Heritage trail

Did you know Havant was once infamous for parchment making, or that it was well regarded for its glove-making industry? Did you know that a number of buildings in the town centre date from around 1600?

If you’re intrigued by Havant’s history, why not follow the Havant Heritage Trail? With 32 points of interest – all marked by a plaque – and a lovely leaflet to support your stroll, why not explore it for yourself?

Details on the 34 sites can be found below to whet your appetite.

1. The Crossroads

Since the earliest settlements in Havant, the community has built up around the crossing of two ancient tracks.

The north-south track was an ancient route to Langstone Harbour. The east-west track was a pre-Roman coast road.

2. St Faith's Church

The present church was built in the 12th century and much restored in the 19th century. During repairs in 1832, traces of Roman foundations were found beneath it.

This suggests that some form of worship may have taken place on this site for 2,000 years. The chancel - which is the oldest part of the church - dates from the 13th century.

3. The Robin Hood

The Robin Hood was created from the conversion of two early 19th century cottages. To the rear of the building there once stood a former malthouse.

4. Homewell Spring

This is the only one of Havant's springs that is still open to view. It is almost certainly the "Haman Funta" from which the town took its name.

5. The Parchment Factory

These buildings were formerly the old parchment factory. The Homewell Spring proved ideal for the production of high-quality parchment.

6. Homewell House

Taking its name from the famous spring close by, Homewell House, built in the 1830s, owes its origins to the Homewell Brewery that formerly adjoined the property.

7. The Old House at Home

This century timber-framed building is a fine example of Tudor architecture, with overhanging upper floor, small windows and stout oak beams.

8. Malthouse and John Moore's Wall

A malthouse was where barley was turned into malt for use in the local breweries. Brewing was a major industry in Havant until the First World War. The wall attached to the back of this building bears the name John Moore who, in 1832, was a well known stonemason.

9. Hall Place

Hall Place was built in 1796 and replaced an older building. The yellow (or buff) bricks of which it is built were brought into the area from Dorset as a prestigious building material. The exterior and interior of the house are largely unaltered.

10. Gloyne's Brewery

This small independent brewery was worked for nearly eighty years by the Gloyne family of maltsters and brewers until its closure in 1898. The brewhouse and malthouse still survive intact.

11. The White Hart

The White Hart was built in 1889 replacing two earlier public houses. It is a fine example of both corner and public house architecture.

12. Bear Hotel

The Bear Hotel is an eighteenth century coaching inn which provided a regular stopping point for stage coaches on both the south coast and London runs.

13. Barclay's Passage

The passageway is believed to be part of the original north-south track which ran south to Langstone and across the causeway to Hayling Island. The wall has a plaque of unknown origin dated 1672.

14. Magnolia House

This is an excellent example of the Georgian houses which made East Street one of the most desirable parts of the town in which to live. Notice the impressive porch and doorway which remain relatively unchanged since the house was first constructed.

15. The Twittens

An old local name signifying a town path. These ancient tracks were often referred to by old inhabitants as "Back Lanes". Twitten means "betwixt and between" in country dialect.

16. The Old Town Hall

The Old Town Hall was built in 1870 by a group of prominent local people including William Stone of Leigh Park House. The hall served as a focal point for community activities, opening its door on 24 June 1978 as Havant Arts Centre and, in 2009, merged with Havant Museum to become the Spring Arts & Heritage Centre.

17. The Spring

The Museum building was constructed in 1874 at the request of Mary Charge who wanted a house with a hall in which a choir or orchestra could perform. It has since been used for numerous community functions and was bought by Havant and Waterloo Urban District Council in 1946.

In 1979 the building opened as Havant Museum and now forms an integral part of The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre.

18. The Hayling Billy Line

The branch railway to Hayling Island opened initially to Langstone in 1865 and was extended to Hayling in 1867. The line closed in 1963 and its route is now a leisure trail. The railway bridge supports are still to be seen crossing Langstone Harbour.

19. Old Post Office

This building was built in 1936 and carries the royal cipher of Edward VIII who reigned as King of England for just eleven months during 1936 before abdicating to marry Mrs Simpson.

20. Gazebo and Garden

The Gazebo (gazing place) was built in 1779 by the Lelleyet family - watchmakers, silversmiths and gunsmiths of Havant. It served as a pleasant viewing point over the garden wall to what was the fairland and countryside beyond. It also overlooked Havant's Manor House located at the junction of Prince George Street and Fairfield Road.

21. Fairfield Terrace

An imaginative example of Victorian architecture. The name Fairfield comes from the annual fair granted to the town by Henry VI in 1451. At the end of this terrace you will see a plaque commemorating Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.

22. Church House (formerly Pallant House)

With parts likely to date from the 17th century, this is largely an 18th century house, altered in the 19th century. This building was acquired by the church in 1919.

23. No.4 Prince George Street

This Georgian house was the home of the minister of the Dissenters' Chapel (see no. 24).

This house was built in the early part of the 18th century and is a fine example of a Georgian domestic building.

24. The Dissenter's Chapel

The Chapel was built in 1718 during the reign of George I as a place of divine worship. At this time religious and moral values were flourishing. Dissenters is a collective name given to the first religious groups established independently of the Church of England.

25. No.11 The Pallant

Built in the early 1800's, this attractive house is in the old south Hampshire tradition of grey brick with red borders, a parapet roof and bow windows.

It is unusual in having the bow windows on both floors.

26. United Reformed Church

Built in 1891 as the Congregational Church to replace the Free Church in The Pallant.

In 1972 the Congregational Church joined with the Presbyterian Church to become the United Reformed Church.

27. The Perseverance

A good example of decorative faience brickwork, this mid-Victorian public house was its origins in an earlier 19th century building.

28. The railway station

The first railway ran through Havant in 1847. In 1858 the "Battle of Havant" occurred between two rival railway companies. The London South-Western wished to link Portsmouth to London, but the London Brighton and South Coast refused them permission to cross the tracks of the already established coastal line. In 1859, consent was finally given.

29. Havant Park

Havant Park was created by Havant Urban District Council. The Pavilion, built in 1890, was paid for by the local business community. The park has provided a recreation area in Havant for over 100 years was the venue for the town's annual sports day until the middle of the 20th century.

30. The Workhouse

Longcroft House has been built on the site of the Havant Workhouse which provided shelter for people who could not support themselves. C.J. Longcroft was the Clerk to the Guardians who ran the workhouse in the latter part of the 19th century.

The workhouse bell can be seen on the timeline at The Spring.

31. The Glove Factory

This building was a valuable source of local employment for Havant. The leatherworking factory owned by Alfred Stent operated on this site, later turning to tanning and glove making before finally ceasing production in 1960. Alfred Stent & Sons produced gloves Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

32. The Court House (formerly The Black Dog)

Part of this building dates back to the Tudor period. One of the upstairs rooms was used as a Magistrates Court until the late 1800s. It was also the meeting place for the Havant Board of Health which was set up in 1852 to improve the health of the town.

33. La Bonne Baguette

Formerly a storehouse and loft for a brewery and malthouse, it would have used the local spring water for brewing.

34. Davies' Chemist

This building is believed to have been a farmhouse and is significantly older than the Georgian frontage would suggest, dating probably from the 1600s. The red tiles on the front, called mathematical tiles, are designed to look like bricks.