It started as a small hamlet in the Parish of Botley.

Today with its bustling retail park boasting Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Next, Hedge End has developed into one of the most popular part so Hampshire to live.

t really all started out as a mere rural hamlet and as recently as the late 19th Century, Hedge End, like many neighbouring villages in the area, was a strawberry growing area.

Its produce was despatched to London and Scotland by train from Botley station.

The town now has a population of 20,000 over nearly 700 hectares. Yet for most of its existence it was just a small village in the parish of Botley.

Hedge End first appeared on the Southampton and district map in 1759 when it was an agricultural hamlet.

Forty years later, a new road was constructed from the Northam Bridge in Southampton through to the lowest crossing point of the River Hamble. The 1799 ‘Northam Road’ gave rise to a toll gate and with the few farms in the area, over the next 70 years a small new settlement emerged.

The 1800’s saw great changes to Hedge End, Botley Common was enclosed in 1863, Hedge National School opened in 1864, St Johns Church was built in 1874 and the first Parish Council was elected in 1894. The new village grew up mainly around the junction of Bursledon and St John’s Roads.

In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Hedge End as hamlet, five miles east of Southampton with a population of 791.

In 1895, the parish took charge of the recreation ground. The recreation ground between St Johns Road and Bursledon road is today all that remains of Botley Common.

The first Hedge End Carnival was held in 1921 to raise money to pay for the services of a nurse, as there were no medical facilities in Hedge End at that time.

During WW2 Hedge End was classified as a safe area, suitable for the reception of evacuees from the more vulnerable cities. Children from Gosport were received in the village. As the raids on Southampton intensified in 1940, Hedge End was ordered to accept 129 evacuees from the town.

Women were accommodated in St John's Room, whilst the men had the misfortune to sleep on the far from comfortable pews of St John's Church. The Methodist school room was also used and accommodated up to 100 people a night.

In 1972 the development of the M27 motorway enabled Hedge End to expand further in the final two decades of the 20th century, with the development of large new housing estates and the retail park.

In the early 1990s the village gained Hedge End railway station. In 1992 the Parish Council re-named itself as a Town Council.

Hedge End is twinned with Comines-Warneton, in Belgium.