The Eastleigh Museum is housed in the old Salvation

by:ZHENHUA     2020-05-22
The earliest evidence of dwellers in the area of Eastleigh is that of Roman remains discovered in 1908. The area lies on an old Roman road joining Winchester to Bitterne in Southampton. A Saxon village recorded as 'East Leah' (meaning a forest clearing) was recorded in 932AD. Later, in 1086, the Domesday Book record the area as 'Estleie'. Eastleigh itself gained prominence as a railway town in around 1838 when the London & SoutWestern Railway Company built a line from Southampton to Winchester. This line passed though Barton and in 1868 Barton and Eastley, as it was named then, were joined as one parish. Eastleigh thrived through the railways and the railway works were only closed in 2006, and have since reopened to an extent. In 1921 Pirelli opened a cable factory in the Hampshire parish, opening up many more jobs to local residents and boosting the local economy. This factory only closed in the 1990s, and the site now consists of modern flats and houses. The Eastleigh Museum in Hampshire delves into the history of the local area, providing great insight to those of all ages. Here you can see a three-light window from the former Church of the Resurrection, the original parish church. The church was built partly with the help of Charlotte Yonge, a leading novelist of the times who donated 500 towards the project. As thanks for her generous donation Charlotte was given the privilege of choosing the name of the new parish, Barton or Eastly. She chose Eastly, and its new spelling of Eastleigh. Sadly high maintenance costs and a lack of regular attendees lead to the church closing its doors in 1978. In July 1985 it was severely damaged by fire and most of the extension was destroyed. The roof however remained in tact, and remains in place to this day with careful conservation and the 2004 conversion of the building to flats, which have won several design awards. The Memorial Plaque from the machine shops of the London & SouthWestern Railway Locomotive Works was donated to this Hampshire museum in 2005 upon the closure of the Locomotive Works. It commemorates workers who lost their lives in World War One. During the 1930s a printing works was built who made labels for such household names as Guinness and Marmite. Unbeknownst to most, during the Second World War secret maps were printed in a secret, bricked off area of the building. A Roll of Honour commemorating workers who lost their lives was donated to the Eastleigh Museum when the land was redeveloped for housing. The Eastleigh museum is highly accessible, being on the High Street of the town of Eastleigh itself, and offers a wealth of information and knowledge to all ages. Suitable for family days out and able to accommodate school visits, the museum is a great example of things to do for free in Hampshire.
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