Titchfield Emblem and the New Entry Signs

Residents in Titchfield wanted to freshen up the first impression on entering the historic village of Titchfield. The old entry signs were a bit battered and did not do the historic village any justice. The first challenge was how to best summarise Titchfield as a historic village, so in 2017 Sean Searight took the lead in chairing a team of local enthusiasts who decided an emblem was the best way to pack the key historic places and moments into a colourful emblem.  Designs started over some beers in the Queens Head pub and became more colourful as the evenings progressed! 

The design was finally completed in 2018 and was then presented through consultation processes at village fetes and other media channels. Once endorsement had been secured earlier this year, it was agreed that the signs should be up and ready for July’s Village in Bloom Competition. Look out for the new fresh signs as you drive through: Saint Margaret’s Lane, East Street and Posbrook Lane. Many thanks must go to those locals who helped to organise the purchase and fitting of the new entry signs: Mark Rowe, Kevin Fraser, Phil Burner and Joe Folland (from the Traffic Department in Hampshire Highways). 

More recently residents have proudly raised their emblem in the form of banners, flags and bunting erected in their Christmas tree stands and across the frontages of their homes and businesses. Saint Peters church started the celebrations off on Saturday 13 July with emblem bunting fluttering across the entrance for a wonderful wedding! The village emblem colours are out in force complimenting the wonderful flowers planted by enthusiastic locals ready for an amazing Village in Bloom in July. 

Speakers for the coming season

Speakers for the 2019 – 2020 programme have now been confirmed.

Dates and speakers are:

September 17th 2019

Wig, Powder & Windows ~ Phoebe Merrick

October 15th

Mills & Milling ~ Martin Gregory

November 19th

Harlots, Dung & Glory Pt II ~ Andrew Negus

December 17th

George Watts Memorial Lecture ~The Restoration of the Market Hall 

January 21st 2020

William Cobbett ~ Richard Aldous

February 18th

Slavery ~ Amanda Richardson

March 17th

History of Coinage ~ Dave Walton

April 21st

Strangers & Aliens ~ Cheryl Butler


Following a visit to Titchfield by the Bishops Waltham Society earlier this year, members of the History Society were invited to a reciprocal visit to The Palace at Bishops Waltham for a Summer picnic.  We gathered in the magnificent grounds for our picnic, where we dodged an early shower and went on to enjoy a tour of the museum and Palace buildings.  Our historical knowledge of Hampshire was also tested with a quiz which we enjoyed, and I believe we did not disgrace ourselves.  We are hoping to build on this relationship as both places have so much in common.



St Cross Hospital
Living quarter for the hospital residents, 13 places created in the 12th century and a further 12 in the 15th century.

It was the hottest day of the year for our outing this year, luckily, we had chosen to visit venues which were mainly indoors. 

Our morning took us to the Hospital of St Cross in Winchester, which was founded by Henry de Blois.  After morning refreshments of coffee and homemade cakes we were given a tour by one on the brothers.  This took us into their beautiful gardens, their magnificent private chapel, the ancient medieval hall and old kitchen after which we received the Wayfarers Dole of bread and ale.  Apparently if you are over 60 have no criminal record and do not own a property you can apply for residence in these beautiful surroundings. I believe the only other stipulation is that you attend church on a Sunday, what is there not to like?

Brother John introduces the hospital.
The hospital kitchen
Lily pond in the hospital garden.

Off to the local pub for lunch, back on the coach and a short journey around to Winchester College.  Again, a guided tour was given, although some parts were out of bounds due to works being carried out.  By this time, we were hot and tired, so back on the coach for a short journey home.  A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting day.

Marilyn Wilton Smith

Summer Picnic 2019

The Summer picnic for the History Society has become a regular event and is normally blessed with fine warm weather, however this year was far from the case with very heavy showers and a chill wind, not picnic weather!  This was even more disappointing as we had invited Bishop’s Waltham Society to be our guests and to learn about the history of the Abbey.  After not expecting too many people to attend due to the weather when the time came our guests from Bishop’s Waltham met at the Abbey whilst members of our Society arrived at The Barn which had kindly been made available for us by Kevin Fraser of Titchfield Festival Theatre.  A surprisingly good attendance at both venues resulted.  In the Abbey our guests were given an introduction on the History of the Abbey and Place House, followed by a guided tour, which they very much enjoyed.  Once everyone had assembled at the Barn, they were entertained initially by a Show & Tell, prepared at short notice by Phil Burner, followed by a quiz and raffle.  The evening went well in the end, with thanks being expressed to Marilyn for organising the event despite the conditions.  Bishops Waltham are reciprocating our hospitality with a return visit to their Palace in August.  Let’s hope Summer has arrived by then!

Chairman’s Report 2019


I first of all I must apologise for not presenting this in person and would like to thank Peter Mills for chairing this meeting in my place.

