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Population – At the time of the 2011 YouGov census, the population of Fordingbridge was 5,998.
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Fordingbridge was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was written as Forde. There is believed to have been a wooden bridge at this time, the current structure was built in stone around 1385. Measuring forty metres, it is one of only two, seven-span bridges in the UK. It was the bridge that brought trade and wealth to the town which was a main crossing point over the River Avon. The town soon had permission to hold a market and an annual fair, both of which attracted travellers in need of food and drink.
Dating back to 1593, The George is the town’s oldest pub. Originally named “Le George”, the name was a nod to the story of St George and the Dragon rather than a king (England’s first King George took the throne in 1714). The pub is also at the heart of the legend of the smuggler Captain Diamond. Sadly, there was no ‘Captain’, but there was a ‘Jack of Diamonds’ who was a member of the Hawkhurst Gang from Kent.
One of the most notorious gangs on the south coast, it was said they could raise hundreds of armed men to aid their nefarious deeds. In September 1747 the gang were waiting for a cutter from Guernsey laden with tea, coffee and rum to reach the Sussex coast. The boat had been intercepted by customs officers and taken to Poole. Undeterred, the gang, consisting of 60 men, set off to Poole, where expecting a fight, they found the customs house deserted, so they grabbed their cargo and scarpered, riding through the night and stopping for breakfast at The George. The gang soon attracted a large crowd who cheered the smugglers for their daring deeds and seeing his old friend, a cobbler called Chater in the crowd, Jack gave him a bag of tea. Within weeks a large reward was being offered for information leading to the capture of the gang. Chater sold out his friend and was taken to Sussex where the captured Jack was due to stand trial. Chater and an elderly customs officer made the long journey, stopping at a pub sympathetic with smugglers where the landlady, suspicious of their journey, plied them with drink and learned of their destination. Word was sent to the Hawkhurst Gang who set an ambush. The two men were captured, Galey was buried alive and Cater was tortured, his body thrown down a well and covered in stones. Eventually the authorities did catch up with most of the gang, who stood trial at the old Bailey where they were sentenced to death.
The arrivals of trains and canals meant road travel became less important and the town’s fortunes began to decline. It did eventually get its own railway station in 1866 but it closed 1964. This downturn changed and perhaps saved the town, it remains a charming and picturesque location, unspoilt by large roads or railways. Instead there are great shops, good eateries and perhaps the hint of a smuggler’s tale here and there.
Fordingbridge Removals Company
Whether you are moving to or from Fordingbridge, or beyond, we pride ourselves on making the experience as hassle-free and streamlined as possible. With over 160 years of experience as a leading UK removal company, our personable, expert removals team will take the stress out of moving home or office.
The benefits of hiring a local removals firm in Fordingbridge.
Secure Household Storage in Fordingbridge
Are you a homeowner requiring long or short term household storage for furniture and personal effects for which you no longer have room? Do you need secure flexible household storage at short notice, with the minimum of fuss?
With our multiple, large, secure purpose-built Hampshire storage facilities located in Aldershot, Farnborough and Petersfield, we can cater for all your storage needs. We can also arrange to collect and storage your belongings on your behalf. Please visit our Storage Service for further details.
Why use Over’s for your storage needs?
Of course, it’s not just the calibre of our personnel that matters. We are also proud of our modern fleet of specialised removal vehicles, lifting equipment, packaging and dedicated storage facilities to help us best cater to all your storage requirements.