Freemantle is a western suburb of Southampton, and is essentially the district lying between Shirley Road, Foundry Lane and the River Test. The name is that of a house and estate dating at least from 1588. The earliest known owner of land in the area was William Ace in the first half of the 14th century. He owned land called Fremennal in Mullebroke, but there was no mention of a specific house. In 1558 the Book of Remembrance records that merchant Thomas Fashon left in his will a house called Free Mantell in Millbrook with lands belonging to it.

Freemantle was originally part of Millbrook parish. In 1881 it joined the Shirley Board of Health, set up in 1853 as the main organ of local government in Shirley. In 1894 this body was replaced by the short-lived Shirley and Freemantle Urban District Council. In 1895 both Shirley and Freemantle were absorbed into Southampton.

see also

Further reading:
More Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, p119-144. (HS/h)
‘A trip Down Foundry Lane’, by B. A. Thomas in Essays on the History of Southampton, p69-88. (HS/h)
Public Life in Southampton, Volume 1, by James Lemon, p120-123. (HS/l)
Public Life in Southampton, Volume 2, by James Lemon, p69-153. (HS/l)
Hill, The Polygon and Freemantle, by Bob Culley. (HS/h.FRE)


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