2018/19 Season has been very busy and productive for the Society.  Attendances at meetings have been consistently above those of previous years and bearing in mind our total membership is just under 80 at the present time, attendances of 60 + at the meetings is remarkable.  This must reflect the hard work put in by Ros Seaward in researching and arranging our speakers.  I will mention at this stage that Ros is standing down after a number of years and her place is being taken by Amanda Laws.

I would personally like to thank Ros for her support she has given to me as chairman………(present flowers)……….

During the summer we had several social events, the most memorable probably being our visit to Bucklers Hard, where on a very fine summer’s day we were well received and entertained on a conducted tour by Lady Mary (Lord Montague’s sister) who is a member of their History Society.  This has resulted in the Beaulieu History Society paying a return visit to us in September.

Our picnic in the Abbey, was in fact held in the Great Barn this year as a change, and again a fine summer’s evening with a good attendance including representatives from Beaulieu’s research team and guides.  Towards the end of last year, the Committee were invited to hold a meeting on HMS Victory, this being organised by Sean Searight.  A very entertaining conducted tour by the Master in charge was followed by sampling of Navy Rum in the wardroom.

Whilst mentioning Sean Searight we must thank him and Ken Groves for their work in researching and producing ‘The Titchfield Emblem’ which as you know has been adopted by the history society and looks as if it will be used more widely within the village going forward, including on new entry signs being erected on the roads  into the village.  We promoted the flags and bunting at the Church fete and it was very well received with a number of orders taken.

The Committee has been working hard on ideas and other projects, Bryan Dunleavey has designed a new website which you are all welcome to interact with, research data will be added to this website in time.  The Historic Houses project has investigated several properties including the Old Vicarage and St Margaret’s, this project is ongoing.

I would at this stage to remind members of the Summer events this year.  Our trip to Winchester on Thursday 25th July is now full unless you wish to make your own way there, so I would just need to know for venue entry numbers.  With regard to lunch before we make our way to the College, the Hospital do not do that sort of food, however John Ekins has visited ‘The Bell’ pub which is very close and they have said they would supply a buffet for us at £5 per head.  This would be a nice idea for us all to stay together, however they do other pub style lunches, or you can bring your own picnic to have in the Hospital grounds etc.  I will be in touch shortly to find out who of you would like to be included in the buffet, or you can email me.

The picnic in the abbey on the evening of 20th June will be attended by Bishops Waltham Society, so it would be nice to have a good attendance and support from ourselves.  Members with guests are welcome.  It’s a fun and entertaining evening.  If the weather is inclement, we will be meeting again at the Barn.

Bishop’s Waltham have given us a return invite to join them in August on the evening of Wednesday 7th, to picnic in the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace with a tour of the palace and exclusive access to the Museum.  Again, it would be nice for us to support this event with a good attendance.  If you feel you would like to attend this event, with no obligation, can you please put your names down so that we have an idea of numbers to give to Bishop’s Waltham.

As mentioned previously the Beaulieu History Society are visiting us in September with a tour of the Abbey, Barn and Church.

Finally, I would like to thank the officers and members of the Committee for their continuing support and input which makes my life as chairman considerably easier.  And thank you all for making the History Society a successful group.


Due to the difficulties of fulfilling the coffee rota and responsibility of organising this every month, it has been decided by the committee to trial a new format for our meetings.

Firstly, the meetings will commence at 7.00p.m. allowing members time to socialise with refreshments prior to the meeting which will start at 7.45p.m.  The speaker will then make the presentation followed by questions with no intermittent break.

This format has been adopted by other organisations and seems to work.

In order to facilitate this, we are hoping to engage a couple of people to organise and serve the refreshments, this will impose a small cost upon the Society and in order to help cover this the visitors charge will be increased from £2 to £3.

The above is being put forward as a proposal by the committee, however for it to be implemented it needs to be put to a vote at this meeting.  It is proposed to review this again at the end of the year.

This report will be forwarded shortly to you all by email, however if you do not have an email address and would like a copy, please let us know.

Thankyou…Have a lovely enjoyable evening.    Marilyn Wilton-Smith

List of Summer Events for THS Members and Guests

Titchfield History SUMMER EVENTS

Summer Outings 2019


The AGM meeting itself will be fairly short and this will be followed by a fun Quiz, so join us for this Social event.


A fun event, you don’t have to book for this the Abbey is open exclusively to the History Society and their guests from 6.00p.m.  Bring your own picnic, (no barbecues).  There will be tours of the Abbey, and entertainment.  We will be joined this year by the Bishop’s Waltham Society, so let’s make them welcome.

If the weather is against us, I have arranged for us to have this event in the Great Barn, but hopefully we will have a glorious sunny evening in the beautiful Abbey grounds.



(See email sent or separate sheet for full details of this event).

The cost of this outing is £30 per person this includes refreshments on arrival, entry fee to both venues, payment for private tour and coach.

