Last autumn we showed you a selection of photographs and other documents from our holdings that we had been unable to identify, and we were delighted that several blog readers got in touch to suggest identifications, which we were able to verify. Those documents are now fully catalogued and it is more likely that researchers will be able to find them using the catalogue. Link to previous blog.

Here is another selection of documents that are mystifying us, and which we hope you may be able to help us with. In some cases the fact that we have found them among the papers of a particular family or organisation means that we have some clues. It is a great pity when we have to admit defeat and fall back on descriptions such as ‘unidentified large house’ in catalogue entries – while being aware that, if only we could identify it, it might be exactly the house that someone is trying to research.

k 136A09_6 GroupPhotoUnidentified event.

We begin with four glass plate negatives which it is thought may have been taken in the Selborne area in about 1900; are you familiar with any of these places?

  • a group of four men outside a building with the word ‘coffee’ on a sign in the window (5M85/BOX4/32a 5m85-4-32
  • a lane running down by an unidentified farmhouse (5M85/BOX4/35)b 5m85-4-35
  • barns in a farmyard (5M85/BOX7/20)c 5m85-7-20
  • a large house from the lawn, with a tennis court and a veranda (5M85/BOX8/27)d 5m85-8-27

These drawings are the work of Marianne Hunt, whose family owned the brewery in West Street, New Alresford. We hold a good collection of her sketches, mainly of the Alresford area, from the 1840s-80s, and most of them have been identified

e 55M88_6

Can you help us with this distant view of a church (55M88/6) or this country house? (55M88/7)?

f 55M88_7


These two photographs both come from the collection of the late Robert Vincent relating to the Andover area. One shows railway lines being taken up in a rural area, perhaps in the 1960s (33A15/E22) SOLVED East Stratton Vicarage, and the other is thought to show the façade of a rectory, perhaps in the following decade (33A15/E23). Can you identify the locations? Railway picture SOLVED -taking up of the track on the ‘Sprat and Winkle’ Line (Andover to Stockbridge section). h 33A15_E23g 33A15_E22


This postcard, part of a large number from the Wickham and Meon Valley area collected by the late Stan Woodford, presumably shows the householder and family, and some of their servants (63A04/B1/20/78). A pencil note on the back reads ‘Nr Shedfield’ – can you identify the house or the people?

i 63A04_B1_20_78

Last year you were able to help us with a photograph of an unidentified public house, and we are now hoping that you will do equally well with this one, which is thought to have been taken in about 1900 in Portsmouth (7M91/452 (7)). SOLVED-Crystal Palace 1 Fawcett Road, Southsea.

j 7m91-452-7

This black and white photographic postcard of spectators at an unidentified event was taken by G Pratt of North Street, Havant; some of the figures in the photograph are identified on the back, but we do not know what they are watching; any suggestions would be welcome (136A09/6).

k 136A09_6 GroupPhoto

This house is thought to have been photographed by J G Short of Lyndhurst in the late 19th century, so we assume the location is likely to be somewhere in the New Forest – do you know if we are right (HPP39/002)? We hold scanned copies of many of J G Short’s original glass plate negatives, the originals being in the care of Hampshire Cultural Trust.

l HPP39-002

This is also scanned from a photograph held in the care of Hampshire Cultural Trust; this time but we have no clues to the location, but it is quite distinctive (HPP47/119).SOLVED -View of Pelham Place at Newton Valence.

m HPP47-119

Yet another unidentified large house: this is scaned from one of a series of glass plates mainly from the Whitchurch area; do you recognise it? (48M95/34) SOLVED-Hurstbourne Park – after the 1891 fire.

n 48M95-34 01

This photograph was found among the papers of the Iremonger family of Wherwell, but it is not their residence at Wherwell Priory (19M93/20). Can you identify it?

o 19m93-20

We hold many photographs of sports teams, but unfortunately a few of them are unidentified. This photograph, from the local history collection of the late Alice James of Fareham, shows a cricket team outside Portchester Castle, and was perhaps taken in the 1920s – but who are they? (149A09/P2/3)

p 149A09_P2_3

These photographs are from an album compiled by the architect Gascon Bagnall during his time in the practice Bevir and Bagnall recording some of the projects which they undertook in about the 1930s (he was later part of the firm Bagnall and Lovell). Do you recognise this house, as it was before or after its extension? (48A16/6)

q 48A16_6

And finally, this 1890s farm account book records the types of work done by the farm hands. Do you recognise any of the names, and can you tell us which farm they worked on? The volume comes from a collection of material relating mainly to places in eastern Hampshire, including Binsted, Bramshott and Liss (8M79/12).

r 8M79_12

We will be very grateful for any suggestions you can make, even if you are not sure if they are right – if you have even a tentative idea, do pass it on, as we may well be able to check it using other sources at the Record Office. Please contact me using the contact page linked from the lower right hand corner of our homepage at . It’s helpful if you quote the reference number given in brackets in each description so that we can be sure which one your suggestion relates to. We look forward to hearing from you and solving some more of our mysteries.

David Rymill, Archivist.


8 thoughts on “More mysteries in the archives

  1. Photo 33A15/E22 looks like the taking up of the track on the ‘Sprat and Winkle’ Line (Andover to Stockbridge section). A similar scene appears in a photo on page 17 of Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith’s book ‘Andover to Southampton’ (Middleton Press 1990). If taken at same time it would be 1968.

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  2. Last year you were able to help us with a photograph of an unidentified public house, and we are now hoping that you will do equally well with this one, which is thought to have been taken in about 1900 in Portsmouth (7M91/452 (7)). This is the Crystal Palace 1 Fawcett Road, Southsea. This imposing three-storey pub and hotel once occupied the northern extremity of Fawcett Road, opposite Fratton Bridge, and was designed by prolific pub architect A E Cogswell. Completed in 1888, the pub would have sourced much of its custom from travellers and railwaymen due to its proximity to Fratton railway station. The pub replaced a tavern of the same name on the same plot and the later building survived until 1972

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      1. My pleasure, it’s actually listed in the A-Z of old pubs in Portsmouth along with that photo, I just thought I had seen it somewhere before.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. 33A15/E23 is the Rectory at East Stratton also known in the past as the Vicarage and Parkside. In the background is the spire of All Saints Church East Stratton. I believe the photo was taken in the 1960’s just before the main entrance was moved from the east to north elevation. I will email an almost identical view taken in the 1930’s.

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