Digitithe Hampshire Project

Tithe maps are a fascinating depiction of parishes in the early 19th century and, together with their awards, or apportionments, are a great resource for family and local historians, as well as those studying agricultural and land use patterns, rights of way, or the history of a house.

Using a Geographic Information System (GIS), the aim of the Digitithe Hampshire project is to overlay digital copies of the tithe maps onto modern maps to help users explore the information they contain.

tithe map alton

Alton tithe map, 21M65/F7/3/2 Continue reading “Digitithe Hampshire Project”


More mysteries in the archives

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. Continue reading “More mysteries in the archives”

Life in a day

As a newly-qualified archivist many years ago, one of the first jobs I recall being asked to do (i.e. on day 1!), was to run the Map Room at the old record office in St Thomas’s church. I was fresh off the training course and a bit green, to say the least, so it really was a baptism of fire. I soon learnt that the ‘Maps’ bit was somewhat misleading, though the ‘running’ part certainly wasn’t. There was an awful lot more to it besides getting to grips with National Grid and County Series, tithes and enclosures, piddles and perches. You had to dash back and forth from the lift to collect documents for from the top floor search room, make friends with a grumpy photocopier, and trouble-shoot the microform viewers, all whilst trying to ‘supervise’ the public (or ‘searchers’, as we used to call them). Nowadays of course, we have ‘customers’ and ‘help desks’ which are a lot more user-friendly, though the running around part certainly hasn’t changed. They always say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and gradually I got the hang of things. All those years later, I’m still here!


Continue reading “Life in a day”

The Lord Mayor Treloar Hospital and College: A Life and Legacy on Film

“It has been my good fortune … to inaugurate this great national work.”[i]

In 1907, after a year of rampant fundraising by both the famous and the anonymous of this nation’s capital, an institution was born from the dilapidated remains of the Princess Louise Hospital, originally opened in 1903 to treat soldiers returning from the Boer War. It was on this Chawton Park premises that the Lord Mayor Treloar’s Cripples Hospital and College was founded, fifty-five years after the first paediatric hospital was opened in Bloomsbury, London at an address of little importance at the time: Great Ormond Street. In his speech celebrating its creation, Sir William Treloar (1843-1923) outlined the aims of the hospital:[ii] to treat children of both sexes up to the age of twelve who were suffering from the tuberculous disease of the bones or joints and to train handicapped boys between fourteen and eighteen years in skilled crafts to enable them to “earn their own livelihood.”[iii]


A workshop at the hospital c1910, ref 5M77.

Continue reading “The Lord Mayor Treloar Hospital and College: A Life and Legacy on Film”

Hospital Archives – the doctor will see you now!

To celebrate 70 years since the National Health Service (NHS) was founded it seems only fitting to share with you a small dose of records from our archives! A search of our records catalogue shows thousands of items referencing health, medicine, doctors, nurses, hospitals and all things related.  In fact, searching the word ‘hospital’ generated nearly 9000 results, so this seems like a good place to start.

Hampshire Record Office holds various hospital collections within its archives and they include; administrative records, photographs, memoirs and other miscellaneous items.  As well as the larger hospitals, included in the archives are a small number of items relating to cottage hospitals.  Cottage hospitals were located in rural areas usually housing a handful of beds.  The cottage hospital could deal with emergencies and work closely with the local doctors; it also avoided lengthy and potentially difficult journeys to the larger hospitals.  Now few and far between, some cottage style hospitals do exist, although they are more commonly referred to as community hospitals.   The first hospital of this kind to open its doors was the Cranleigh Cottage Hospital in Surrey; established in 1859 it is still serving the local community as a village hospital.

The photos below depict the rural setting and small scale of the traditional cottage hospital.

Yateley cootage hospital

Yateley: the back of the Cottage Hospital, nd [1914] Ref: HPP61/041

Yateley Hospital was set up in a small cottage purchased on Yateley Common in 1900, the hospital remained opened for 70 years, closing it doors in the 1970s.

