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Bus in The Square - geograph.org.uk - 1464808.jpg
The Square, Hamble
Hamble crest.jpg
The village crest
Hamble-le-Rice is located in Hampshire
Hamble-le-Rice shown within Hampshire
Population 4,695 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SU479066
Civil parish
  • Hamble-le-Rice
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Southampton
Postcode district SO31
Dialling code (023) 8045
Police Hampshire
Fire Hampshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°51′25″N 1°19′15″W / 50.85694°N 1.32084°W / 50.85694; -1.32084Coordinates: 50°51′25″N 1°19′15″W / 50.85694°N 1.32084°W / 50.85694; -1.32084

Hamble-le-Rice is a village and civil parish in the Borough of Eastleigh in Hampshire, UK. It is best known for being an aircraft training centre during the Second World War and is a popular yachting location. The village and the River Hamble also featured in the 1980s BBC television series Howards' Way.


Hamble-le-Rice is located on the south coast of England, south east of Southampton. The village is situated at the tip of the Hamble Peninsula, and is bounded by Netley, Butlocks Heath, Bursledon, Southampton Water and the River Hamble.


Although previously known as "Hamble", "Hamelea", "Hammel", and "Ham-en-le-Rice", the village's official name is now Hamble-le-Rice.[1] The name "Hamble" is still in common usage. To the south of the village, lies the site of an Iron Age promontory hillfort, Hamble Common Camp.

The area is home to the remains of a defensive structure dating to the reign of King Henry VIII.[2] Known as St Andrews castle investigations suggest that it consisted of a rectangular structure fronted by a gun-platform with a semi-circular layout.[2] The whole thing was protected by a moat with a further two gun-platforms mounted on the Counterscarp.[2] The structure was intact as late as the early 17th century.[3]


Hamble-le-Rice was the home of an aircraft training centre during World War II for aircraft including the Spitfire, the Lancaster and the Wellington. The south airfield has long since disappeared[4] and the north airfield has been partially developed as housing, the remainder is overgrown and owned by property developers Persimmon.

The aviation industry retains a large interest in Hamble-le-Rice, with the Hamble Aerostructures factory, now a subsidiary of GE Aviation in Kings Avenue.[5]


There are two schools in Hamble-Le-Rice. The first is Hamble Primary School, and the second is a secondary school named the Hamble School (formerly Hamble Community Sports College[6]).

The River and Environment[edit]

Hamble-le-Rice is a boating mecca: the nearby River Hamble is often packed with marine traffic and during the summer the whole village is crowded with people out enjoying the water. The village and its river are one of the many locations that made up the fictional village of Tarrant in the BBC television series Howards Way, shown weekly on BBC1 in the late 1980s.

Hamble-le-Rice is home to a common, a variety of estuary wildlife, and other scenic walks.

Fuel terminal[edit]

This WWII Anti Aircraft emplacement on Hamble Common protected the fuel terminal and jetty (both visible in background)

Hamble fuel terminal was opened by Shell in 1924, whilst BP were still afloat using a converted passenger liner as a fuel tender. In 1930 the two companies formed a joint venture and BP moved to Hamble. This partnership was dissolved in 1976, with the Hamble terminal passing to BP.[7]

A pipeline runs under Southampton Water from the Fawley oil refinery which supplies the BP fuel terminal at Hamble. This fuel terminal was used to supply PLUTO, during the Invasion of Europe in World War II.[8] The PLUTO pipeline started at Sandown on the Isle of Wight and was supplied by ship from Hamble.[8] The jetty at this fuel terminal was extended in 1943/44 so that more ships could be loaded simultaneously.[8]

Fuel is transported by day, late into the night and early mornings[citation needed] by 44 tonne / 50 ft long road tankers along the B3397, from this depot, as well as by pipeline to major industry and airports. Markers showing the route of the pipeline can be seen at various points in neighbouring Botley. A disused branch line runs from the terminal to the Portsmouth to Southampton railway. This has subsequently been converted into the scenic Strawberry Trail.

Transport links[edit]

The Hamble Peninsula has one main access road, the B3397 (Hamble Lane) which is approximately 3 miles long and goes straight through the village. Hamble Lane has a numerous incidences of traffic accidents.[9] and at its intersection with Portsmouth Road an AQMA exists to monitor Nitrogen Dioxide traffic pollutants.[10] The B3397 is a very high volume road; the last traffic count in March 2003 shows around 16300 vehicles in a 24-hour period.[9] Daily traffic congestion and slow moving queues are due to the large number of inbound and outbound commuters, on staggered work shifts[citation needed]. Many businesses supply local companies as BP Oil UK, CooperVision and GE Aviation and minor industry and services within the 4 marinas and industrial areas off Ensign Way. BP Oil tankers and other branded fuel and oil tankers form the bulk of the Heavy Goods Vehicles along this road, numbering a few hundred vehicle movements per day, mostly after hours. The village is served by Hamble railway station, which provides services to both Southampton Central and Portsmouth Harbour.[11] These services run once per hour in each direction. It is also linked by ferry to Warsash, and has bus numerous services from pre-dawn to late night / early morning to and from Southampton and Eastleigh.


Sport and leisure[edit]

Hamble-le-Rice has a Non-League football club Folland Sports FC, which plays at Folland Park.

A speedway training track operated at Hamble in the early 1950s. There is now a sports college in Hamble to provide recreation and leisure.


  1. ^ "A brief history of Hamble". 
  2. ^ a b c Osborne, Mike (2011). Defending Hampshire The Military Landscape from Prehistory to the Present. The History Press. p. 57. ISBN 9780752459868. 
  3. ^ Osborne, Mike (2011). Defending Hampshire The Military Landscape from Prehistory to the Present. The History Press. pp. 58–59. ISBN 9780752459868. 
  4. ^ "Hamble Airfields". 
  5. ^ "Composites are the future for GE Aviation, Hamble". Reinforced Concretes. 15 April 2009. 
  6. ^ http://www.thehambleschool.co.uk/
  7. ^ "BP in Hamble". Retrieved 14 August 2009. 
  8. ^ a b c Hampshire and D-Day. Martin Doughty. 1994. ISBN 1-85741-047-5
  9. ^ a b https://meetings.eastleigh.gov.uk/documents/s1628/HAMBLANE.pdf
  10. ^ https://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/media/39371/EBC-Action-Plan-Hamble-Lane-2012.doc
  11. ^ http://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/meetings/documents/s1627/EN914.pdf
  12. ^ van der Merwe, Pieter (15 January 2000), "Obituary – Michael Robinson 1910 – 1999", The Independent .

External links[edit]