Knowle, Hampshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Knowle is located in Hampshire
Knowle shown within Hampshire
OS grid reference SU5599409540
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town FAREHAM
Postcode district PO17 5xx
Dialling code 01329
Police Hampshire
Fire Hampshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°52′58″N 1°12′19″W / 50.882647°N 1.205410°W / 50.882647; -1.205410Coordinates: 50°52′58″N 1°12′19″W / 50.882647°N 1.205410°W / 50.882647; -1.205410

Knowle is a village and civil parish in the City of Winchester district of Hampshire, England. It is in the civil parish of Wickham. Its nearest town is Fareham, which lies approximately 2.9 miles (3.5 km) south-east from the village.


Knowle is built on land which, until 1849 was Knowle Farm. The farm was located between the town of Fareham and the villages of Funtley and Wickham.[1] The original timber framed farmhouse, dating from the 17th century was converted into two cottages in the 20th century and is now a Grade II listed building. It stands as part of the cluster of houses known as Farm Cottages, on Mayles Lane, just North of the former hospital site.[2]

Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum[edit]

In 1845, the County Asylums Act and Lunacy required that every United Kingdom county should build an asylum if they had not already done so, or should join with another neighbouring county to achieve the same goal.

For the Hampshire asylum, a committee of nine JPs were appointed at the Easter Quarter Sessions in 1846 to superintend the erecting or providing of a lunatic asylum. They selected Knowle Farm as the most suitable available site, comprising 108 acres (0.43706 km2).[3]

Construction of a 400-bed asylum, began in 1850 and what became known as the Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum opened in December 1852.[4]

By 1856, the asylum had expanded to take 400 patients, and growth continued throughout the century - with over 1,000 patients at the asylum by 1900. In the 1950s, Knowle housed almost 2000 patients. Both male and female patients were admitted, and were expected to work on the farm, in the kitchens and in other trades to help support their community.

The asylum was renamed Knowle Mental Hospital in 1923 and then became Knowle Hospital in 1948, before finally closing in 1996.

Knowle After Hospital Closure[edit]

From 2000 onward, the hospital site was redeveloped by a group of developers (Berkeley Homes (lead developer), Bovis Homes, Westbury Homes, Try Homes, Barry Jupe and A2Dominion)[5] as the 'Knowle Village' development. This was a development of apartments (using the former hospital buildings) and new houses over 53 acres (210,000 m2) of the grounds. The principal northern (east-west) building, northern administration building, south block, superintendent's house, chapel and staff cottages were retained and converted to other uses, whilst the central north-south connecting structure and other periphery buildings were demolished. 130 new dwellings were created within existing hospital buildings.[6] As part of this redevelopment there are affordable homes available at Knowle Village, through the government-led shared ownership initiative part-buy, part-rent, with Thames Valley Housing Association.

The redevelopment of the hospital site, when coupled with the hamlet which had grown up around it, created the first village to be built in Hampshire in over a century.[7]

Construction of a business park was started in 2003,[8] which is now known as Knowle Village Business Park.


The Chapel

Part of the Hospital site housed a Chapel, this was built in 1875[9] to free up space in the main building.[10]

As part of the redevelopment of the site, the Chapel was refurbished by Berkeley Homes, at a cost exceeding £400,000. They later transferred ownership of the building to Winchester City Council for £1, with an additional gift of £28,000 to provide some funding for future maintenance costs. The building, which is listed, was leased by the Knowle Communuity Buildings Association (KCBA) for community use.[11]

The KCBA eventually vacated the building for a new build Community Hall adjacent to the cricket pitch, and the Chapel was sold in July 2012 for £220,000 by Clive Emson Auctioneers.[12] The Chapel was purchased by entrepreneur Steve Kemp and is now offices to his business, Point 13 Media. The Chapel, which never previously had an official name or address, is now named The 13th Chapel.


Over 5,500 former patients of the asylum are buried in Knowle Cemetery. Before 1886 the burial locations were not recorded. Up to four patients could be buried in the same plot, although never on the same day. The last burial at the site took place in 1971. A few remaining iron crosses, used to mark the graves, were removed from the site in 2001 for secure storage, pending a decision to relocate them.

War Memorial[edit]

In 1920 a war memorial was erected at Knowle Hospital to honor the 16 staff and estate residents who died during World War I. After World War II, two further names were added to the memorial. Following the closure of the hospital, the memorial was moved from the site due to the redevelopment. With a contribution from the War Memorials Trust, it was relocated to the churchyard of St. Nicholas in Wickham. By 2010, the memorial had been moved back to Knowle and now stands outside the former hospital chapel.[13]


Knowle was formerly served by Knowle Halt Railway Station on the Eastleigh to Fareham and Meon Valley lines.[14]

The station closed on the 6 April 1964.[15]


  1. ^ "Knowle Village (formerly known as Knowle Farm), Fareham Borough Council". Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  2. ^ "Nos 3 & 4 Farm Cottages 6.3.67 (formerly listed as Knowle Farm- house), Historic England". Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  3. ^ "94048 - Knowle Hospital, Fareham (Alt Ref No 48M94), Hampshire County Record Office". Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  4. ^ "Burt, Susan Margaret (2003). "Fit Objects for an Asylum" The Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum and its Patients, 1852-1899, University of Southampton, Faculty of Social Sciences Department of Sociology and Social Policy, PhD Thesis" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  5. ^ "Open day at Knowle Village". Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  6. ^ "Report of the County Planning Officer and the County Surveyor, Hampshire County Council Roads and Development Sub-Committee". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  7. ^ "Hampshire's Newest Village Taking Shape by Duncan Eaton, Southern Daily Echo, 26 May 2008". Retrieved 2015-07-31. 
  8. ^ "Planning Committee Agenda - 14/00421/OUT, Winchester City Council" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-07-30. 
  9. ^ "Knowle Hospital Chapel - List Entry Summary, Historic England". Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  10. ^ "Knowle - History, County Asylums". Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  11. ^ "Report of the Director of Development Services, Winchester City Council" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  12. ^ "Auction Results July 2012". Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  13. ^ "Grants Showcase - Knowle Hospital, War Memorials Trust". Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  14. ^ Oppitz, L (1988). Hampshire railways remembered. Newbury: Countryside. ISBN 1-85306-020-8. 
  15. ^ Stone, R.A (1983). The Meon Valley Railway. Cheltenham: Runpast Publishing. ISBN 978-1-870754-36-1.