Fleet cottage hospitalFleet and District Cottage Hospital, with nurses in front, nd [c1935]
Ref: HPP38/0049

Fleet Cottage Hospital was opened in 1898; built on land donated by Lord Calthorpe.  It is still in use today and is known as Fleet Community Hospital, still relatively small it currently has 18 beds.

 Petersfield cottage hospital

Petersfield: a view of one of the wards at Petersfield Cottage Hospital, nd [c1930]
Ref: HPP3/049

Petersfield Cottage Hospital, based in Swan Street was opened in April 1871 and continued to serve the community until 1992 when it was demolished to make way for the new community hospital.

A far cry from the quaint feel of the cottage hospital is the Royal Victoria Hospital.  Also known as Netley Hospital, it admitted its first patient in 1863, seven years after building work commenced.  Built primarily to aid the casualties of the Crimean War it was also home to the Army Medical School and Army Nursing Service.  The main building could accommodate 1000 patients, but World War I and II saw the hospital full to capacity and patient admission was increased with the assembly of tents and huts in the hospital grounds.

‘Netley Hosptial was built at the request of Queen Victoria for Florence Nightingale on her return from Crimea, and it was here that the “Lady of the Lamp” started her first school for Army nurses.’

‘One of these hospitals was the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley, a splendid red brick building faced in Portland Stone with plinths of Welsh granite and standing majestically in over 200 acres near the edge of Southampton water.  Through two wars its graceful towers and great domes were a welcoming sight for thousands of returning wounded servicemen.’

‘In the 40 years that the Army Medical School spent at Netley it achieved European Fame.’

Copy history and achievements of the army medical school at Netley, 1863-1903, (1970s) Ref: 92M91/3/1/4

Left; Photograph of Miss H C Norman, daughter of Field Marshal Sir Henry Norman, lady superintendent of nurses at Netley Hospital [Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley], [1900] Ref: 92M91/2/4/3a

Right; Netley: Netley Hospital [Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley], nd [c1904]
Ref: 12A05/11/32

Amongst this collection are three Royal Army Medical Corps sports day programmes dating from 1912 to 1914.  The events were held in the grounds of Netley Hospital and members of the public could go and watch the thread and needle race, veteran’s race, three legged race and tilting the bucket to name a few!  There is also a sports day programme from May 1945 in aid of the Hound Forces Welcome Home Fund in which men, women and children could compete in races, including of course the traditional egg and spoon race.

atheltic programmes

sports day

Sports Day Programmes, 1912-1914. Ref: 92M91/1/4/1

In 1966 it was decided to demolish the main building of the hospital as a result of fire damage a few years earlier, and in 1978 the Psychiatric Hospital based on the same site was closed.  To mark the hospital’s closure, Netley hosted; ‘It’s A Knockout’ in which various hospitals, including the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar and the Cambridge Military Hospital Aldershot competed against each other in events such as; ‘transfusion confusion’ and ‘beechams might do’! (ref: 92M91/1/4/4).

riding a bicycle

Concerning memories of riding a bicycle along the corridors at night, (1940s)
Ref: 92M91/3/3/5

Remember, you are welcome to visit Hampshire Record Office; look through our local studies collection and view documents first hand, and as we have been talking of all things medical don’t forget to book your space on our special evening event; Medicine Through Time.

6:30pm on Thursday 5 July 2018 at Hampshire Record Office

£12 per person or £10 if you book before 21 June

For further information and to book you space please visit:

Steff Palmer, Archive Assistant

The General Strike – two sides to every story!

The first general strike in Britain was called on 4 May 1926 when striking miners were joined by workers from other industries. The aim of this ‘national strike’ (as the Trade Union Congress (TUC) preferred to call it, not liking the more revolutionary connotations of the term general strike) was to support miners who were in dispute with the mine owners over pay and working hours.  The return to the gold standard after WW1had resulted in a fall in the amount of coal exported.  In response to these difficult economic circumstances, the mine owners chose to reduce wages by 13% whilst increasing shift lengths from 7 to 8 hours.  However, as 80% of miners still worked with picks, investing in modern machinery could have increased production without hitting wages and working hours.

