The Avenue runs from the northern end of London Road to the north end of the Common and was originally a medieval cattle drove. It became a turnpike road in 1758, part of the Stockbridge – Winchester – Bishops Waltham – Southampton Trust. As the main approach to the town from the north, the corporation sought to enhance its appearance during the spa period to make it more attractive to visitors. Accordingly, during the mayoralty of Arthur Atherton in 1745, trees were planted along its entire length. In 1849 Philip Brannon described the Avenue as “one of the greatest ornaments to the town, and gave a most favourable impression to visitors before the railway superseded the stage-coaches”. It was a popular venue for promenading and strolling in the 19th century.

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