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The Berg Estate

The Berg Estate

Land holdings and  fields of from the  second half of the 19th Century

The Fair Piece – 27a.  farmed by William Curtis  of Hatch


Holly Bush Field – 60a. , part of the Down Grange Estate of Augustus Robert Hankey

farmed by the Whistler-Portsmouth family

The area of the Berg in the first half of 20th century from the 1938 map

Included is the chalk pit  approximately on the site of  85 - 87 Pack Lane. This was filled in  when the houses in Pack Lane were built.

The chicken sheds on the north side of Pack Lane (?) were not  shown in 1932 but were in 1938.


The 1894 and later maps show the tumulus  by Brackley Way standing  at an elevation of  112m ( 364ft.) it was placed  deliberately  on the highest point  in the area by its Bronze Age  builders. The nearest point which  is higher is the Bronze Age  tumulus complex in Old Down Park at 161m (546ft.)


High Drive under construction 1958


Buckland Avenue under  construction  1958

                                    The Hayling                                                                          The Leigh                                                              

Street Names  on the Berg Estate

The Mayors of Basingstoke 

The first recorded Mayor of Basingstoke was George Baynard serving in 1641/42. No Berg road is named after him as there was an existing street with that name in Basingstoke. The Mayor served a term of 1 year from May to May of the following year and was appointed from the Councillors of the borough. 

On the Berg we have: 

Brackley Way, named after Basingstoke’s second known Mayor

– Councillor Richard Brackley who served

1st term : 1643/44

2nd term :1657/58

3rd term : 1661/62

Denham Drive, should have been named DINHAM Drive after Mayor Thomas Dinham, but the person

preparing the list chose to use Denham ( an error? or did they think Denham sounded better?)

1st term : 1662/63

2nd term :1670/71

3rd term : 1678/79

Pitman Close was named after Mayor Edmund Pitman

1st term : 1653/54

2nd term :1660/61

Abbott Way was named after Mayor John Abbott

1st term : 1738/39

2nd term : replacing Councillor Henry Prince who died in office part way through his mayoral year.

Widmore Road was named after Mayor Thomas Widmore

1st term : 1715/16

2nd term: 1723/24

Challis Close is named after Mayor William Challis who served 1 term : 1857/58

Seymour Road is named after Mayor William Seymour who served 1 term : 1860/61

and Pheby Close is named after George Trevelyan Pheby, JP, Mayor in 1924/25

Buckland Avenue is a conundrum. Mayor William Buckland served his first term as Mayor in 1904/05, but it is thought that the road is named after the address of the company developing the Berg – The Head Office being at Buckland House, Esher, Surrey. Esher Close would seems to be named on the same principle.

Finally, there are 2 more roads to be named: Hulbert Way and Woodroffe Avenue.

On what basis a name was assigned we know not but in the history of Basingstoke Borough Council these are illustrious names indeed, for the Hulberts ( father and son we think) served 11 years as mayor between them.

Robert Hulbert – 6 terms                                                                                  Robert Skeats Hulbert

1798/99                     1815/16                                                                           1843/44                 1858/59
1804/05                     1819/20                                                                           1850/51                 1870/71
1809/10                     1824/25                                                                           1856/57

The other family connection is the Woodroffes – 4 members of the family who again served as Mayor 11 times between them:

Richard Woodroffe - 2 terms                                                                            Richard Woodroffe Jnr. - 4 terms

1654/55                                                                                                                 1668/69
1665/66                                                                                                                 1676/77

Henry Woodroffe - 3 terms                                                                               Charles Woodroffe - 2 terms

1726/27                                                                                                                  1727/28
1734/35                                                                                                                  1735/36

The shops on Buckland Avenue


The original proposals for the Berg Estate included just 4 plots on Buckland Avenue for shops,  with 5 house plots to the east and  7 house plots to the west   up to the building line on High Drive.

Space for a butcher, a baker , a  green grocer, a hardware shop etc.

What more could you want?


