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Fleet, Hampshire facts for kids

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Fleet is located in Hampshire
Population 42,835 (built-up area)
23,167 (civil parish) (2016)
OS grid reference SU8054
• London 38.2 miles (61.5 km)
Civil parish
  • Fleet
  • Hart
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town FLEET
Postcode district GU51, GU52
Dialling code 01252
Police Hampshire
Fire Hampshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
  • North East Hampshire
List of places
51°17′00″N 0°50′44″W / 51.2834°N 0.8456°W / 51.2834; -0.8456

<mapframe text="Current map of Fleet" width=282 height=282 zoom=13 latitude=51.2834 longitude=-0.8456 />

Fleet is a town and civil parish in the Hart District of Hampshire, England, centred 38.2 miles (61.5 km) WSW of London and 13 miles (21 km) east of Basingstoke. It is the major town of the Hart District, and has large technology business areas, fast rail links to London, and is well connected to the M3. The Fleet built-up area has a total population of 42,835, and includes the contiguous parishes of Church Crookham, Crookham Village, Dogmersfield, and Elvetham Heath. The town has a prominent golf club, an annual half marathon, an athletics club, and four football clubs. The nearby service station on the motorway is named after the town.

Hart, of which Fleet is the main town, was voted the best place to live in the UK by the Halifax Quality of Life study in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and again in 2017, above areas such as Elmbridge in Surrey and Wokingham in Berkshire. This is due to the highly affluent majority of the population, better weather and health conditions, high levels of access to leisure space, and the town's surrounding countryside which includes woodlands and the Basingstoke Canal.

Local landmarks include Fleet Pond, the largest freshwater lake in Hampshire, and a High Street with many Victorian and Edwardian buildings. Fleet holds a weekly Saturday market in Gurkha Square.


FleetPond2 fromNW
View of Fleet Pond. The railway line is about 100 metres to the left of the picture.

The site of Fleet was originally heathland in the northern part of the Crondall Hundred. The name Fleet was probably derived from the Norman French word La Flete meaning a stream or shallow water - a reference to the Fleet Pond from which fish had been taken for the monks in Winchester in Medieval times.

Early Days (to 1904)

The area that was to become Fleet had shallow and sandy soil, much of it boggy or covered in gorse and bracken which held little attraction to agriculture and, compared to the chalk lands in the west of the county, the Fleet area has yielded few archaeological finds. Isaac Taylor's Map of Hampshire (1759) shows only three habitations in the area that was later to become Fleet.

In 1792 the Basingstoke Canal opened. The canal passed through the town site, but apart from a few inns to serve the passing trade it had little effect on the locality. Apart from the Farnham to Reading road, the site remained largely undeveloped until the construction of the London and South Western Railway, which opened in 1840. In that year a church - Christ Church that was to become the heart of the new ecclesiastical parish of Ewshot and Crookham was built midway between the villages of Crookham and Ewshot. This parish included the area that was to become the town of Fleet. The railway company promoted Fleet Pond for a destination for day excursions and many people came down from London to skate on the Pond during the winter. This attracted a number of gentry, particularly retired army officers, who moved to the area bounded by Fleet Road, Elvetham Road and Reading Road North and laid the foundations of what was to become known locally as "The Blue Triangle".

By 1860 Charles Lefroy, a local squire, commissioned All Saints' Church – in the Blue Triangle area in memory of his wife who had died in 1857. The architect was William Burges. The ecclesiastical parish of Ewshot and Crookam was split into two in 1862, with the northern section based on the All Saints' church becoming the new parish of Fleet. On 23 June 2015 the roof of All Saints' church was destroyed by fire in a suspected arson attack.

The development of Fleet accelerated when the land to the south east of the Blue Triangle was sold for development in 1882 which, unlike the Blue Triangle, was laid out in a grid pattern. Thus it is that there are few very old buildings in Fleet, with much of the modern town formed around Victorian buildings.

As part of the Urban District Council (1904 - 1974)

Under the Local Government Act 1894 many of the duties that had previously been shouldered by the ecclesiastical parishes were transferred to new civil parish and Crookham, Fleet and Crondall each gained an elected parish council. In 1904 the civil parish of Crookham was split into two - Crookham Village and Church Crookham with Church Crookham and Fleet Rural Parish being merged to form the Fleet and Church Crookham Urban District.

As in many parts of Britain, there was a building boom between the First and Second World Wars. Fleet also contains structures built in the 1960s such as the line of shops on the left of the picture below.

As part of the Hart District Council (1974 onwards)

Fleet has expanded in the past few decades with new residential areas being built at Ancells Farm, Zebon Copse (in neighbouring Church Crookham) and Elvetham Heath. Completed in 2008, Elvetham Heath is one of the UK's largest new housing developments, which has added some 3,500 inhabitants to Fleet's population, bringing its total population up to around 35,000, a 20% increase in less than a decade.

Two earlier developments in Fleet involved a double opening on 10 May 1991, the Hart Shopping Centre, which was opened officially by HRH The Duchess Of York and the Hart Leisure Centre on Hitches Lane (towards Church Crookham).

Although Fleet has traditionally been a dormitory town housing commuters to London, it now has several business parks, mainly occupied by Information Technology companies.

