Rockstone Place, a crescent running from Carlton Crescent to the Avenue, is a row of 12 three-storey Regency-style houses built between 1833 and 1841 by local architect Samuel Toomer. The houses were arranged in four groups of three. The south side of the street, too narrow for building, was laid out for gardens and lawns. The surviving Toomer sisters, Hannah and Rebecca, in 1878 gave this land to the corporation on the understanding that it would be kept as an open space, and (as of 2016) it still is, with the Magistrates' Court behind.

In the 19th century Rockstone Place had a distinct genteel atmosphere and was a residential area for wealthy middle class families. The family of General Gordon lived at no. 5 for a time, and he himself stayed there when on leave. General Patrick Campbell's family lived at number 8.

From the 1920s the buildings have been used as offices and college buildings. All the buildings are Grade II listed.

The name ‘Rockstone’ was also applied to a district, which incorporates Rockstone Lane on the opposite side of the Avenue.

Rockstone Place

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Rockstone Place. Photograph, c1940

1-3 Rockstone Place

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Photograph, c. 2000

10-12 Rockstone Place

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Photograph, c.2000

Further reading:

Buildings of England: Hampshire and the I.O.W., by Nikolaus Pevsner and David Lloyd, p561. (H/i)
Southampton’s Historic Buildings, by R. J. Coles, p20. (HS/k)


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