The Avenue and Titchfield Road

Redlands Lane and Croft House on the right, with Gudge Heath Lane and The Buccaneer on the left - no traffic lights (1980s, tap to enlarge)

Titchfield Road was the main road west, but in an unusually-recent twist, it was renamed The Avenue in the 1970s. It was designated A27 in 1922 and still holds that status today, even though it was detrunked in 1977.

It starts at the railway station, where West Street ends. The West End Inn and a series of buildings around it were demolished in 1974 to make way for Western Way.

The fire station moved here in 1972. Numbers 1-5 of the West End Cottages, along with three buildings behind them, managed to survive all the roadworks but numbers 6-8, positioned directly opposite, were lost. The West Street houses lost their front gardens too.

The depressing grey railway bridge was originally a very narrow and tight brick arch, which gained a second bridge when the railway was extended towards Netley.

On the south side of the road were six properties called Primrose Cottages. These and four houses on Paxton Road, including a post office, where demolished when the road was widened and the bridges replaced.

The road to the north was built to serve a coal hopper and cattle shed at the station. Next to it, five named properties were built in the 1930s, demolished in 2010 to make way for Craigbank Court.

The important Blackbrook Turnpike was sited in between the next two junctions. This became Redlands Cottage, but was demolished in the 1960s and became a patch of grass, and is now covered by the road. Behind it The Berkeley Hotel was built in the 1920s, which became the Buccaneer public house and is now a chain restaurant.

On the south we have Blackbrook Lodge and Blackbrook Cottage. The latter became The Grove and then Bishopswood. The building nearest the road was Bishopswood Lodge, opposite this used to be a well. The road around here was only widened in 2017.

Blackbrook Park Avenue appeared in the 1940s. Blackbrook House Drive was literally the driveway to Blackbrook House, which became a maternity home and then became a care home. The building at the end was Blackbrook Gate House, which became The Lodge, and further houses were built on the large grounds and gardens here.

In the 1960s, this part of the road was straightened. The old bit of road to the north is the original alignment: it used to rejoin at the Bishopsfield Road traffic lights, but the large properties around here were demolished to create the street Veryan.

St Jude's Catholic School was built in the 1960s, as a tiny track down to Wallisdean became a full residential street.

As befits this leafy journey, the properties here all have large gardens. Glen-da-Lough (became York House), Elm House, and the appropiately-named Avenue House were all built in the 1890s. Hollington was built slightly later. Most of the other properties were built in a seemingly random order around the 1940s.

The Peak Lane junction was again widened in the 1960s, with the north side being the original alignment. It was then straightened again. Until then, the straight-line would have taken you up Catisfield Road, which gained most of its houses around the 1950s. Heathfield Farm closed in the 1940s and became a builders yard. The farm cottage was at the front of it. Heath Cottage became Cattisfield Villa and then Heathfield Cottage.

Heathfield House became Lysses Senior School. With the road widening, parts of the building were demolished and it became the Heathfield Manor Hotel, now Oast and Squire. The schools had moved to several sites in the housing estates around Peak Lane, which grow massively in the 1970s.

The old road went left, the newest road goes right (2018, tap to enlarge)

The next section was a long drag through fields. Houses on the south side were mostly built in the 1920s. On the north side, Sarandi and number 108 opened in the 1940s. 108 would have had a much larger garden but now it stands out because it's so close to the road - the new carriageway here was built to the north, and is slightly higher up.

Highbury Lodge joined them soon after. These all had access to tennis courts - the land was too valuable and eventually used to extend the housing estates.

The Highlands Road junction was added in 1968, with number 124 becoming the telephone exchange.

The main junction was actually where Ranvilles Lane (which went down to Hollam Lodge) and Catisfield Road (later called Catisfield Lane) joined. Houses here were deliberately set back from the road to leave space.

Beyond here is a hill which was called Catisfield Hill, though the street was called Titchfield Hill. In the 1930s, the Titchfield Bypass (named Southampton Road) was built, which took the road north and away from the village. In the 1980s, an eastern bypass of Titchfield was provided, and the fork turned into a large gyratory.