August 25, 2021|News

The Knowle History Boards project is under way!

Wickham History Society, working with Wickham Parish Council, has agreed a project for the installation of several History Boards around Knowle Village, along with a QR trail, allowing smartphone users to access more information on key buildings and sites as they walk around the village.

The boards and QR trail should be in place by Spring 2022.

With a growing awareness and interest of Knowle by its own community, and those from further afield, a desire to develop history boards at Knowle Village was expressed by various parties.

Following the successful installation of history boards in Wickham, and with an experienced team and a proven track record, the Wickham History Society (WHS) was approached by representatives from the Parish Council (PC) and the Knowle Residents Association requesting that WHS explore the idea.

After identifying several possible locations for history boards, along with ideas for content, the WHS developed a proposal for consideration by the PC.

The proposal was accepted and the Parish Council has generously agreed to fund this project.

The History Boards Project
The history boards design will be visually appealing, with historical commentary and accompanying images – illustrations and photos, providing a talking point and stimulating interest from residents and visitors. Both physical and virtual platforms will be included to make the information accessible and appealing to the widest audience.

Locations and Types of Boards
There will be five information boards: two in Parish Notice Boards and three low-level lectern boards; located at the points shown on the map.

Board Content
Following are the current outline ideas for the board content. The content will be refined based upon local input and the further research and development of ideas.

Knowle Village Hall:
• A potted history of Knowle, including prior use of land, the farm, and the railway
• A stylised map showing the information points
• QR codes explanation

Old Chapel
A lectern board with information on:
• The history of the chapel, including when built, architect, design
• The Knowle War memorial: when and why erected
• Case studies on casualties of war: a Knowle attendant commemorated on the memorial; a patient’s war experience

North Square by the original entrance
Two lectern boards to show:
• A plan of original building highlighting main features; a second plan showing the subsequent additions
• Information on staff, including a biography of Dr Manley, medical superintendent; the types of staff employed e.g. attendants, bakers, gas stokers, etc.
• Patient information, including numbers, and a patient case study

South Square
• A potted history of Knowle, similar to that displayed at the Knowle Village Hall
• A plan showing the hosptal buildings which were demolished during the redevelopment of the site
• A description of the changes in use of the building: e.g. original site of chapel
• Information on patient diet: what did they eat? where did the food come from?
• A patient case study

To see examples of the type of boards, visit Wickham and see the history boards located in the Parish Notice Board in the Square and at Wickham Community Centre. Lectern-style boards can be seen in the Square (outside Wentworth House/Knights Chambers), on the Village Green and in the Water Meadows.

QR Codes
All history boards will carry a unique QR – Quick Response – code, a type of barcode, which can be scanned by a smartphone.

Anyone who would like to know more about a history board content will be able to directly access the WHS website for more more information by simply scanning the QR code.

To modify QR information, the relevant changes are made on the website so a ‘new’ board does not have to be made.

Aims of the Knowle Village History Boards project
Knowle’s community is made up of people who have lived in and around Knowle for a number of years along with those who are new to the Village, perhaps staying for a short time before moving on.

It is hoped that by sharing Knowle’s rich heritage, to encourage a sense of community and to foster pride and ownership as the custodians of Knowle’s fascinating and unique history.

If you have any background information on Knowle that you are willing to share, then please use the contact page on the WHS website 

An interesting article
First Port, the company that manages Knowle Village, recently published an article entitled Knowle Village: A fascinating history brought to life for residents.

You can read this article in full at

Jane Painter

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