Home  Meetings and Walks  Membership  Archives Contacts  Links  Virtual Museum


Most of the written material reference to the history of Rowlands Castle, is available for view in the Research Room at The Spring, the arts and heritage centre in Havant (the old Havant Museum in fact), which is in East St.

In this Research Room, there is space to do your own research at leisure, and staff there are very helpful. As well as written articles by various people spread over 70 years or so, there is a good collection of maps.

Most of the information there, but by no means all, is also held by our Archivist, Paul Marshman.

There have been some recent publications and indeed many of these are also at The Spring. Among them are four pamphlet-type books on The History of the Chapel, The Church, The School, and D-Day. Some copies of these are still available, from the school and possibly the Church. Paul Marshman still has a few of D-Day.

Books believed to be still available are: "Rowlands Castle Past and Present" by Mary Jane Lomer, and "Rowlands Castle and District in old picture postcards" by Peter Rogers and Paul Marshman. These are at The Spring also, along with two good university theses or dissertations on the village and area. , Being well researched, they themselves contain further references which can be followed up.

People are still working on their own projects; for example, recently there was an award-winning history of the Rowlands Castle Brickworks, written by Mr Dicks.

A selection of images from old postcards is included here. The Society is most grateful to Paul Marshman for allowing these images to appear on the webpages for the Society.

scan0001.jpg (41807 bytes)

A view of the Green dated 1901. In the centre background is the extravagantly titled ‘Institute of Science Technology and Art’, a privately funded venture to establish a school for village children not able to attend the local schools at Redhill or Idsworth. Sharing the background is the ‘Chapel on the Green’ built about 1880.

scan0003.jpg (50487 bytes)

Rook’s Stores and Post Office at the "Arches" end of the village in 1920. With wide business interests in the village, the Fountain Inn was also owned by a member of the Rook family.

scan0006.jpg (46351 bytes)

The Village Green picture about 1920 before it was consolidated from its original segments into the wide, uninterrupted expanse familiar to us today.

scan0010.jpg (53057 bytes)

Portsmouth and District Motor Club, Speed Trial, July 8, 1914

The Great War is less than a month away. The Railway Hotel (now the Robin Hood) is by this time in the Brickwood’s livery. The crimson tiles with white lettering were to remain until 1969. Next to the inn were the stables and the entrance to the Tea Gardens. Parking on the Green is now banned and the wanton display of advertising posters discouraged!

scan0007.jpg (57451 bytes)

A staff photo of workers about 1910. A quick headcount estimates 75 men to be in the picture, and judging from their dress, they are all manual workers. Prior to the electrification of the railway, lorries could enter the works from Woodberry Lane through a pair of fine brick pillars that are still in situ today. The yard had its own railway sidings, controlled from a local signal box.

scan0005.jpg (58472 bytes)

This image is of a garden party in the grounds of ‘Deerleap’, the large house that is located behind the wall bordering the Green in the centre of the village. The year is 1925 and the man walking towards the camera is Bertram Rook, a local shopkeeper. The house was, at this time, the home of the O’Callaghans, father and son, who both became admirals.

Garden Parties such as this were called ‘at homes’ and were a popular event at many large houses in the district up until the 1950’s. Mr Rook is in fact walking along an outer rampart of the actual castle ruins from which the village takes its name.

scan0002.jpg (49727 bytes)

Rowlands Castle railway station. This postcard was a welcome find, for it is the only pictorial evidence we have for the centre siding which appears on a small scale map of 1915. The siding, thought to have been provided for the excursion trade, is large enough to provide to coaches. There is some evidence also that horse boxes were left here and that horses destined for Goodwood Race Course were delivered to the station in the 1930’s. The coaches in the background are on yet another siding which led to Courtlands Arch.

scan0008.jpg (52269 bytes)

The view is from the small green at the heart of the community of Finchdean, representing what is possibly the earliest photograph taken in the village. The road winding away to the right leads to Wick Hanger and Chalton.

scan0009.jpg (35786 bytes)

A postcard of the Staunton Arms which on this occasion is playing host to a visiting party of sailors. In true nautical spirit, they are flying the Union flag from the ‘after’ end of the charabanc. The vehicle seems abnormally long with much of its body length behind the rear wheels. The huge concertina of a hood can be seen near the ‘flagstaff’.

scan0004.jpg (52491 bytes)

A similar, though extended, view of the crossroads recorded about 1938. The public house is the Staunton Arms, so named after an earlier Leigh Park ‘Squire’ Sir George Staunton. The heraldic arms of the family constitute the hanging pub sign.