The Fremantle name may derive from Fromental which is found in several places in France.

In Old French ‘froid’ means cold and 'mantel' is cloak.

The suburb is not to be confused with Freemantle Common, an area on the corner of Peartree Avenue and Spring Road in Bitterne named after Thomas Freemantle who owned this land until his death in 1834.

One of the most popular poets of his time, William Cowper (1731-1800) stayed in Freemantle in 1752.

Many of his lines have entered the language, such as: "God moves in a mysterious way", "His wonders to perform", "Variety's the very spice of life" and "I am monarch of all I survey".

Freemantle House was an elegant Georgian country mansion built in the mid-18th century, replacing a much older farmhouse.

A 1775 guide Freemantle as the seat of James Amyatt who made his fortune in the service of the East India Company. He retired to Southampton, later becoming one of the MPs for the borough.

Daily Echo: Freemantle School football team 1963.

From 1822 to his death in 1840 the Freemantle estate was owned by the celebrated soldier Sir George Hewett (1750-1840), former commander-in-chief of the army in India.

Sir George is remembered with Hewitt Road, which uses an alternative spelling and Sir Georges Road. His son James was in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and is buried in the Old Cemetery on the Common.

Sampson Payne sold china and glass in his bazaar at 68, High Street.

In 1852 he gave up business and invested in land and property, initially buying the Freemantle House estate.

Payne demolished the house in 1853 and sold off the estate to housing developers.

Active in local politics, Payne became a Liberal councillor in 1846 and Mayor in 1854 and 1855. He died in 1856 and Paynes Road is named after him.

Daily Echo: Poet William Cowper.

In October 1958, Freemantle Lake, once part of the estate, was made into a park.

During the Second World War, it was used as a static water supply for firefighting. A comment upon the park’s opening in 1958 tells us about the former state of the lake as "it is no longer associated with rats, mosquitoes, stagnation, ooze, mud and odours".

The tons of spoil required to fill in the marshy lake was provided by British American Tobacco in Millbrook and 100 local school children came to celebrate the opening.

Christ Church was built 1865/6 in a style typical of architect William White, also the architect for St Michael and All Saints at Lyndhurst.

The spire was added in 1875 due to the efforts of John D’Arcy Warcop Preston, the second Rector from 1871-1892. He encouraged the Temperance movement which tried to fight the evils of alcohol and helped build the Waterloo Hall in Waterloo Road. His son Walter was found shot dead at Freemantle Lake in 1885.

In 1969, the Church Council began planning to sell the Parish Hall, which needed considerable work.

Daily Echo: James Lemon.

The illuminated white cross on Christ Church was put there in memory of Job C Dyas a house and shop blind manufacturer who lived nearby. He was Southampton Mayor in 1944-5.

The adjacent school’s motto was Manners Maketh Man, the same as that of Winchester College.

Nearby Foundry Lane is named after Tickell’s foundry set up in the very early 1800’s. The Chamberlayne Gas Column now in Houndwell Park was built at Tickell’s in 1822.

Freemantle Congregational Church was built on the corner of Shirley Road and Roberts Road in 1884-5 by the Congregationalists. Destroyed by bombing during the Second World War, a new church was built in the 1950s further along Shirley Road, known as Freemantle United Reformed Church.

James Lemon, the Borough Surveyor responsible for getting Southampton’s drains and sewers installed, was a Freemantle Liberal councillor and Mayor in 1891/1892. He is remembered by Lemon Road near Foundry Lane School.

In 1895 both Shirley and Freemantle were absorbed into Southampton.

Queen Elizabeth II visited Southampton in 1966, driving down Waterloo Road, past Freemantle School and Christ Church.

Daily Echo: SeeSouthampton logo

Martin Brisland is a tour guide with .