Depart Titchfield 10.00a.m. – Southampton Hill
Arrive Hospital of St Cross – refreshments on arrival
12.30 ish – lunch –
2.00 p.m. – Tour of College
4.30ish – return to Titchfield

If you wish to book on the coach please email me on mwiltonsmith@gmail.com or ring on 01329 843822
Payment on or before the next meeting please.      Cheques made payable to Titchfield History Society



Picnic at Bishops Waltham Palace with access to the Museum.  This will be an early evening event as with our own picnic, and the Museum will be open for us to visit.  So we are aware of numbers could you please let us know your intention to come along.  A great opportunity for us to have exclusive access to this site.





St George’s Day and Titchfield

April 23rd, St George’s Day, has two important historical associations with Titchfield; the royal wedding of Margaret of Anjou to Henry VI, and the birth of William Shakespeare.

Margaret of Anjou was the bride chosen for the hapless king Henry VI. She had royal connections in France; her father Rene, duke of Anjou, was a cousin to the king of France, but she came without a dowry as her father had bankrupted himself in the vain pursuit of a supposed title to the kingdom of Naples. English diplomats had agreed the marriage in 1444 in the hope and expectation that it would bring to an end the Hundred Years War with France. In this they were correct. War quickly ended with a complete loss of all French territory held by the English, with the exception of Calais. It was a high price to pay and perhaps not for the first time, a policy of appeasement ended with negative consequences. Within a decade, England was itself plunged into civil war.

Nevertheless, the wedding at Titchfield on 22 April 1445, the eve of St George’s Day, took place in a festive atmosphere at Titchfield Abbey. After this, the court journeyed back to London, where Margaret was crowned queen on April 30th.

The second association with St George’s Day is through William Shakespeare who was born on 23 April 1564 in Stratford upon Avon.The date is not accurate. He was baptised on April 26th and convention has assumed that he was born three days earlier. In the 1590s the young third earl of Southampton became the patron of our great poet and playwright and theories have been advanced that William Shakespeare, at one time or another, came to Titchfield. Strong advocates of this theory are our own Ken Groves and Londoner Stewart Trotter, who has written a book, Love’s Labour’s Found, which explores Shakespeare’s possible associations with Titchfield. The book is out of print but second hand copies can be found on Amazon.

History of the Ordnance Survey

Thankful for the great British mapping system, history society members managed to find their way to the community centre and listen to a talk about the history of Ordnance Survey.

The founding father of the Ordnance Survey is considered to be William Roy, who as a Scottish military engineer, was assigned the task to carry out surveys of the Scottish Highlands, a request sent out by George II after the Jacobite rising of 1745.

Surveying methods devised was by triangulation and Roy then used this method to carry out a triangulation connection, starting at Hounslow Heath, to connect to Paris in order to establish the true line of the Meridian. Greenwich was finally recognised as the prime Meridian in 1884.

The Board of Ordnance, a department of the MOD, on 21st June 1791, purchased a Ramsden theodolite, and this entry in the purchase ledger of 373 pounds and 14 shillings, is recognised as the birth date of Ordnance Survey. The acquisition of this theodolite was necessary for the intending military survey work starting across the South, all in preparation for the threat from France at this time. As a result, in 1801 the first published map was produced and was of Kent. Most of the South was mapped by 1810 and by 1840 all but a few northern most counties and all of Wales was mapped.

By 1821, the Ordnance Survey was headed up by Thomas Colby, who remained at the head of the organisation for 27 years. He was instrumental in directing a revision of the maps to improve the quality of surveying. He and his team did have to spend some considerable time surveying in Ireland, for a valuation and taxation commission and so it was the Ireland maps that were all completed first. Bad winters and tensions with locals meant work didn’t complete till 1846.

Ordnance Survey offices back home at this time were in the Tower of London, but a fire in 1841 meant they had to move out, and a suitable place was located in London Road, Southampton.

The Land Registry Act of 1862, necessitated larger scales of 1”, 6” and 25” to the mile needing to be produced. The 1” scale maps started becoming ever more popular for public use as by 1909 there were 53,000 registered vehicles on the road.

In 1911, Charles Close, became head of OS, through till 1922 and therefore oversaw the OS through WW1 during which a staggering 33 million maps were produced, including vital maps for the western front.

The Davidson committee was established in 1935 and its role was to look at the future of the Ordnance Survey. It recommended a National Grid system and also that the entire country be remapped and to all the same standards by 1980. This was actually achieved by 1962. A re-triangulation programme involved the installation of some 6500 trig pillars.

There was however another interruption, that being WWII, and this time 42 million maps were produced. Many were of France, Germany and Italy in preparation for planned forthcoming invasions. The OS was also affected at this time by the bombing of its head offices in Southampton, and it was necessary for them to relocate to Chessington and other temporary buildings around Southampton. A new headquarters were finally established at Maybush, Southampton in 1969. More recently, a purpose built site adjacent to the M271 at Adanac Park was open in 2011.

During the past 25 years, as the fast moving digital age continually moves forward, there has been rapid developments in surveying techniques and the OS now has 500 million features in its database and currently 20,000 changes are made daily. An example of this would be that it is a requirement that a new house must appear on digital mapping within 6 months of completion. Today’s technology allows us to accurately map a position to within 2cm of its actual location on the earth’s surface.

Steve Nash