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Fritham - - 1713301.jpg
Fritham is located in Hampshire
Location within Hampshire
OS grid referenceSU239141
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtSO43
Dialling code023
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
List of places
50°55′32″N 1°39′40″W / 50.925558°N 1.6611920°W / 50.925558; -1.6611920Coordinates: 50°55′32″N 1°39′40″W / 50.925558°N 1.6611920°W / 50.925558; -1.6611920

Fritham is a small village in Hampshire, England. It lies in the north of the New Forest, near the Wiltshire border. It is in the civil parish of Bramshaw.[1]


The name Fritham may be derived from Old English meaning a cultivated plot (hamm) in scrub on the edge of a forest (fyrhth).[2]

The oldest feature in Fritham is a Bronze Age Bowl barrow, known as The Butt, which lies just east of the village, although it has been partially damaged on top by a brick structure.[3]

Fritham is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.[4] It was once thought that the Domesday settlement of Truham (or Trucham) may have been Fritham,[5] but this is now thought unlikely as Truham was within Boldre Hundred.[4] The first mention of Fritham appears early in the 13th century,[2] when Geoffrey de Baddesley held land in Baddesley and Fritham. Fritham remained attached to the manor of South Baddesley in the parish of Boldre at least until 1429.[5]

The Royal Oak - a thatched cottage with red-brick additions - is one of the oldest pubs in the New Forest, dating back to the 17th century.[6] Fritham Lodge, dating from 1671, may have been one of Charles II hunting lodges.[7] A school and chapel opened in Fritham in 1861.[5]

From the 1860s until the 1920s Fritham was home to the Schultze gunpowder factory.[8] The factory specialised in smokeless powder for sporting guns.[8] Established in 1865, it was at one time the largest nitro-compound gunpowder factory in the world, with sixty separate buildings and a staff of one hundred.[9] It supplied three-quarters of the world's annual consumption of gunpowder for sporting purposes and often sent 100-ton consignments to the Americas loading road vans and special railway trucks for the docks at Southampton.[9] Little now remains of the factory except for the superintendent's and gatekeeper's houses.[10] Eyeworth Pond, near Fritham, was specially created by the factory as a reservoir to hold water needed during the manufacturing process.[10]

Four young men from Fritham went down with the Titanic in 1912: Lewis Hickman (aged 32), Leonard Mark Hickman (aged 24), Stanley George Hickman (aged 21), and Ambrose Hood (aged 21).[11] A gravestone in memory of the Hickman brothers can be found in Riverside Cemetery in the town of Neepawa in Manitoba, Canada.[12]

The Ham class minesweeper HMS Fritham, launched in 1953, was named after the village.


  1. ^ Bramshaw Parish Council Archived 2011-10-03 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b Old Hampshire Gazetteer - Fritham
  3. ^ Hampshire Treasures - Bramshaw, page 21 Archived 2011-06-05 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Througham (Truham) Archived 2015-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, Pastscape
  5. ^ a b c Victoria County History, (1912), A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5, Pages 623-626
  6. ^ Hampshire pub guide: The Royal Oak, Fritham, The Telegraph, 03 Mar 2011
  7. ^ Fritham Lodge, Bramshaw British Listed Buildings
  8. ^ a b Norman Henderson, (2007), A Walk Around the New Forest: In Thirty-Five Circular Walks, pages 87-8. Frances Lincoln
  9. ^ a b Kenneth Hudson, (1968), The industrial archaeology of southern England: Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, and Gloucestershire east of the Severn, page 35
  10. ^ a b Eyeworth Pond, Fritham, and the Schultze Gunpowder Factory
  11. ^ The Royal Oak, Fritham Archived 26 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine,
  12. ^ Find A Grave website

External links[edit]