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View of Romsey from the Abbey Roof
Postbox 2004

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Contact for Romseynet:

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The e-mails below have been received from people making enquiries about various connections in Romsey. Letters have come from anywhere in the world. It's always good to know how far afield Romseynet is being read. I will endeavour to reply to all enquiries and your message and the reply will be added to this page unless you request otherwise.

I normally include sender email addresses for others to contact you if they wish. Please let me know if you do not want your address included here.

Flag Canada
12 December 2004 - Email:

Hi. In 1988 I travelled from Canada and spent 8 months in England working and touring. For about four months I worked in Romsey at a pub called 'The Angel'. My husband and I are now planning a trip to England and I am hoping to spend some of the time in Romsey. I have been searching on the internet and have been unable to find any information about 'The Angel'. I am wondering if anyone would have any information about what may have happened to the pub, if it changed names, etc.
Thank you for your help. Carolyn Nixon

Reply: Phoebe Merrick LTVAS
The Angel Inn was in Bell Street and is now a restaurant called La Parisienne. There are some comments about the Angel in 'So Drunk He Must Have Been to Romsey'. The Angel lasted as a pub under that name for at least 200 years. Contact th local history group here: LTVAS website

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United Kingdom
21 August 2004 - Email:

Hi, I wonder if anyone can give me some history regarding the Celtic style cross at the Abbey that stands in the large grassed area and is paved with old grave stones. I am particularly interested in who erected this and why?
On the base there is the date AD 1908 and the words - possibly not quoted here in the correct order, Dilectissimis Sorori Fratri.
Thanks, Robert Blunden

Very interesting history developed from your question - replies given below. Do hope they go some way to answering your query. Maybe the library is the place to look further about the Cross.

Reply 1: Phoebe Merrick LTVAS
Someone thought that one of the Summers family erected it, but I do not know whom.

Reply 2:
The grassed area is the old town graveyard, known as the North Garth and still consecrated though the gravestones have been removed. There were huge celebrations in 1907 when the abbey celebrated the 1000th anniversary of its foundation in 907 and a big pageant was held. Using money raised by this, the north porch of the abbey was built as a commemoration of the abbey's millennium.
I imagine that it was at this time that the gravestones were cleared and the celtic cross erected - the date would fit with that. I have photos of the graveyard with the stones still in place and also of later, when there were rows of trees planted beside the path made of the old stone slabs. If my school Latin does not let me down, I think the words read "Love our brothers and sisters". The churchyard had been closed for burials some time earlier and the new cemetery in Botley Road had been established. (You can see how full the old burial ground was by its height above the path in front of the north door of the abbey, needing a wall to stop it collapsing.) In the days before the Reformation, the parish used the north aisle of the abbey as its parish church, so the north garth was right outside the parish church door. Hope this helps. I don't know who erected the cross I'm afraid.

Reply 3: Phoebe Merrick
The graves were not cleared until after the Second World War. I am not sure how relevant that is to the question. Burials were stopped in the abbey churchyard in the mid-1850s when the cemetery at Botley Road was opened. Parliament forbade further burials in urban areas as a health risk.

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United Kingdom
02 August 2004 - contact Sion via Romseynet

Hello, my name is Sion Cave, and I was wondering if you could please help me with some local contacts? I am a student with the Open University and I am doing a project on the pedestrianisation scheme in Romsey. The project involves trying to undstand the unintended consequences that can come about if the opinions of all the people who are affected by such a scheme are not considered. I was wondering if you know of anyone who it would be worthwhile contacting?
Many thanks Sion

I have sent your query to Romsey Town Centre Manager but also suggest you visit one or two of the traders who are affected by the scheme. Also you could contact Test Valley Community Services.

The Romsey Advertiser have had several letters regarding the benefits/inconveniences etc. Might have to look at several back issues to view them.
There are to my knowledge some traders opposed and some for the scheme so you should find something to help with your assignment.

UK flag
United Kingdom
08 July 2004 - Email:

I am trying to find out who owns the lease or freehold of the empty shop opposite Cobweb Tea Rooms called Apple of your Eye. Can anyone help as I have drawn a blank at land registry and asking around?
If anyone is aware of any shops that may be closing could they please email me on the above address.
Thank you Jacqueline Morris

I have forwarded your email on to the Town Centre Manager, Christine Cole in case she is able to advise. Sorry I do not know anything about the owners.

Reply 2: I see the answer to "The Apple of your Eye" shop is in this week's The Romsey Advertiser. (30 July 2004) It says Wessex Cancer Trust are taking it over.

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United Kingdom
08 June 2004 - Email:

Hello, My name is Claire Tolliday. I have been trying to find out some history about Middlebridge street and maybe about my home 101 Middlebridge street for some time. I have read your web site and have found it fascinating, if you have any more history or pictures (which would be fantastic!) I would be most grateful. Thankyou, Claire.

