Ropley History Network & Archive – November 2019 update

Ropley Gravestones: Churchwardens approved the work and records in the Hampshire Records office have been investigated. There appear to be well over 1000 graves, both marked and unmarked.

Railway and Canal: A visit to the Hampshire records office is planned. Appears that houses on the Dene Cottage side of the road appear to be built on the canal land and excavations. The 1960’s road realignment between Gasgoine Lane and Berry hill filled in and covered up the excavations and lost the site of another cottage and well. Not surprising that the Chequers site floods!

Stapley Lane and Parkstone Road: It’s been discovered that there are no buildings shown on old maps until the Holt wood estate was developed 1905. The 1830 tithe map labels the two fields near the Petersfield Road as Stapley and a Stapley wood. It is possible that staplo is an old English word for posts and poles, ley is a cleared wood – intriguing and more investigation needed.

Pond Cottages: The history of the medieval centre of the village project are concentrating on the three adjoining cottages at the top of Church Street near the pond (Bell Cottage, Five Bells and 3 Sunnyside). The history of two of these has been traced back to when they were built on waste land in about 1612 along with details of many of the owners and occupiers from then up to now. Investigation of Church Cottages (overlooking the churchyard and close to the shop) will be our project over the coming months.

Monkwood: The project plans to hold a kick off meeting in November.

Farming Heritage: Investigation of the 1890’s OS maps of the parish has identified that there were 17 different farms in Ropley at that time. Many of these farm holdings are now just a distant memory. All these have important stories to tell and are an essential part of the history of the village. We don’t want to lose this history. If you have any knowledge in this area, or of farming generally, or know someone who does, please get in touch.

Digitising the existing archive: The Steering group have started the process of applying for grants locally and from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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

Many thanks again for all your support.

Carole Oldham of the Ropley History and Archive Steering Group