetation and leaves

Light cleaning of headstone and inscription

Cleaning of flower vases and urns

Fresh flowers supplied (in season)

Digital photograph of site with written report which can be posted or e-mailed

Package 1 

£19.99 per visit to include all on the left.


Package 2 

 £99.95 As package 1 but six tendings a year on dates you choose saving £19.95 off previous price.


 Package 3 

£199.90 As package 1 but twelve tendings per year on dates you choose saving £39.98.

email  or call 07724 684941

Woodley interactive map


Susan K Moore

and her Reg Calvert Books

This is a well-written account of the early business and family life of Reg Calvert by his daughter Susan who lived for a while in a flat over Tates TV shop in Church St, Romsey.
He was well known for the dances he organised in the Drill Hall in Station Rd, Romsey. A must read

Book Two (CLIFTON HALL School of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and book Three (SHIVERING SANDS) are now available in one book "Life and Death of a Pirate" at Amazon.

Romsey's Pocket Microscope

In 2014 Richard Williams (Romsey) and Andrew Monk patented the iolight Magnificent Mobile Microscope.

Their microscope is easily portable - it fits in a rucksack or jacket pocket - and captures beautiful images of plant and animal cells, Images are displayed instantly on your tablet or smartphone making them simple to share or paste into your homework or Nobel Prize winning paper.  Resolution is better than 1 micron (1 thousandth of a mm) and gives x200 magnification on a 10" tablet screen and even more on a larger screen.  In summary the ioLight microscope is the perfect pocket partner for any scientist, student or educator


Watch ioLight microscope demonstration HERE 13th on playlist



In 2014 Richard Williams (Romsey) and Andrew Monk patented the ioLight Mobile Microscope...


Their ioLight microscope is easily portable - it fits in a rucksack or jacket pocket - and captures beautiful images of plant and animal cells, Images are displayed instantly on your iPad, iPhone or Android device making them simple to share or paste into your homework or Nobel Prize winning paper. Resolution is better than 1 micron (1 thousandth of a mm) and gives x200 magnification on a 10" screen and even more on a larger screen. In summary the ioLight microscope is the perfect pocket partner for any scientist, student or educator, ioLight Website




Romsey Good Neighbours


We are a group of volunteers who offer to take elderly,
infirm or disabled people to attend a hospital,
doctor, dentist, optician or any
other medical appointment
The service is only provided in Romsey,
Romsey Extra, Ampfield and Braishfield
We can also provide transport to enable
people to visit relatives in hospital

To request Transport

Please telephone 01794 514854
between 9:30am and 4:00pm Monday to Friday
if possible giving atleast five days clear notice
(not including weekends)



About Romsey UK

Romsey is a small market town in the county of Hampshire, England. It is 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Southampton and 11 miles (18 km) southwest of Winchester, neighbouring the village of North Baddesley. Just under 15,000 people live in Romsey, which has an area of about 4.93 square kilometers. Romsey lies on the River Test, which is famous for fly fishing, predominantly trout. It is one of the principal towns in the Test Valley Borough. A large Norman abbey dominates the centre of the town. Romsey was home of the 20th-century soldier and statesman Lord Mountbatten of Burma, the 19th-century British prime minister Lord Palmerston, and the 17th-century philosopher and economist William Petty. Romsey is twinned with Paimpol in Brittany, France, and Battenberg, Germany.

Romsey History

Middle Ages to the Civil War

The name Romsey is believed to have originated from the term Rūm's Eg, meaning "Rum's area surrounded by marsh". Rum is probably an abbreviated form of a personal name, like Rumwald (glorious leader).

What was to become Romsey Abbey was founded in 907. Nuns, led by Elflaeda daughter of Edward the Elder, son of Alfred the Great, founded a community — at his direction — in what was then a small village. Later, King Edgar refounded the nunnery, about 960, as a Benedictine house under the rule of St. Ethelflaeda whose devotional acts included chanting psalms while standing naked in the cold water of the River Test.
The village swelled alongside the religious community. The Vikings ran-sacked Romsey in 993, burning down the church. But the village recovered, and the abbey was rebuilt in stone in about 1000. The religious community flourished as a seat of learning, especially for the children of the nobility. A market was established outside the abbey gates.
The Normans built the large current abbey that dominates the town (between c. 1120 and 1140) on the site of the original Saxon church. By 1240, 100 nuns lived in the convent.

