Area Seven
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Look at Romsey

Town Design Statement for Romsey

Lower Cupernham and Fishlake Meadows

Prepared by a team of volunteers in the area under the auspices of the
Romsey and District Society.

Area Map

Area Setting and Landscape


The Canal between lower Cupernham and Fishlake Meadows
The Canal between lower Cupernham and Fishlake Meadows

Lower Cupernham and the Fishlake Meadows estate lie on the northern side of Romsey, across the railway line that divides them from the town centre.

The area is bounded by a short stretch of Winchester Road (A3090) and Cupernham Lane on the east, Fishlake Meadows on the north and Greatbridge Road (A3057) on the west.

The area is traversed from north to south by the old canal. This was the Andover-Redbridge canal and is locally known as ‘the Barge’, ‘Barge River’ or ‘Barge Canal’. To the east of the canal the ground rises up to Cupernham Lane (lower Cupernham). To the west of the canal the ground is level, being part of the valley floor of the River Test (Fishlake Meadows estate).

Robert Whitworth Drive forms a circulatory road within Fishlake Meadows estate and each end of this L-shaped road gives access to the road Fishlake Meadows.

The southern part of lower Cupernham is accessed via Great Well Drive, Latham Road and Mercer Way. Access is gained to the northern part via New Road or Homefield. Oxlease Close opens onto Fishlake Meadows and has no vehicular links with the rest of Cupernham.

Cupernham was an area of agricultural activity from pre-historic times, and old spellings of its name such as Kiperneham or Kippernam suggest that commercial fishing took place in the area in Saxon times. Cupernham Lane is one of the local distributor roads in Romsey. It leads north from Winchester Road and its line was established before 1800. Ribbon development took place along Cupernham Lane after the First World War.

The Canal was opened in 1794 and the stretch through Romsey from Timsbury to the Plaza theatre survives. Elsewhere much of the Canal was replaced in 1865 by a railway line. The canal is crossed by an old road bridge and by two foot bridges. There is a secondary footpath parallel to the tow path which extends the length of The Meadows and Horsecroft from Fishlake Meadows. Canal path

 

Canal TowpathPart of the tow path is a road called Canal Walk, although with limited vehicular access. It branches away from the canal towards the railway station and the accompanying tunnel thereby providing a route to the town centre. It is much used by both pedestrians and cyclists.
The canal and tow path extend northwards to Timsbury which makes a pleasant walk, but the lack of an off-road section between Timsbury and the Duke’s Head reduces its use as a circular walk. There is a shorter circular walk across The Meadows to Greatbridge Road.

Fishlake Meadows area was traditional valley wetlands until the Second World War when pumps were installed to manage the water and dry the land out for crops. The northern part beyond the road is reverting to wetlands. The wildlife that it supports is much appreciated and includes waterfowl, herons, egrets and on the dryer areas, deer.

Fishlake streamImmediately north of the road there is a substantial drainage ditch. It is possible to walk by part of this ditch, but not right along it.

Most of the houses in lower Cupernham date from the 1960s and 1970s.

Fishlake Meadows was developed in the 1980s and Oxlease Close followed in the 1990s.

The western side of Fishlake Meadows is traversed by the Fishlake, a braid of the Test that runs southwards parallel to the A3057 and cuts through the Industrial Estate. There is a footpath beside this stream.

From many parts of the area, there are views of the hills that form the western boundary of the river valley, in particular, Green Hill and Squabb Wood. In addition, glimpses of Romsey Abbey and the brewery malthouse are features.

Design Recommendation

Arrow Manage the wetlands north of the area in a way that is sympathetic to wildlife.
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Setting and Landscape Area 7