Olivers Battery

Olivers Battery

Olivers Battery (sometimes known as Oliver's Battery) is a civil parish in Hampshire, England, of some 700 households located just to the south of the City of Winchester. The parish was founded in 1956 on land that was formerly part of Compton parish. The parish does not include the whole of the settlement known informally as Oliver's Battery, with the northern boundary following the A3090 and therefore excluding Oliver's Battery Road North. It is the area where England International footballer Wayne Bridge was raised.


The name Olivers Battery refers to a prominent iron age earthwork. A fine Anglo-Saxon bowl from a burial within the Battery was on on show for many years at the British Museum, but has now been returned to Winchester City Museum on long term loan The parish also contains a number of bronze age burial mounds. The Olivers Battery name dates back to the English Civil War and is specifically associated with Oliver Cromwell's siege of Winchester in 1645. A map of 1780 refers to the area as "Cromwell's Camp" and later maps show it as "Oliver Cromwell's Battery". The ancient earthwork may well have provided a suitable campsite for the besieging Parliamentarian forces, but cannon of the period would have lacked the range to fire on Winchester Castle and city walls from the so-called battery site.

For centuries, Olivers Battery was open downland grazed by sheep. Permanent settlements only appeared in the early years of the twentieth century with the establishment of a military camp. During the First World War the army maintained an extensive Veterinary Hospital for horses. After the war, the camp was split up into small holdings with army huts being used as dwellings. Gradually, a community developed as huts were replaced with houses and other homes were built.

In the late 1960s the community was bisected by Badger Farm Road (now the A3090), which acts as a south-western ring road for Winchester. A planned southern Winchester park-and-ride scheme is partly intended to reduce rush-hour congestion on this road.


There is a local shopping centre built in the 1960s, with Sub Post Office. A small Anglican church, St Mark's, doubles up as a village hall and there is also a Catholic church, St Stephen's. Oliver's Battery Primary School was opened in 1973. St Peter's Catholic Primary School was built in the 1990s (having originated in Winchester in the 1850s), next to St Stephen's. The Catholic school and church are in Oliver's Battery Road North, and therefore not within the civil parish. There is no secondary school, but Kings' School is within walking distance.

Further reading

David Farmer, 2000, A Brief History of Oliver's Battery (pamphlet)

External links

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