Ropley History Network and Archive – Update

Facebook Page  –  We have recently set up a Facebook page to broaden the awareness and appeal of the Network and Archive.  You are invited to join the page if you would like to receive current news of the activity of the Network and Archive.    The forum’s posts will hopefully invite discussion, shared information and knowledge.  The page will also post material from the archive and promote events.

Find us under our name on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/907273653059061/

Lottery Heritage Grant Application – The writing of the application is continuing and we hope to put in a the bid sometime in early summer.  World events have somewhat limited group discussions, but we will endeavour!   To remind everyone what we are attempting to achieve –

The RHN&A are a group for people who have an interest in the history of the village of Ropley and the local area. The purpose of the group is to research and archive information and or material covering the history of Ropley and the local area that will be accessible via a shared digital platform. It is intended that we digitise as much of the existing archive as possible and provide a platform for the cataloguing, storage of, and investigation of future digitised records. Funding will enable the creation of a digital community archive and website.

The Website will also provide a platform for future involvement and contributions that will be drawn from a number of local history projects, 6 of which are already running on an informal, self managed and voluntary basis with individuals from the group meeting occasionally to share and discuss areas of interests and projects of their own and perhaps link up with other individuals that may have a shared interest in a subject of study.

Our list of current and emerging projects is

  • Ropley Gravestones: Investigating and documenting the over 1,000 graves both marked and unmarked in the graveyard at St Peters
  • Stapley Lane and Parkstone Road: Investigation of the William Carter Homestead development and the new developments in Parkstone Road.
  • Railway and Canal: Investigating and documenting the history of the development of the railway at Ropley and investigation into the possible site of a canal and its excavations
  • History of the medieval centre of the village : concentrating initially on Pond Cottage (traced back to 1620’s) the three adjoining cottages at the top of Church Street near the pond (Bell Cottage, Five Bells and 3 Sunnyside). To be followed by investigation of Church Cottages.
  • Monkwood: Investigation of its farming heritage and development as an agricultural settlement post WWI.
  • Farming Heritage: Investigation of the evolution of farms and farming in the parish and the surrounding area. Investigation of the 1890’s OS maps of the parish has identified that there were 17 different farms in Ropley at that time.
  • Digitising the existing archive: Once funding has be secured, there will initially be a concerted effort to digitise the existing archive to make available to all on the website. Then to continue to document, conserve and digitise ongoing contributions to the archive including research documented by the project teams.  Anyone with experience and/or enthusiasm for this kind of work would be greatly welcomed.

If you would like to get involved in any of the projects listed please send us your details to ropleyhistory@gmail.com and we will put you in touch with project(s)

Caroline Ludgate                    

Heritage Walks – Latest

Due to social distancing restrictions the invitation to join in a series of walks in and around Ropley had to be postponed.  As soon as they have been lifted we will contact all those who have shown interest with further details of the first of these walks

The aim of the walks would be to follow a different circular route once a month exploring aspects of the heritage and natural history of our local area. With a combination of luck and planning we would hope to have people joining us and able to share their knowledge of features of interest on the way.

 If you are interested, please contact us on RopleyHistory@gmail.com and we will add your details to our list.

Whether venturing out on your own or thinking of joining this walking group it is worth purchasing a copy of the new Ropley Walks book from the Courtyard shop.

Graham Flatt