Totton and Eling facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsTotton and Eling
Eling Creek, adjacent to the tide mill
28,970 (2011 Census)
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Totton and Eling is a civil parish in Hampshire, England, with a population of about 29,000 people. It contains the town of Totton and is situated between the eastern edge of the New Forest and the River Test, close to the city of Southampton but outside the city boundary; the town is within the New Forest non-metropolitan district. Surrounding towns and villages include Ashurst, Marchwood, Cadnam and Ower.
The Iron Age Hillfort at Tatchbury Mount is evidence of early settlement in the Totton area and Netley Marsh on the edge of Totton was the site of an early battle between Anglo Saxon invaders under Cerdic and Romano-Celtic peoples under Natanleod. The construction of Testwood Lakes revealed a treasure-trove of ancient artefacts including one of the oldest known bridges in England, believed to date to around c.1,500BC. The area's history is inevitably closely connected with ship and boat building but more with its timber trade. It was the site of much illegal dealing in the timber unlawfully obtained from the New Forest.
Eling's attractions include the parish church and The Eling Experience. St Mary's is a Norman church built on Saxon foundations with registers dating back to 1537. The Eling Experience is Eling Tide Mill and heritage centre, and the outdoor walks around the mill pond at Bartley Water and the Solent Water shoreline at Goatee Beach. Eling Tide Mill is one of the very few working tide mills in the UK but cannot be equated with the mill listed in the Domesday Book. Hampshire's only surviving medieval toll bridge is here, across Bartley Water by the side of the Tide Mill. This has been in use since at least 1418 and still charges users today. The Eling Experience is currently closed for refurbishment but the walks remain open.
The original village of Totton can be described as the areas of Totton, Testwood and the Salmon Leap, dissected by the A36 and the A336 and bordered by the River Test. From this, many new developments were made to expand the town. The Calmore estate was built in the early 1970s to the north of the town, and subsequent housing has merged the estate to the town as a whole. Extended housing to the Hounsdown region also occurred during the 1970s, with the construction of the school and the increased housing found there. In the late 1980s and 1990s, more housing was built to the west of the town towards Netley Marsh and along Ringwood Road. These developments, collectively referred to as West Totton, consisted of a new communal area and church and hall as well as huge amounts of new homes.
New Developments on the former BAT sports ground and Little Testwood Farm by Linden Homes is set to take the population of the town to a new high of over 29,000 people. Despite this no new facilities are to be provided, and the current ones will, as a result, be put under larger pressure.
Since the end of World War II, the town has emphasised its connections and proximity to Southampton, due to the prosperity to be found there, but more recently – particularly since the building of West Totton transformed the area beyond all recognition – the Totton and Eling community has attempted to return to its roots as a smaller independent New Forest settlement.
Bus services in the town are run by two main companies. Bluestar operate services to Southampton, Cadnam, Hythe, Dibden and around the town. Wilts & Dorset also operate cross county routes to Salisbury
The town has easy access to the nearby M27 motorway, to Salisbury via the A36 Salisbury Road, to Lyndhurst and Southampton via the A35 and to the Waterside region by the A326.
The town also has numerous cycle routes, which started with the suburban cycleway through West Totton, constructed when the estate was built and running from Hounsdown to Calmore Road. This has further been extended to two on-road routes to the centre of Totton from Calmore schools down Water Lane, and down Salisbury Road. In addition, there are several links to the New Forest cycle network at Ashurst and Foxhills.
The town has a number of churches in the area, the biggest and oldest being St. Mary the Virgin church in Eling. Other Anglican churches in the town include the church of St. Anne in Calmore, the church of St. Matthew in Netley Marsh and the church of St. Winfrid in Testwood. These churches form the Team parish of Totton and are part of the Diocese of Winchester. In addition to these, there is also Testwood Baptist Church and Trinity Church in West Totton (Methodist/URC).
St. Mary the Virgin Church
St Mary the Virgin is the oldest of the churches in the Totton area. Several years ago during the reordering of the church excavations, part of a Celtic cross dating back to the 9th (possibly the 6th) century was found. The site of St Mary's has been a place of Christian worship since that date.
Today the church stands on the hill looking out over the bay to the container port on the Southampton side of Millbrook. On this side, not far away is the expanse and beauty of the New Forest. St Mary's finds itself at a threshold between the industry of Southampton and the quiet of the forest. Within the tension of both lies the possibility of both old and new. The church itself reflects this with a modern interior that brings a light, open effect and the traditional stone, including a Saxon arch. St Mary the Virgin Church is a part of the Anglican team ministry that covers the town of Totton and Eling with 38,000 people within its area. Historically the mother church to the area, St Mary's is now one of four churches in the team ministry along with Calmore, Netley Marsh and Testwood. In 2003 two self-styled 'vampires' were imprisoned for harassment of the vicar of St Mary's and his family.
One of the most successful sporting enterprises of the area has been Totton and Eling Cricket Club. Under its former guise of B.A.T. Sports, it won the Southern Premier League, the highest level of club cricket in the Hampshire area, four times in six seasons between 2001 and 2006. In September 2007 Totton and Eling C.C. became North Gear National 2020 Champions beating Ockbrook & Borrowash in the live televised final on Sky Sports.
Totton also has two local football teams, A.F.C. Totton who play at Testwood Stadium and Totton & Eling F.C. who play at Little Testwood Farm. In 2007, AFC Totton made it to the final of the FA Vase and so had the chance to play in the second competitive match at Wembley Stadium. The club were previously based at a ground in the centre of the town, however moved in 2011 to a new stadium with stand and several training pitches near the outskirts of the town in Calmore. The ground reportedly cost £2.5 million.
There is also a rugby club, Tottonians, operating from grounds at Totton College.
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