I quote from the Official Guide book for Romsey below, but if you contact the Tourist office I am sure they would send you a copy and maybe suggest other avenues to follow. 01794 512987 Email: The LTVAS website also have literature on the town history. The Library may also have old maps etc. See the library webpage for contact details.

"The Middlebridge Area was once surrounded by Marshland, which made any large scale development impossible here. A narrow gravel strip curved its way from the river and Middlebridge Street still follows this line as you turn left over the bridge and on towards the town centre.

In the 19th C. there were several private and charity schools in the street, but a much longer tradition places the tanning industry in this locality, taking advantage of the water which flows to the right of the thoroughfare. The Three Tuns Inn is believed to date back to early 17th C. Bath House, No. 91, was once occupied and embellished by Mr Ellery, a mason. No. 48 used to be the Elite Cinema, but has an earlier history as a wool warehouse. No. 23 was custom built in 19th C. for the Nowes Charity School. Beyond this is a well restored jettied house which must have once been typical of the town. At the far end, on the left No. 11 is faced with mathematical tiling like the Nat West Bank in the Market Place."

Hope this is of some interest and you succeed in getting more information.

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United Kingdom
08 June 2004 - Email:

Please could you provide me with details as to where the new housing development in Cupernham / Woodley area will be. Thanks, Debbie

Sorry I don't know about any impending new houses in that area - only about the contraversial future develpment at Abbotswood/Chivers Field. You should get more information by ringing Romsey Town Hall on 01794 512837

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United Kingdom
26 May 2004 - Email:

Hi, Im doing a Georgian project at the Romsey school for Romsey and I was wondering if you could tell me about some Georgian buildings
From Peter Cooper

Hello Peter, below is the answer from the Lower Test Valley Archaeological Study Group - LTVAS. So I suggest you contact them for a copy of the book - unless the library have one to borrow. If you look at LTVAS website you will see all the contact details there.

"The easiest building to study is probably the Dolphin. Its facade is Georgian and the book on Bradbeers by Phoebe Merrick contains a good deal of information. Linden House in The Hundred is also Georgian, although not a lot has been published. LTVAS has some information about it."

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United Kingdom
22 May 2004 - Email:

Hi, I am doing a project about acting in Romsey, I wonder if you could help me to find any info about events to do with acting and places to act or any good web sites for "acting in Romsey". I would appreciate this very much, thank- you

So sorry to be so late in picking up your message. The Plaza Theatre is where all the Romsey Acting takes place and is of a very good repute. I do not know who to suggest you speak to but the telephone number of the Theatre is 01794 523054 or the Tourist Office might be able to advise - 01794 512987

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United Kingdom
13 January 2004 - Email:

Sirs, I am tracing the early history of an Opel Record convertible car that I own and have found out that once converted by Crayford Motors the vehicle was made available from Rolfe Garage Ltd in Romsey from August 1970, presumably as new and unregistered vehicle.
My subsequent enquires have highlighted a Company known as Marshall Rolfe who may or may not be the same as above, but my enquiries have brought forth no further information. Can you shed any light on this matter, is the garage still in existence or are there any family members that may be able to assist?
Thanking you in advance for any information or assistance that you can offer
Graham Catchpole

The existing Marshall Rolfe Garage is indeed the same place as when it was called just Rolfe's Garage. However I am given to understand that Mr Rolfe died some years ago and Mrs Rolfe moved to the Channel Islands. Their former Romsey home is now a residential home.
They took on Marshall as a partner - no date, or details - but he sold out a few years ago. No idea the name of the present owner. There seems not to be any relatives from whom to enquire further.
The telephone number of the present garage is: 01794 525705 just in case anyone there can put you on to someone with more information. Sorry its not very helpful. If I find any other details at all I will get back to you.

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United Kingdom
01 January 2004 - Email:

Sirs, I would appreciate learning more of the history of Timsbury Lake, Bunny Lane. If possible I would like to contact the current owners to find out more about this secluded water and its past and present uses. I would be most appreciative of any information that you may be able to provide. Kind Regards . Simon Keeping . Eastleigh

I don't know much about this lake. It has been formed by damming the ancient Carisbrook since the 1840s. The stream's name is Saxon and refers to watercress. The name is also preserved in Casbrook common. I have an idea that Mick Edgeworth, a leading expert on mills, found evidence of a mill at the western end of the lake, so it may have been formed to provide a head of water to turn a mill wheel.
I do not know who is the present owner. It is possible that the inhabitants of Brook Farm would know.
Incidentally Bunny Lane and Ginny Lane do not refer to rabbits, but to small and very small drains. Phoebe Merrick LTVAS

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