King Henry I granted Romsey its first charter. This allowed a market to be held every Sunday, and a four-day annual fair in May. In the 13th century, Henry III permitted an additional fair in October.

The lucrative woollen industry appears to have powered Romsey's growth during the Middle Ages. Wool was woven and then fulled or pounded with wooden hammers whilst being washed. It was dyed, and then exported from nearby Southampton.

Romsey continued to grow and prosper until plague struck the town in 1348-9. The Black Death is thought to have killed up to half of the Romsey's population of 1000. The number of nuns fell as low as 19. Prosperity never returned to the abbey. It was finally suppressed by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. Many religious buildings were destroyed during this time.
But the abbey was saved from demolition because part of it was a parish church for the people of Romsey. The town purchased the abbey from the Crown for £100 in 1544. Ironically, the part of the abbey that had saved the abbey, the church of St Lawrence, was then demolished.

By the mid-16th century Romsey's population was about 1,500; its woollen and tanning industries fuelled growth. On 6 April 1607 King James I granted the town a charter making it a borough. This gave official status to an informal local government that had been running the affairs of the town since the Dissolution of Romsey Abbey in 1539. Romsey could now have a corporation comprising a mayor, six aldermen and twelve chief burgesses, with a town clerk for 'office work'. Furthermore, there was to be a local law court under a Court Recorder, assisted by two sergeants-at-mace. Over all, was the prestigious position of High Steward, the first of whom was the Earl of Southampton. (Lord Brabourne, grandson of Lord Mountbatten of Burma, is the current High Steward.)

Romsey changed hands several times during the English Civil War. Both Royalist and Parliamentary or Roundhead troops occupied and plundered the town. Royalists remained in control of the borough until January 1645.

18th to 20th centuries

The town's woollen industry survived until the middle of the 18th century, but was beaten by competition from the north of England. However, new fast-growing enterprises soon filled the gap with brewing, papermaking and sack making, all reliant upon the abundant waters of the Test.
By 1794 a canal connected Romsey to Redbridge — at the mouth of the River Test — and Andover to the north but within 50 years had largely fallen into disuse. Industry continued to grow. Romsey was a reasonably large town for the early 19th century: its population was 4,274 in the first census of 1801, compared with just 8,000 for Southampton.

Despite the arrival of the railway in 1847 the expansion slowed and whilst its population had grown to 5,654 in 1851 it then stagnated and by the time of the census half a century later (1901) the population was just 5,597.

Lord Palmerston, the 19th-century British Prime Minister, was born and lived at Broadlands, a large country estate on the outskirts of the town. His statue stands in the Market Place outside the Town Hall.

The Willis Fleming family of North Stoneham Park were major landowners at Romsey from the 17th until early 20th centuries, and were lords of the manors of Romsey Infra and Romsey Extra.

Romsey was famous for making collapsible boats during the 19th and early 20th centuries, invented by the Rev. Edward Lyon Berthon in 1851. The Berthon Boatyard in Romsey made the boats from 1870 until 1917. They were used as lifeboats on ocean-going liners.

Broadlands later became the home of Lord Mountbatten of Burma, known locally as "Lord Louis". He was buried in Romsey Abbey after being killed in an IRA bomb explosion in Ireland on 27 August 1979. In 1947, Mountbatten was given his earldom and the lesser title "Baron Romsey, of Romsey in the County of Southampton".
After Lord Mountbatten of Burma died, his titles passed to his elder daughter, Lady Brabourne, who thus became Lady Mountbatten of Burma. Her eldest son was styled by the courtesy title "Lord Romsey" until he inherited the title of Lord Brabourne in 2005.

The Prince and Princess of Wales spent the first night of their honeymoon at Broadlands.
Embley Park, a country estate located on the outskirts of Romsey was the home of Florence Nightingale, most famous for her pioneering work as a nurse and sanitary reform during the Crimean war and for laying the foundation of modern nursing. Florence is said to have had her calling from God whilst being sat under a giant cedar tree in the grounds of Embley Park on 7 February 1837. The site is now home to a private school, reminders of Florence's formative years are all around the house and estate.
Nightingale is buried in the family vault at St. Margaret Church in East Wellow, located on the outskirts of Romsey. Her coffin was taken by train from London to Romsey Station where a horse drawn carriage completed the journey to the church for a simple funeral at the request of Florence.

