Mirinda has decided that we need to look at other areas in the south east in order to prove to ourselves that we live in the best one. It also gives us a Sunday drive. Today we drove south, towards Southampton and the odd little suburb of Bassett.
The road which leads through Bassett and heads into Southampton proper was described by Pevsner as being a “…splendid tree-lined route into Southampton from Winchester, London and the north.” Though that was quite a while ago. It now seems to be chokka block full of cars and trucks, buses and vans, rumbling up and down the four lanes either escaping from or heading for the city centre.
This road (the A33) splits Bassett in half, leaving the University of Southampton campus on one side and residential living on the other. It’s a long way from the original small village of 1810 which was an exclusive place for the rich of Southampton who wanted a small enclave for themselves away from the centre.
About 100 years before 1810, there was a farm called ‘Basset’s’ in the area, and some believe this is where the name came from though how it picked up the second ‘t’ is anyone’s guess. Probably a typo.
Strangely, Bassett doesn’t have a primary or secondary school to go with the university. I feel this is a plus! After all, it means all the kids leave Bassett every day and families would be disinclined to live there. But that’s just me.
Walking around the residential streets, the noise from the A33 never abated. Though the houses were lovely, the noise was horrid, particularly given it was a Sunday.
We then drove Sidney over the border, outside of the Southampton city limits, to the small street called Chilworth Old Village Road. While this sounds rather nice, there isn’t really an Old Chilworth Village anymore.
There is a lot of farmland and the motorway just over the hill seems silent because of the hill. The ‘village’ is made up of old farm workers cottages and a church.
Just up the hill there’s a gastro pub called the Chilworth Arms which seems nice enough although they serve far too much lager and only two ales. It all looks very modern, masquerading as a country pub. The clientèle today were all rather sedate even though they were watching England -v- Italy in the 6 Nations, rugby.
It made for an interesting drive in the country and an excellent way to work up an appetite for my roast lamb which, as Mirinda noted, takes ages to make, ages to clean up afterwards and only ten minutes to eat. Even so…it was lovely.