Reviews of recent THS meetings
A Short History of Titchfield
The Titchfield Tapestry
History from the Post
THS Contact Information
How to Find History
The Lowdown on Titchfield
Our Industrial Past
Where are the chimney pots?
Titchfield Market Hall
Titchfield Canal Debate
Links for Titchfield History Society
Funtley Village Centre
|We start the Funtley walk at the Miners Arms in Funtley, a hostelry that served the Welsh miners who constructed the Fareham railway tunnels. From the front door of the pub we turn right, walk fifty yards the road snakes up over a narrow bridge and through some traffic lights, but we turn right again off the main road, down towards the former Funtley Halt station. At the end of a row of cottages we go right once more, following a footpath up to the top of a field bordering the railway track. Here the footpath divides, we go left and cross a bridge  that takes us over the line onto Mayles Lane. We turn left and go down hill looking for a signed footpath on the right. It is quite steep and leads down to a footbridge over the River Meon where we find Funtley Mill. Only the white millerís cottage  and parts of the leat remain of the once successful Funtley Mill. |
The Littlefield Mill
|Going west we pass by some stables and take a gate out onto the road between Wickham and Titchfield . Turning left the wide grassy verge will takes us to River Lane where Little Funtley Mill once straddled the road. A cloth-fulling mill, all that remains are traces of its leat and sluice on the left. We need to take the footpath signed on the opposite side southwards through a series of fields. Another very large millpond can be seen; Henry Cort admitted that his Iron Mill would drown the one upriver at times.
The Iron Mill
We reach Iron Mill Lane and turn left, noticing that iron slag has been used to reinforce the surface. There had been an iron works here since the 17th century but Henry Cort built a puddling furnace that greatly improved the British iron. The water wheel was tucked to the right of the mill bridge, as were the forge, tilthammers and rollers. Cortís partner, Jellico lived in the farm over the river and the farmhouse looks every bit that of a successful businessman. The track zigzags through the yard  and joins up with a road that was used to ship iron to Fareham, Portsmouth and Gosport. As it rises towards the M27, slag is again used keep the road surface stable.
At the top of the hill we take a left and walk parallel to the motorway until the footpath from Fareham appears underneath it. This track, which we now follow, was known as the Fareham loop, it was built to bypass the troublesome tunnels. The ground was described as solid as a rock when dry and like putty when dry, it caused many problems, indeed the loop was at one time doubled track.
The Brick and Tile Works
Look carefully to notice traces of its industrial past as you come into the village. On your right was the Ďthe inclined planeí, where the clay was gathered, it was steep and slippery, a treacherous place to work. Soon you will notice the road appearing beneath you  so you should walk down the bank to join it, walk through the tunnel and head East.
On your left is a new housing estate where formerly stood an Auschvitch for cows. They were shunted into Funtley siding and herded along special pens to meet their fate. The final development of the brick and tile works was opposite ; Fareham Reds were renowned for their good looks and were used to build the Albert Hall.
Over the Second Railway Bridge
|Walking over the Railway Bridge will bring the Minerís Arms into view again. Take just a moment to reflect upon when the brick business finally spread to the East side of the bridge. A pugging mill created even more dust to dominate the village centre and the narrow guage railway that linked with the main line is pictured above. We can be sure that Funtley is happier now to be a village at peace.
There is a framed story on the pub wall giving a bit more detail about the growth of the railway. At the barGales HSB and good food.