Jack Wilson takes another look into how areas of Southampton got their names.


Aldermoor’s name derives from the alder tree and moor, defined as “a tract of ground with peaty soil, covered with heather, coarse grass, bracken, and moss.”

According to the Anglo-Saxon Charter of 956, Aldermoor was woodlands within the ancient boundary of the Manor of Millbrook.


The hamlet of Aldermoor is mentioned from time to time in documents and shown on some old maps. Aldermoor Farm or Lodge however did not appear on maps until the 19th century.

Aldermoor House, near to modern-day Aldermoor Avenue, was built circa1800 on land that was previously part of Nursling Common. For much of the 19th century, the house and estate of about sixty acres belonged to the Mill family who let the property to various tenants.

In 1932 the estate was purchased by Southampton Corporation for housing development and the house was demolished in 1936.

Some of the farm buildings on Aldermoor Road survive and the farmhouse itself is now Grade II listed.


Belvidere or Belvedere was an area to the south of Northam. Belvedere – from Italian – means "beautiful sight” so maybe there was once an attractive view from here.

The name has now vanished from maps and local usage though Belvidere Road remains.

Belvidere Arms.

Belvidere Arms.

In the 19th century, Belvidere Street ran from Belvidere Road to Northam Road. It is represented today by Belvidere Terrace and the north stretch of Wilson Street.

The Belvidere Arms, later The Belvidere Inn, stood in Belvidere Road from 1868. It was demolished in the 1960’s and its site now sits under St Mary’s Stadium.

It was known locally as the Mud & Duck due to one of the landlords keeping ducks on a muddy piece of land next to the pub.

Belvidere shipyard - pictured in 1900.

Belvidere shipyard - pictured in 1900.

Another Belvidere Inn, later known as the Belvedere Hotel, stood in Belvidere Terrace from the 1840’s. It is now used as offices by several companies.

The Belvedere Shipyard was established by Ransom and Blaker in about 1823. There is still a Belvedere Wharf in the area.


The earliest references to Weston were at the end of the 10th century when it was described as a small fishing community.

William Chamberlayne inherited an estate covering the east side of the Itchen as far as the Hamble and in 1802 he built Weston Grove House and Estate.

Weston Grove House.

Weston Grove House.

Part of the Estate was sold to Col Robert Wright – who gave his name to Wright’s Hill – in 1854 and he created the Mayfield Estate, much of which is now Mayfield Park. Another area was sold to create the Barnfield Estate to the south.

In 1909, land to the west of Weston Lane was sold for the purpose of building an enormous dry dock but Rolling Mills were built instead.

Weston became part of Southampton in 1920 and estates and tower blocks were built post-war to meet the demand for new housing.

The Rolling Mills, Woolston.

The Rolling Mills, Woolston.

East of Weston Lane is Weston Shore, a shingle beach where some 1930s beach shelters still stand.

The Seaweed Hut, gone since 1967, once stored fishermen's equipment. It notably had toilets called He Weed and She Weed!


Thornhill gains its name from the Thornhill Park Estate totalling 430 acres which was formed in 1825 by local merchant Michael Hoy of Midanbury.

The house, completed a few years later, had 13 principal rooms and 11 bedrooms.

Hoy died before the house was finished but his widow was still living there in 1831.

When she died in 1839, the estate passed to her nephew James Barlow who had to change his name to Hoy to inherit the property.


Henry Dumbleton purchased Thornhill Park House in 1847, living there until his death in 1877.

Dumbleton Copse and Dumbleton Towers in Thornhill were named after him.

The estate was sold off for housing development in 1923 and the house was demolished in 1927.

In 1954 the boundaries of Southampton were extended to include part of Thornhill.

With only a handful of privately owned houses, the area was massively expanded in the 1960s by the building of council properties.

SeeSouthampton logo.
Jack Wilson is a tour guide with SeeSouthampton.co.uk .

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