Totton and Eling facts for kids

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Totton and Eling
Eling Tide Mill.jpg
Eling Tide Mill at night
Totton and Eling shown within Hampshire
Population 28,300 [1]
28,970 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SU362131
District
  • New Forest
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SOUTHAMPTON
Postcode district SO40
Dialling code 023
Police Hampshire
Fire Hampshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
  • New Forest East
List of places
UK
England
HampshireCoordinates: 50°55′N 1°29′W / 50.92°N 1.49°W / 50.92; -1.49

Totton and Eling is a town and civil parish in Hampshire, England, with a population of around 29,000 people. It is situated outside the eastern edge of the New Forest and on the River Test, close to the city of Southampton but outside of the city boundary; the town is instead within the New Forest non-metropolitan district. Surrounding towns and villages include Ashurst, Marchwood, Cadnam and Ower.

Totton claimed to be the largest village in England until it was made a town in 1974. The town is often considered to be made up of several smaller villages, such as Testwood, Calmore and Hammonds Green (as well as the original village of Totton) which have been connected by new clusters of housing to form the town as it is today. This is backed up by the presence of several areas of local shops, which served their respective villages in the past, and to an extent still do today. Until the 1967 forest perambulation fencing, New Forest ponies were free to roam its streets. At their closest points, Totton and Ashurst are less than 0.4 km (400m) apart, if measured from the closest buildings.

Totton's town centre has changed little since the 1970s. Commercial Road and the A35 causeway are the main exit routes from the town.

The areas behind Calmore Industrial Estate by the River Test have been regenerated with lakes for boating, but their main use is for fishing and as a water supply resource. There is also the Testwood Lakes Centre, with walks along the Test Way running from Totton to Inkpen Beacon in Berkshire, via Romsey in Hampshire.

Eling can be accessed by crossing the railway line which divides the original old village of Totton and the areas of Eling, and Hounsdown. This goes to Brokenford which has some pathways from Totton to the A35 Bypass road at Eling recreation ground, by Bartley Water. The village's name is pronounced the same as that of the London town and borough of Ealing.

History

Early history

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.

Recent history

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.

Transport

Totton and Eling is served by the railway at Totton railway station, on the South Western Main Line to Southampton, London Waterloo, Bournemouth and Poole, and is run by South West Trains.

Bus services in the town are run by two main companies. Bluestar, formerly Solent Blue Line, runs 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.

Religion

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.

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