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Days Gone By


About this page

This page will feature local events and experiences from the past. Through it, we hope to bring early and contemporary Highfield and Portswood to life. We would be very interested in receiving material from people who have lived in Highfield or Portswood for a while or who have longstanding connections within the area; this includes those who used to live here but who have now moved away.

Additionally, we would be very keen to hear from anyone who has a knowledge of local history which they could share with us. Photographs would be most welcome.

To read about the history of Portswood Residents Gardens, please follow this link: Portswood Residents’ Gardens Conservation Area.

Please contact Nadine Johnson using our Contact Form or email Nadine at: highfieldracomms@gmail.com.


Nipper the HMV dog

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Days Gone By

Seen in the Sunday Mail of 9 November 2014: The Highfield House Hotel is a major landmark in the story of Nipper, the HMV dog. Click image below to see full size article.
HMV dog

Highfield – the Village

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Days Gone By

The map of Highfield below, which appeared in a commemorative booklet by Martin Dedman entitled ‘Highfield Church 1847-1997: A Story of Growth, Change and Development’, shows that the boundaries of the parish of Highfield are more extensive than many people imagine. These boundary lines, however, have been hotly disputed over the years but, for our purposes, form a baseline for our historical adventure.

(Click to reveal large version)

(Click to reveal large version)

The parish or village of Highfield is set in the middle of the University belt; steeped in academia. Flanked by Southampton Common on one side and Portswood on the other, it is a charming, leafy suburb of the now modern City of Southampton. Some refer to it as being the equivalent of London’s Hampstead in term of wealth and status. It is a place where students on foot or on bikes go to and fro en masse between University buildings; where the hustle and bustle of Portswood draws the local community to the large array of small shops, cafes and supermarkets; and where the local Church on Sundays is packed to the doors.

Highfield has retained a village atmosphere and is a quaint network of little communities such as Oakmount Triangle, Roselands Gardens, Portswood Residents Gardens and the more recent Crofton Close which was built on the site of the Old Oakmount School House over 20 years ago. However, the village of yesteryear was a very different affair.

To read more on this, click here.

And so from this brief snippet of early Highfield history, the years have rolled on and Highfield has inexorably evolved from a village into a suburb. In future updates and with your help, we shall be exploring the years in between to find out what happened to make Highfield what it is today. We hope that as many of you as possible can be a part of this voyage of discovery.

For further local history, please visit the Highfield History website.