High Street, Hythe
Hythe shown within Hampshire
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Hythe and Dibden|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||New Forest East|
|Website||Hythe and Dibden Parish Council|
Hythe is a town near Southampton, Hampshire, England. It is located by the shore of Southampton Water, and has a ferry service connecting it to Southampton. Hythe has a small shopping area, a pier, and a marina for yachts.
Hythe has a small shopping area clustered around its High Street, which includes a supermarket, a public library, several charity shops, and a number of small independent shops. The pier railway and ferry service across Southampton Water to Southampton operates at half-hourly intervals throughout the day, and is the oldest working pier train in the world.
Hythe's position makes it a good vantage point for viewing ocean liners arriving and departing at the port of Southampton, which attracts many ship-watchers to the area. Hythe also has a marina of relatively recent foundation, at which a large number of yachts and boats are moored. A number of large and expensive houses are situated around the marina, overlooking the waterside.
Ewart Court on Jones Lane in Hythe is home to Hythe and Dibden Cricket Club. The club was formed in 1948 with the amalgamation of The Hythe Club and The Dibden Purlieu Club. The Hythe club was originally formed in 1860.
Hythe was home to the US Army between 1968 and 2006 at RAF Hythe. Following its closure, RAF Hythe was bought by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), who turned the site into a marine business park, Hythe Marine Park. Every year, usually around August, this marina hosts the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution}Great Waterside Raft Race, where teams race rafts in the Solent Estuary to raise money in support of the Hythe RNLI branch.
The name Hythe means landing-place or haven. Hythe is recorded in a Parliamentary roll from 1293. The Hythe ferry ("Hitheferye") to Southampton is marked on a map by Christopher Saxton of 1575, and on a map by John Harrison in 1788. Hythe was part of the parish of Fawley, although it became a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1841. The current church, of Saint John the Baptist, was erected in 1874. It is of red brick with Bath Stone dressings. There were at one time stocks in the village.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Hythe was a "little fishing village"; with an hourly steamboat service to Southampton, and with the clubhouse of Hythe Yacht Club at the end of the pier. Hythe remained part of the civil parish of Fawley until 1913, when it became part of the parish of Dibden. Hythe was a village up to the 1950s, but the expansion of Fawley Refinery lead to a demand for more houses for workers, and Hythe and Dibden Purlieu were allowed to expand into a small town. In 1983, following the growth of Hythe, the parish of Dibden was renamed to Hythe and Dibden, to reflect the importance of Hythe as a new focal point of the Parish.
During World War II, Hythe was used as a port for the "little ships" of the Royal Navy, the Motor Torpedo Boats and the RAF Air/Sea Rescue Boats. In 1960, The Hovercraft Development Company and Sir Christopher Cockerell, its founder, moved to Hythe. There was also a small airforce base in Hythe known as RAF Hythe. Until its closure in September 2006 it was used by the United States Army to service and maintain watercraft.
Sport and leisure
T. E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, lived in the village from 1931 to 1932. He was then known as T. E. Shaw, and turned up in Hythe in 1931, seconded by the RAF to the British Power Boats factory in Shore Road. He lodged in Myrtle Cottage at the junction of St John Street and Shore Road and left in 1932.
William Scammell, a leading English poet, critic and biographer of Keith Douglas, was born in Hythe in 1939. A commemorative plaque, provided by the Parish Council, can be seen on the house in Alexandra Road, where he was born and lived until 1953. He died in 2000, aged 60.
- "2001 Census Neighbourhood Statistics – Civil Parishes in the New Forest". www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
- Hythe, Old Hampshire Gazetteer
- History, Hythe Online
- Victoria County History, (1912), A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5, Fawley
- Relationships / unit history of Dibden, A Vision of Britain through Time
- Journal of the Town Planning Institute, (1953), Volume 39, page 87: "At Fawley the construction of Europe's largest oil refinery on Southampton Water has created a demand for more housing accommodation and it is proposed to satisfy this by expanding the existing villages of Hythe and Dibden Purlieu into a small town of 10,000."
- What is the Parish Council, Hythe and Dibden Parish Council
- Workers bid farewell to RAF Hythe, BBC News, 29 September 2006
- "Special passengers wanted for voyage". Andover Advertiser. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hythe, Hampshire.|
- Map sources for Hythe, Hampshire
- Hythe and Dibden Parish Council
- Hythe's website for residents and visitors
- Article on the history of Hythe
- Hythe virtual High Street