By Phoebe Merrick

TO THE east of Romsey, between Halterworth Lane and the Straight Mile lies the most public part of Crampmoor, with St Swithun’s Church to the west and Crampmoor Lane to the east.

St Swithun’s church was built in the 1859 and served as a chapel of ease and a school. By 1930 the school had been detached and moved to a purpose built building in nearby School Road. This was replaced in 1971 by Cupernham Junior and Infant Schools.

The Straight Mile was only constructed in the 18th century and in order to make it accessible it had been necessary to construct a pond that drained the boggy land in the Crampmoor area.

The Straight Mile was part of the new turnpike road from Romsey to Winchester, known to us as the A3090. Within the last 50 years it was upgraded, and moved slightly northwards. The former route survives as a service road to the adjacent bungalows.

Once the turnpike road was created, the old route to Ampfield became redundant. That part of it known as Crampmoor Lane still survives, and at the end of the lane, by Crampmoor farm, there are still footpaths across the fields.

None of the houses in Crampmoor Lane seems older than 19th century. There was a pub in Crampmoor Lane called at one time ‘The Old House at Home’ and at another ‘The Cricketers Arms’. Like many country pubs, it only held a beer licence and sold home-brewed beer. There was a cob building with mud walls in which the landlord brewed his beer and a later brick building where he sold it.

The business was still going in 1859 when Emos Lawrence held the licence. The heyday of this establishment was in the mid-1840s when it was patronised by the navvies who were building the railway line from Eastleigh.

The ‘Cricketers Arms’ name is something of a puzzle as there does not seem to be sufficient level ground in the area for a cricket ground.

Near Crampmoor Farm, Crampmoor Lane turns south-west through a sharp bend, and runs southward parallel to a stream that formed part of the ancient boundary of Romsey.

It used to be possible to drive along Crampmoor Lane to Green Lane. This involved crossing the railway line beyond Tadburn Lane, but the level crossing has been reduced to pedestrian status and the road on the far side is now only a footpath.