The Roman Road from Chichester to Bitterne crossed the River Hamble at Curbridge and ran near to present day Manor Farm. It was here that Botley’s first settlement began and, later in Saxon times, a church was built here.
Rising sea levels in the first millennium forced travelers to ford the river further upstream and Botley village developed in the area we know today.
Crossing the river at this point was dependent on water levels and travelers could be stranded in Botley to await the low tide. This was probably the reason for 14 pubs and ale houses said to have existed in Botley in the eighteenth century.
The picture below is an early photograph of the High Street in 1910.
Can you guess where it was taken from?
Clue: notice the railings on the right edge.
- Home of William Cobbett – William Cobbett lived in Botley between 1805 & 1820
- Was the centre of the strawberry trade in Southern Hampshire in the early 20th Century.
- Remains of a 13th Century Church – Built on the site of a Saxon Church in the 13th century, the Parish Church was dedicated to All Saints and was the centre of village worship until 1836 when the new church was built in the High Street.
- Flour Mill mentioned in the Domesday Survey. – Milling continued here until the mid 1980s when operations were transferred to a new site in Hedge End. The Mill buildings are being converted into a mill museum.
- Royal charter granted in 1267 to John de Botley to hold a weekly market and annual fair in the village.
- Market Hall built in 1848.
- Historic river dock used, in the 17th, 18th & 19th Century, for the import of raw materials and export of timber products. Today, a tranquil riverside recreation area.
- For 100 year period, Botley had only two Rectors – Richard Baker (1803-1854) & John Morley-Lee (1854-1903).
For more information on the history of Botley, visit the 'Botley, Curdridge and Durley History Society' where you will find regular snippets of history, archive photos and details of the talks taking place.
Visit the 'Things to Do' section for a historic day out in Botley!