A plan to add a new multiplex cinema was abandoned; a gym was built on the proposed site instead.


Areas and suburbs of the town are Pondtail, Ancells Park and Elvetham Heath. The villages of Crookham Village and Church Crookham have also grown to be contiguous with the town. Immediately surrounding towns and villages include Winchfield, Dogmersfield, Crondall, Ewshot, and Hartley Wintney.

The Fleet Pond nature reserve is a notable beauty spot on the northern edge of the town. The 'pond' itself is in fact the largest freshwater lake in Hampshire, albeit very shallow. In times past, the lake has frozen over permitting skating. Fleet can be reached from London and Southampton via the M3 motorway, the nearest junction being 4A. Fleet services on the M3 lies at the edge of the town. Its main road, Fleet Road, runs through the town centre from south-west to north-east. Fleet railway station is on the Waterloo to Southampton main line; the train service is run by South West Trains. Journey time to Waterloo is about 50 minutes, express trains do the journey in under 40 minutes. There are small airports nearby at Blackbushe Airport and Farnborough Airfield. The Basingstoke Canal, built at the end of the eighteenth century, connected Fleet to Basingstoke and, in the other direction, London via the Wey navigation. By the early twentieth century, it had fallen into disrepair, but the section between the Wey Navigation and the Greywell Tunnel (midway between Fleet and Basingstoke) has since been restored by volunteers and is maintained as a leisure facility.


Along with the rest of South East England, Fleet has a temperate climate which is generally wetter and warmer than the rest of the country. The annual mean temperature is approximately 9 °C (48.2 °F) and shows a seasonal and a diurnal variation. January is the coldest month with mean minimum temperatures between 0.5 °C (32.9 °F) and 2 °C (35.6 °F). July is the warmest month in the area with average daily maxima around 21 °C (69.8 °F).



Fleet is served by Fleet railway station, on the South West Main Line. The station in the 2010s underwent great improvements, funded mostly by Hampshire County Council, giving the station more car parking and disabled access.


Local bus services include services operated by Stagecoach, with routes circulating the town and providing access to surrounding towns such as Farnborough and Aldershot, and a Reading Buses service connecting the Fleet to the market town of Reading, Berkshire.

Sport and leisure

Fleet is the home of the North Hants Golf Club. For over one hundred years, it has been a top-ranked course in Hampshire and nationally. Justin Rose was a junior member of the club, and there is now a meeting room named after him.

Fleet has four Non-League football teams: Fleet Town F.C., who play at Calthorpe Park, Fleet Spurs F.C., who play at Kennels Lane, Fleet Albion, who play at Dippenhall St., Crondall, and FC Fleet, who play at Zebon Copse.

Fleet has a half marathon, commonly used in preparation for the London Marathon, and an athletics club, Fleet & Crookham AC.


The town has numerous events organised by the local carnival committee, the largest being fleet Carnival, and the switching on of the Christmas lights as December approaches (known as Fleet Festivities), usually held the last Wednesday in November, taking place along the local high-street, which is pedestrianised for the evenings events. The committee also arrange food festival, attracting stands run by local restaurants and talks and demonstrations held in large marquees.

The area has various strong charity clubs one of which, the local Lions International club, run a Beer Festival and a Fireworks night every year.

Other yearly events in fleet includes a Half Marathon, Fleet 10K, and Elvetham Heath Car Show.

A market takes place every Saturday in Gurkha square, outside the Harlington Building (The local Entertainment venue and library).


Men in the Fleet North ward had the second highest life expectancy at birth, 89.7 years, of any ward in England and Wales in 2016.


The town has a number of schools including:

  • Crookham CE Infants
  • Fleet Infants
  • Heatherside Infants
  • Heatherside Juniors
  • All Saints
  • Tavistock Infant School
  • Elvetham Heath Primary School
  • Church Crookham Juniors
  • Tweseldown Infants
  • Velmead Junior School
  • Calthorpe Park School
  • Court Moor School
  • St Nicholas' School (independent, girls-only)

Notable people

  • The actress Juliet Aubrey was born in Fleet in 1969.
  • The musician Tim Battersby was born in Fleet in 1949.
  • The actress Raquel Cassidy was born in Fleet in 1968.
  • The musician and author Alan Clayson grew up in Fleet.
  • The magazine editor, journalist and broadcaster Mark Ellen grew up in Fleet.
  • The professional tennis player John Feaver was born in Fleet in 1952.
  • The comedian, musician and actor Rob Hoey is from Fleet
  • The professional footballer Keith Hooker was born in Fleet in 1950.
  • Alison Robins (1920-2017), worked at Bletchley Park "Y-Service", born in Fleet
  • Patrick Hannan drummer in The Sundays was born in Fleet
  • The golfer Justin Rose was a member of the North Hants Golf Club in Fleet.
  • The art critic and man of letters, John Russell, was born in Fleet in 1919.
  • The platform diver Gemma McArthur, competitor for Team Scotland in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, is from Fleet.
  • The racing driver Jac Constable, who won the AM class of the Ginetta GT4 Supercup in 2018 grew up and lives in Fleet.
  • The racing driver Dan Welch, who competed in the British Touring Car Championship between 2011 and 2018 lives in Fleet.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Fleet (Hampshire) para niños

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