Was this the start of a revolution? The national press certainly portrayed the co-ordinated industrial action as a danger to the stability of the nation.  The Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, declared that Britain is “threatened with a revolution.”  On 5 May 1926, just a day after the strike was called, the government took greater control of the BBC. It also started to publish its own newspaper called The British Gazette, with Winston Churchill as editor.

The British Gazette 12 May 1926The British Gazette 12 May 1926, ref 65M90W/233B. Continue reading “The General Strike – two sides to every story!”

‘Come on you Hawks’ promoting a football project and club

As the English football season draws to a close, and some fans of the beautiful game are looking forward to the World Cup in Russia, spare a thought for this region’s fans as they celebrate or commiserate with the successes or failures of their teams.

Bournemouth secured another season at the top table in the Premier League, whilst Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton were made to sweat from the last few games. A couple of leagues below and Portsmouth have failed to live up to the early season promise by missing out on the play-offs to the Championship. In the lower echelons of the professional game, National League sides Aldershot and Eastleigh have had unexceptional seasons, with the latter club currently up for sale.


Alresford Football Club: winners of the Harvey Charity Cup and friends, 1923, ref HPP5/P3/12. Continue reading “‘Come on you Hawks’ promoting a football project and club”

The lady with the lamp: Florence Nightingale and her Hampshire connections

Florence Nightingale is known as the heroine of the Crimean War, as an adviser to successive governments in peace and war time on subjects, such as sanitation or hospital construction, or perhaps generally as a pioneer in the field of nursing and nursing training. However, many may not be aware of her Hampshire connections, or that there is important material relating to her life and work held by Hampshire Archives and Local Studies. This blog will reveal these connections and some of the documents we hold about Florence Nightingale, as we mark her 198th birthday.


Continue reading “The lady with the lamp: Florence Nightingale and her Hampshire connections”

From Netley to De-Mob 1918 (part 1)

‘I was born to part of a generation of manhood which was foredoomed to almost total annihilation within the next quarter of a century.’ So states Victor Shawyer in his very first journal ((170A12W/D/2374).  We have seen Victor recall Passchendaele and his time at Netley Hospital after being wounded. Now in this third blog taken from the journals of Victor Shawyer(170A12W/D/2375) he recalls his memories of his time after leaving Netley Hospital, and his various postings to re-training camps.  His recollections for November 11 1918 will be shared in a blog later this year to mark the end of the First World War.

Sawyer brothers

Continue reading “From Netley to De-Mob 1918 (part 1)”

Passing Out Parade Photographs

We hold a large number of passing out parade photographs here in the Royal Green Jackets (RGJ) regimental archive, most of which have no dates, names, or platoon numbers. This means that they are largely inaccessible and not used. We do receive requests from former riflemen for copies of the relevant picture when they passed out at the end of basic training, but without much detail for the items, it is almost impossible for us to track down the relevant image.


Continue reading “Passing Out Parade Photographs”

Calendrical complications

What day is it today? This post is being uploaded on 18th April 2018 – but how many other ways could we think of to express that? In a blog post on 14th February, exploring some of the features found in title deeds, I mentioned some points to bear in mind about dates we find in deeds and other documents, and I thought it might be worth delving further into a few calendrical complications.

In documents throughout the date range found in most local archive service holdings, you may find dates expressed in the AD form we are used to, and from the mid 18th century this is almost, although not quite, universal in the UK. AD, or ‘Anno Domini’ (In the year of [Our] Lord), is sometimes replaced by ‘Anno Salutis’ (In the year of salvation) but the number remains the same.

93M86W-1 Philpot pedigree section 1 top

The heading of the pedigree of the Philpot family of Compton, dated 1620, includes the use of the wording ‘Anno Salutis’ (93M86W/1). Continue reading “Calendrical complications”

Voices for Heritage

During the past year Y Services, a youth group charity, have been working on an intergenerational LGBT+ oral history project called Voices for Heritage. Supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund the group have been interviewing older LGBT+ Hampshire residents about their experiences. In addition to this, they have been exploring the archives at Hampshire Record Office to discover documents making reference to LGBT+ individuals from the past.vfh1 Continue reading “Voices for Heritage”