A small parking bay is indicated where perhaps 3 -4 cars or vans could park parallel to the kerb in front of the shops.

Eventually 8 units were built in a completely different position –the first 4 plots on the north side of the road. The parking area will accommodate 24 cars. 

The estate sales office was located on what is now the car park – ( X on the diagram) and when all the sales had been completed a doctor’s surgery was operated

in the building for a few years by Dr Michael Willams. Dr. Williams lived in Esher Close. 

Eventually the borough council insisted that the building was demolished. 

Modern day equivalent of the butcher, baker etc. is the Convenience Store. We now have 3 takeaway food units. The off-licence is now a funeral director ….sign of the times? 

The hardware store is still there! 

The 8 flats above the shops were occupied from 1960 when 2A and 4A were occupied to 1963 when all the flats were occupied. Mr Lincoln with the hardware store occupied flat 8A. 

Shops come and go but to the best of our knowledge the sequence of shops in each unit are shown below.

Date Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit5 Unit 6 Unit 7 Unit 8
1960 Not occupied Forboys – Newsagents & Post Office* Parslows of Reading - Bakers Hudson Brothers - Grocers Not occupied
1963 Westminster Wine Co. Off-License My Lady - Hairdresser E. J. Lincoln-Decorative Supplies  (hardware) & agents for Southern Gas
1967 Jennifer’s Boutique – Hairdresser
1974   Fine Fare -  Convenience store
1980-84 Ushers – Off-License Coombes - Bakery Hair dresser Video Shop**
1985-89 Genarro & Vittoria - Hairdressers Video Shop** Forboys Newsagents & P. O.* Fine Fare -  convenience store    
1990s Threshers – Off-license ? ? ? ?
2000s Jewelry Shop Pappa John’s McColls Convenience store & PostOffice Red Rose –Indian Take Away & Restaurant
Pizza takeaway Chinese take away. Chinese Take Away
2010s Cooperative – Funeral Parlour Jewelry shop then Nicci -G Florist  

*In the late 1980's Forboys Newsagents moved from Unit 2 to Unit 4
**In the late 1980's the Video Shop moved from Unit 7 to Unit 2

But all was not entirely smooth sailing - a small parade of shops had been built on Buckland Avenue within which a chemist was promised - but none appeared , which annoyed the local residents – who assembled in protest outside the Berg site sales office, along with a local Councillor. Presumably this is in the early 1960s.

Photo by Robert Brown

 There is still no chemist….

The reorganisation of the road junction with Pack Lane

At one time the road junction at High Drive / Buckland Avenue and Pack Lane was redesigned. At this time the main A30 westwards passed along the old route north of what is now Homebase. Clearly there was an issue with the two roads joining the main A30 in such a restricted space. 

The experiment only lasted a few years before it was cancelled.

The problem was eased further when the A30 was rerouted south of Homebase at the time of the redevelopment of that site from the Tower Café and filling station – leaving a cul-de-sac for access to Homebase’s goods-in yard off the road which then dog-legged into Pack Lane.

Current and historical features of the Berg -1


The Tumulus on the corner of Brackley Way and Pitman Close, apart from being  an ancient monument with an excellent interpretation board, is now one of the small garden areas within the estate with a memorial  seat  (dedicated to the late Mr Hann in 1996).


Photos by Roger Lewis

Bronze Age Tumuli on the Berg estate

Sketch by  David Hopkins  and  text extracted from the Interpretation Board


Although the mound is slight nowadays, 1947 aerial photographs suggest that there was an entire cemetery  here  – with up to five smaller interconnected mounds within a ditch enclosure and a further  three or four larger mounds close by.

Current and historical features of the Berg -2

The other significant garden is the Diana, Princess of Wales Rose Garden between Brackley Way and Shipton Way. This was much improved when it was first named after Diana in 1998, and in 2007 was re-dedicated and adopted as an official Memorial Rose Garden in her name.

Taken from a Talk by Barbara Mallyon-Lewis

Kempshott History Group April 2016

Additional material April 2017