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The Fleming Estate in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight

From The Muniment Room, a resource for social history, family history, and local history.

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Introduction

The Fleming Estate was a great landed estate that existed for at least 350 years, from 1599 to the 1950s. In the nineteenth century, John Barton Willis Fleming was one of the largest landed proprietors in Hampshire, the Fleming Estate extending to some 15,000 acres. The Estate comprised at least 80 farms in 1872.

The Estate was centred on North Stoneham Park near Southampton, with property at North Stoneham, present-day Eastleigh, Swaythling, South Stoneham, Bassett, Chilworth, North Baddesley, Chandler's Ford, and Romsey; and on the Isle of Wight at Binstead, Wootton Bridge, Havenstreet, Arreton, and detachments at Newport and Gurnard (and in earlier times, Godshill, Freshwater, Carisbrooke, Whippingham, and Northwood.) The Fleming Estate was as much a legal concept, and included incorporeal property such as impropriations, quit rents, manorial rights, and advowsons.

The majority of the Estate was sold piecemeal at auctions before the First World War and in the 1950s.

Today, surviving documents tell us about life on the former estates. Physical artefacts and the remnants of the historic landscape, provide a series of fragments from past lives that retain a strong resonance in the present. Memories and oral history conjure up vivid impressions of the past. Together, these form an important and fascinating part of the local and national heritage.

In this 1877 painting by Ernest Gustave Girardot, Francis Arnold, the Steward of the Fleming Estate, stands beside three large rolls labelled Stoneham, Romsey, and Binstead Isle of Wight.
The Muniment Room is a remote and unspectacular chamber, approached down a long flagged passage or up a little-used staircase. It will show nothing more arresting than large cupboards, their doors grained in Victorian style, or austere shelving loaded with black deed boxes and untidy parcels. But to the historian, whether of the house itself, or of the county where it lies, or of the nation in whose affairs the owners played their part, it is a store of inexhaustible treasure.’ -The Destruction of the English Country House

Welcome

This section of the website, The Muniment Room, sets out to explore the ways in which people, places, and documents link together across the four centuries of the Fleming Estate's history. It seeks to be a useful resource for social history, family history, and local history. Today there are some 784 articles. Find out more ...   Harry Willis Fleming, editor

Can we help you?

We welcome questions, enquiries, and research requests. You can leave questions at the Reference Desk and a volunteer will work to help you find the information you need. You can make comments and suggestions using the Feedback page. You can also contact us directly - see our contact details.

Can you help the project?

Do you have any information about, or photos of, people or places connected with the former estate? Perhaps your family lived there in the past, and you would like to share your knowledge? Perhaps you now live somewhere on the former estate? These pages are written collaboratively by volunteers; the articles can be edited by anyone who registers. You can easily join in by creating an account and logging in.

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