Eastleigh facts for kids
The Point, Eastleigh's old town hall
|Eastleigh shown within Hampshire|
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Eastleigh is in Hampshire, England, and the main town in the Borough of Eastleigh. The town lies between Southampton and Winchester, and is part of the South Hampshire conurbation. The first substantial growth was as a railway town. Now it is home to many businesses, including a manufacturing plant owned by Prysmian Cables & Systems (formerly the cables division of Pirelli). The town lies on the River Itchen, one of England's premier chalk streams for fly fishing, a designated site of Special Scientific Interest.
The modern town of Eastleigh lies on the old Roman road, built in A.D.79 between Winchester (Venta Belgarum) and Bitterne (Clausentum). Roman remains discovered in the Eastleigh area, including a Roman lead coffin excavated in 1908, indicate that a settlement probably existed here in Roman times.
A Saxon village called 'East Leah' has been recorded to have existed since 932 AD. ('Leah' is an ancient Anglo-Saxon word meaning 'a clearing in a forest'). There is additional evidence of this settlement in a survey from the time which details land in North Stoneham being granted by King Æthelstan to his military aid, Alfred in 932 AD. The prefix 'Est' or 'East' is thought to refer to its location relative to the established settlement of Baddesley.
The Domesday Book of 1086 gives a more detailed account of the settlement, which is referred to as 'Estleie'.
In 1838 the London and South Western Railway Company (L&SWR) built a railway from Southampton to Winchester. It was decided to build a station near the little village of Barton. This railway station was originally named Bishopstoke Junction. In 1868 the villages of Barton and Eastley were combined into one parish. A parish church, the Church of the Resurrection, was built in the same year, at a cost of £2,300. A local noted author of many novels, Charlotte Yonge, donated £500 towards the building of the church. She was rewarded by being given the privilege to choose a name for the 'new' parish; either Barton or Eastly. She chose Eastly, but with a new modern spelling; Eastleigh. In 1891 the L&SWR Carriage and Wagon Works from Nine Elms in London were transferred to Eastleigh. This was followed by the Nine Elms Locomotive Works which were moved there in 1909. These railway works were closed in 2006 but have since reopened, albeit on a smaller scale.
Eastleigh has seen a rapid and controlled expansion in residential, industrial and commercial development over recent years. The borough of Eastleigh was ranked the "9th best place to live in the UK 2006" by a Channel 4 programme.
The United States Navy established a naval air station on 23 July 1918 to assemble and repair Caproni Ca.5 and Airco DH.4 and DH.9 bombers for the Northern Bombing Group of the First World War. The base closed shortly after the First Armistice at Compiègne. Perhaps Eastleigh's best-known 'resident' is the Spitfire aeroplane which was built in Southampton and first flown from Eastleigh Aerodrome. A replica has recently been placed on the roundabout at the entrance to the airport.
Eastleigh Museum, which is to be found in the High Street holds information about the town and the surrounding villages, including Bishopstoke which had been the largest residential area.
Emmanuel Baptist Church was founded in the early 1930s, in the former Desborough Mission Hall in Desborough Road. The building dates to 1905.
- See also: Southampton Airport
Southampton Airport (IATA: SOU, ICAO: EGHI), the 20th largest airport in the UK, is located in Eastleigh. Southampton Airport is served by a dedicated mainline railway station, Southampton Airport Parkway, which is the next station stop (5 minutes) from Eastleigh railway station.
- See also: Eastleigh railway station
Eastleigh is served by Eastleigh railway station, a mainline station on the South Western Main Line from London Waterloo (just 75 minutes away) and Winchester to Southampton, Bournemouth and Poole, with a fast and frequent service to those places. It is also the junction station for two other routes, the Eastleigh-Fareham Line and the Eastleigh-Romsey Line.
Eastleigh has bus services provided by Stagecoach South, Bluestar, Brijan Tours, First Group Hampshire, Wilts & Dorset and Xelabus.
Eastleigh is also located close to the junction between the M3 motorway and M27 motorway, giving easy road access to Southampton, Winchester, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and places between.
The Swan Shopping Centre opened in 1989, and was built in the heart of the town's Victorian 'grid iron' road layout and blocked off Market Street and High Street – although through access was possible for pedestrians while the centre was open. The Swan Centre included a French-style café and a new library (replacing the recently demolished Town Hall Library) in the High Street atrium.
Twin towns and sister cities
Eastleigh is twinned with:
- Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, France
- Kornwestheim, Germany
It has a "sister city" relationship with:
- Temple Terrace, Florida, United States
It has a "friendship link" with:
Images for kids
Eastleigh Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.