Bassett is the most northerly suburb of modern Southampton and was formerly a part of part of North Stoneham. The name may derive from a family name (a Bassett family is known to have been in South Stoneham in the early 15th century) or from the Old French word for an outcrop of land. The first use of the name appears to be on Milne's map of Southampton and District (1791) which shows 'Bassets Lane' (approximating to modern Bassett Green Road). Bassett Green Village, situated half way along Bassets Lane and sometimes known as Old Bassett, is also shown on the map and probably existed from the mid-18th century.

In modern-day Bassett Green two rows of three existing cottages date from the late 18th or early 19th century; nos. 2-6 are red brick buildings; nos. 3-7 are red brick with thatched roofs (image 2). All are Grade II listed.

In the early 19th century the area was still part of North Stoneham Common and predominantly rural heath and woodlands. Development occurred from 1850 and the area was converted into a garden suburb for affluent families wishing to escape the urban centre. The plans were conceived by John Fleming, owner of the Stoneham estates, and drawn up by London architect Robert Hesketh. Over the next few decades the streets were laid out and a number of large villas built, including Ridgemount, Chetwynd, Glen Eyre and Bassett Wood. Some of these houses are recalled by modern street names.

Bassett became part of Southampton borough in 1920 and soon after the Bassett Green Housing estate was developed by the Stoneham Estates and funded by Herbert Collins’s Swaythling Housing Association. Bassett Green, which still retains its rural feel, was given conservation area status in the 1970s.

1. Bassett Green

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Photograph by SCMAS, 2004

2. 3-7 Bassett Green

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Photograph, c.2000

Further reading:
Illustrated History of Southampton’s Suburbs, by Jim Brown, p20-23. (HS/h)
We Love the Place, by A.L.L.S.S. (HS/h.BAS)
The Book of the Stonehams, by John Edgar Mann p51-78. (HS/h.STO)
Bassett and Bassett House: an Architectural and Historical Record, by Michael Underwood p4-14. (HS/i)


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