During 2007 Romsey celebrated the 400th Anniversary of the granting of its Charter by King James I with a programme of events from March through September, including a visit on 8 June from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Subsequently. the cost of the visit has created some local political controversy


Romsey today appears to be in sound economic health. Whilst there is significant commuting out of the town for work - particularly to Southampton and Winchester, and also, to some extent, London - it could not be described as a dormitory town.
Whilst heavy industry in the town has long since declined, three industrial and trading estates focus mainly on service industries and small-scale manufacturing. Three major scientific and high technology employers — Roke Manor Research, Southampton Science Park and IBM — have large establishments in the nearby countryside.
The recently renovated town centre contains a Waitrose, and Aldi supermarkets, a small department store, and over 100 other retail outlets of various kinds, including both high street chains and local independent shops.
There is concern about the decline of local independent shops due to the high business rates, and threat from large supermarkets.

Sadler's Mill

Watermills have played an important part in Romsey's history as an industrial town. The Doomsday Book of 1086 provides the earliest record of watermills in Romsey, which identifies three (possibly four) mills.
Sadler's Mill is probably the best known of Romsey's surviving mills and is apparently the only mill to be developed on the main course of the River Test. The existence of Sadler's Mill is first recorded in the 16th century, when it was owned by the manor of Great and Little Spursholt. Functioning as a corn and grist mill, it has passed through a succession of owners including Lord Palmerston who rebuilt it in 1747 and sold it in 1777 to one Benjamin Dawkins. Following another succession of owners it returned to the Broadlands estate in 1889. Milling ceased in 1932, when the mill building became redundant. The Broadlands estate sold the building in 2003, at which point it was close to collapse having been derelict for many years. The new owners, Anthony and Sarah de Sigley, restored the building in 2005, rebuilding much of the original structure. During the restoration evidence of an earlier structure was found; carbon 14 dating established the age of this to be circa 1650.

Romsey has its own parliamentary constituency. Its current MP is Caroline Nokes of the Conservative Party. Elected in the general election on 6 May 2010, she ousted the Liberal Democrat MP Sandra Gidley with a 4.5% swing to Conservative from Liberal Democrat and a majority of 4,156 votes. Gidley had held the seat since a by-election in 2000.
Notable buildings

Romsey Abbey

Romsey Abbey is a Norman abbey, originally built as a Benedictine foundation, housing a community of Benedictine nuns. The abbey is open daily to visitors as well as being the Anglican Parish church of Romsey.

King John's House

King John's House & Tudor Cottage was allegedly a hunting lodge used by King John of England whilst hunting in the New Forest. However, the existing building dates from much later. It does contain a number of extremely unusual and exciting historical features, including medieval wall decorations and graffiti, as well as a floor made of animal bones.

Places of interest

Broadlands - Stately home

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens - Gardens and arboretum

Mottisfont Abbey - National Trust property with nationally renowned rose collection

Paultons Park - Children's theme park

Romsey Rapids - Leisure pool and gym

Annual Romsey Events

The Mayor's Picnic
takes place in early-mid summer and is held in Romsey's Memorial Park. There is music performed by local schools, a variety of stalls, and the popular Duck Race, in which numbered plastic ducks 'race' each other along the river Test, to be scrupulously retrieved before awarding a prize to whoever chose the winning duck
The Beggars Fair
is held in the streets and pubs of Romsey on the second Saturday in July. It is a free festival featuring all types of music, together with dance and other street entertainment.
Romsey Carnival
takes place during a week in July with the highlight being the procession through the streets of Romsey on the final Sunday afternoon.
The Romsey Show
is a large agricultural show that takes place every September at Broadlands. The show is one of the oldest in England, held annually since 1842. In addition, Broadlands has twice hosted the CLA Game Fair, the largest agricultural show in the world, most recently in July 2006.
The Winter Carnival
takes places each year when Romsey's Christmas lights are switched on.
The Romsey Arts Festival
occurs every 3 years, showcasing talent from in and around the local area.

Romsey Classic Car Show
is a charity event that has been running on Boxing Day since 2002, attracting hundreds of pre-1976 vehicles to the town centre car parks.

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