Highfield and the Stonehams

In this section we have transcribed documents relating to the people who lived in Highfield and how it developed over time.

Highfield formed part of the parish of South Stoneham and the church is officially, Christ Church, Portswood. In practice Highfield and Portswood are now adjacent suburbs of Southampton.

Here is an extract from a desciption of the area in 1779 (prior to the church being founded in Highfield). At this time the area came under the parish od St Marys.

“As to the population at this time a copy from the rate-book for St. Mary’s parish of the year 1779 gives the total number of rateable houses at fifty-seven. The 
number of inhabitants was very small, the town of Southampton being 
substantially within the walls.
The number of houses was as follows : 
Bevis Mount 1, Northam Farm 1, Northam 3, Chapel 2 , Cross House 2 , Love Lane 7, Opposite Churchyard 2, Causeway 2, Bag Row 23, Orchard Lane 4, Golden Grove 2, Irwin’s Garden 3, Field Lane 1, Kingsland 7, Total, 57″

Taken from ‘A history of Southampton; partly from the MS. of Dr. Speed, in the Southampton Archives’

Here is a description of Portswood from 1870-2. The church built in 1847, is Highfield Church, and the National School is now Highfield CofE School.

PORTSWOOD, a tything and a chapelry in South Stoneham parish, Hants. The tything lies on the South-western railway and on the Southampton and Netley railway, within Southampton borough, 2 miles N N E of Southampton town; and has a post-office under Southampton, and a station with telegraph on the S and Netley railway . Real property, £12, 554. Pop. in 1851, 1, 207; in 1861, 3, 546. Houses, 678. The increase of pop. arose from connexion with Southampton, and from the sale of a large landed estate, in lots, for building purposes. The chapelry is less extensive than the tything, was constituted in 1848, and was divided into two in 1867. Pop. in 1861, 2, 336. Houses, 438. The livings are p.curacies in the diocese of Winchester. Values, £270, * and £170. Patron, the Bishop of Winchester. The firstchurch was built in 1847, at a cost of £4,000, and enlarged in 1856, at a cost of £1,000; and has a tower and spire. The second church was built in 1868, at a cost of More than £5,000. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, and Bible Christians, and a national school.

John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)