An ancient trackway

You are standing on what was originally part of the Titchfield to Southwick trackway which ran along what is now Dairymoor.

Wickham’s village school
Opposite is the Victorian flint and brick Ivy Cottage built by the Lord of the Manor as the village school in 1846. Station Road did not exist until the building of the railway in 1902 – the land was originally the school playground. The school closed in 1869 when a new Church of England School was built in School Road.

At one time it was the home of Miss Estella Elizabeth WARREN who became the headteacher of the ‘new’ school, since closed and relocated to Buddens Road.

Clarks corner
In the late 1800’s, three Knight sisters, along with their two nephews by the name of King, ran a drapery business from this location. This business was taken over by Frederick William CLARK in 1897, becoming ‘Clark’s drapers and outfitters’. Their summer sale in 1909 was a major village event with a brass band, fireworks, flags and fairy lights.

As did many other traders, Frederick Clark visited his existing – and potential – customers, taking clothes which he would leave on approval. People could also send him a postcard with their shopping orders.

The shop was an important part of life for many villagers throughout the twentieth century until its closure in 2002.

Warwick House
Part way down Bridge Street on the left is Warwick House.  This was originally two shops – a watch repairer and a saddler. When Mr. Warwick the saddler was given notice to quit he painted his name over the front door.

A fine example of a blue and red brick Georgian house built in 1777. To the left of the door arch is a brick inscribed “MG 1777”, a builder’s mark. The house still retains a fine “Chippendale” style staircase.

Queens Lodge
Further down Bridge Street is Queens Lodge. This is the oldest dated brick vernacular building in Hampshire – built in 1648 or even earlier. The ornate brick pillars and entrance are a scaled down version of grand Jacobean country houses. The original bricks are handmade of varying sizes and there are also original plaster decoration and other features included a witch’s mark surviving inside.

For many years this was the George Inn and later Richard Henry MILLER, grocer and Walter John LEE, baker, ran their joint business ‘Miller & Lee’ from these premises.

Note the Sun Insurance fire mark (a metal plaque) above the front door. In the 18th century, fire insurance companies provided the only fire brigades. You placed a fire mark on your house to prove you had a policy with the company. If you did not have a fire mark then the fire brigade let your house burn down!

The Barracks
The Old Barracks – further down Bridge Street on the right – dates back to 1495. This is a Wealden House, which originally had two projecting first floor jetties either side of a recessed open hall (nos. 10 and 11 – no. 9 is an addition).  Although originally a building for a wealthy farmer or tradesperson it was later divided into five cottages or lodging houses and still has a Victorian sign warning vagrants to stay away.

Two of Bridge Street’s earlier names were George Street and St George’s Hill. A less flattering name was Grub Street !

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