A Brief History
Fleet is unusual for a town of its size in that it is not on a major trunk road. This is because it developed after the construction of the London and South Western Railway, which opened in 1840. Many people came down from London to skate on Fleet Pond during the winter, and the town grew as a market town. There are thus few very old buildings in Fleet, with much of the modern town formed around Victorian buildings. As in many parts of Britain, there was a building boom in the period between the First World War and Second World War.
Areas and suburbs of the town are Pondtail, Ancells Park and Elvetham Heath. The villages of Crookham and Church Crookham have also grown to be contiguous with the town. Immediately surrounding towns and villages include Winchfield, Dogmersfield, Crondall, Ewshot, and Hartley Wintney. The Fleet Pond nature reserve is a notable beauty spot on the northern edge of the town. The ‘pond’ itself is in fact the largest freshwater lake in Hampshire. In times past, the lake has frozen over permitting skating.
Fleet can be reached from London and Southampton via the M3 motorway. Its main road, Fleet Road, runs through the town centre from west to east. Fleet station is on the London Waterloo station to Southampton main line. The train service is run by South West Trains (formerly Network South East). Journey time to Waterloo is about 50 minutes. Express trains do the journey in under 40 minutes. There are small airports nearby at Blackbushe Airport and Farnborough Airfield. The Basingstoke Canal connects Fleet to Basingstoke and, in the other direction, London via the River Wey navigation.
Elvetham Heath is on the north side of Fleet in Hampshire, southern England. Fleet came to prominence in Victorian times as Fleet Pond became a popular day-trip destination. Nowadays it is a prosperous town of around 27,000 people. Its lively shopping centre, leisure centre and schools complement the facilities at Elvetham Heath.
This part of Hampshire is a pleasant place to live; the nearby countryside offers wooded country parks and pleasant walks, as well as Fleet Pond. A new nature reserve has also been created at Elvetham Heath.
Construction began in the summer of 1999. It was the culmination of fifteen years in planning, and a great deal of careful work in developing a master plan and Design Brief which will make Elvetham Heath a living place of real quality, an asset to Fleet, and the basis for a new community. Expected completion is summer 2007.
The village is designed to create an appealing environment of real quality in which a new community can grow. As homes are completed and occupied, more residents are discovering its appeal – whether this lies in the attention paid to architectural styles; the variety of character between different neighbourhoods; the sense of community; or the landscaping, open spaces and nature reserve.
The heart of Elvetham Heath is The Key, a tree-lined village square. Around this local centre, next to a spacious village green are the main community buildings and facilities.
Hart is a local government district in Hampshire, England, named after the River Hart. Its council is based in Fleet. It was formed on April 1, 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of the urban district of Fleet, and the Hartley Wintney Rural District.