Fareham Shopping Centre in December 2006
Fareham shown within Hampshire
|Population||97,504 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||PO14 - PO16|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Fareham // is a market town in the south east of Hampshire, England, close to the city of Portsmouth and roughly in the centre of the South Hampshire conurbation which also contains Sothampton to the west.
It gives its name to the borough comprising the town and the surrounding area. To the south of the town lies Gosport, itself a separate borough, to the east Portchester, to the north the M27 motorway and Wickham, part of the City of Winchester. Westwards lie Titchfield; Catisfield, Locks Heath, Warsash and Whiteley, which is also shared with the City of Winchester.
Fareham traditionally relied on its clay soil for industry, producing bricks, tiles and chimney pots. This past is commemorated through place names such as Kiln Road. The most famous example of a building constructed of "Fareham red bricks" is probably the Royal Albert Hall, London. The main economic activity in Fareham is now retail, employing 15% of the local population. Fareham has also become a popular choice for the location of business call centres; several of the UK's major banks have offices in Fareham and Adecco, the recruitment agency, claims Fareham as the second best call centre location in the UK.
Fareham is situated at the north-west tip of Portsmouth Harbour where the River Wallington joins. Small industries still operate, reflecting Fareham's maritime past. HM Royal Navy operate in Fareham with the Maritime Warfare School, HMS Collingwood, training well over 2,000 British and foreign sailors at any one time.
Archaeological excavations: around the old High street area and the church of St Peter & Paul; on high ground over the Wallington Estuary, have yielded evidence of settlement on the site contemporary with the Roman occupation. However, no extensive programme of investigation has been possible, due to the historic nature of the buildings in this area.
The town has a recognised and documented history dating back to the Norman era, when a part of William's army marched up from Fareham Creek before continuing to the Saxon capital of England, Winchester. Originally known by the name of Ferneham (hence the name of the town's entertainment venue, Ferneham Hall), Fareham's location was determined by the ford of Fareham Creek at the top of Portsmouth Harbour. The ford was also the location of the Bishop of Winchester's mills; the foundations of these mills were subsumed in the A27 near the railway viaduct. Commercial activity continued at the port until the 1970s, and continues to this day on a smaller scale. By the beginning of the 20th century, Fareham had developed into a major market town.
In the 1960s, Fareham experienced a huge amount of development, as it was one of the areas highlighted for major expansion in the South Hampshire Plan. The idea was to create many thousands of homes to serve as a base for the many people who were looking to move away from the traditional urban centres of Portsmouth and Southampton. It was during this era that the large housing areas of Hill Park, Miller Drive, and much of Portchester grew until eventually one could drive through a continuous urban conurbation from Portsmouth City Centre to Southampton. By this time Fareham had expanded to almost encompass the surrounding villages of Funtley, Titchfield, Catisfield and Portchester.
Fareham is now at a stage of maturity as a town. As a place to live, it is increasingly popular, with plentiful housing and open space. Additionally the local shopping area has become more of a local destination since the arrival of a regular market and additional store openings in recent times.
In the late 1990s, a settlement called Whiteley, straddling the boundaries of Fareham Borough and the City of Winchester, was developed to the north of Junction 9 of the M27 motorway. The new development is predominantly residential, however it also features the extensive Solent Business Park.
An urban renewal initiative began in 1999, renovating the town centre and historic buildings to include a new entertainment and shopping complex. It featured a major iron sculpture park. The park was installed in 2001 to celebrate the work of influential Lancastrian iron pioneer, Henry Cort, who lived in neighbouring Gosport but who had an iron rolling mill in Funtley (or Fontley), on the outskirts of Fareham. There is also a school named after Henry Cort, the Henry Cort Community College.
Sport and leisure
Fareham is well served by the major road and rail networks. The M27 motorway passes around the northern edge of Fareham, and is the main traffic artery into and out of the area. It provides easy access to both Portsmouth and Southampton, and from there to London via the M3 and A3(M).
The A27 was the original route along the south coast before the building of the M27, and runs from Brighton to Southampton, passing through the centre of Fareham. The A32 passes through Fareham at the Quay Street roundabout, known locally as a notorious bottleneck, on its way from Gosport to Wickham, and then through the picturesque Meon Valley to Alton.
Bus transport in the town is provided by First Hampshire & Dorset, which runs nearly all bus routes in the area. Services run as far as Winchester. The main bus station is adjacent to the Market Quay development, and replaced an older station that was demolished in the late 1980s.
Places of interest
A new development, named Welborne, is scheduled to be built on fields, north of the M27 Motorway.
The project, which has been less than well received by local groups and residents alike, has a start date of 2016, and shall contain no fewer than 6,500 homes, but is projected to contain some local amenities, such as workplaces and various public services, including 3 new Primary Schools and a new Secondary School.
The development will also make use of the existing Motorway Junction, Junction 10, to upgrade to enable full-access movements off the road to the development, also a new Railway Halt, along the Eastleigh to Fareham Line, has been factored in to enable sustainability.
The project is scheduled to finish in 2041.
There are 30 primary and junior schools, 2 secondary schools (Cams Hill School, Henry Court), 4 community schools, 4 independent schools, and 4 special schools within the borough .
- William Randal Cremer, born in Fareham
- Robert Goddard, author
- Sir John Goss, composer (and organist at St Paul's Cathedral for 34 years)
- Adam Smith, Entrepreneur, public speaker and mentor.
- Tom Oliver, actor, most famous for playing "Lou Carpenter" in the Australian soap opera Neighbours, grew up in Fareham.
-  Sept 2001 Portsmouth News article concerning the Norman Invasion, as reported by the Fareham Meon Rotary Club - "....and Fareham Creek was the landing site for 1,000 men whose mission it was to capture the ancient Saxon capital of Winchester."
- http://www.fareham.gov.uk/town/activities/fernehamhall/ fareham.gov.uk
- Council website
- "Schools within the Fareham borough". Fareham Borough Council. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- Nobel Prize: William Randal Cremer
- Lamb, Rachel (2001-02-01). "From Fareham to Ramsay Street". Hampshire, United Kingdom: thisishampshire.net. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2010-07-19. "Actor Tom Oliver is known to millions of viewers as wheeler-dealer Lou Carpenter in Aussie soap, Neighbours. Although the 62-year-old actor has made his name in a show produced in the Antipodes, he was born in London and grew up in Fareham, Hampshire."
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Fareham.|