Whithedswood Common
The name Whithedswood is a corruption of Whitehead's Wood, a name that has been on the Shirley landscape since the 15th century when the manor of Shirley came into the possession of Robert Whitehead (or Whithed). It was held by his descendants until the 18th century. Whithedswood Common was an alternative name for Shirley Common and was the traditional grazing grounds for the manor of Shirley. In 1778 a later owner, Robert Thistlethwayte, had a map drawn up entitled “the manor of Hill and Shirley, alias Whitheds Wood”. The land then comprised about 375 acres. In 1830 the common land was enclosed by Act of Parliament.
Whithedswood Cottage
This cottage appears, from Ordnance Survey maps, to have been a substantial dwelling on the south-east side of Shirley Avenue. It was probably built in the early 19th century on land that had been formerly part of Shirley (or Whithedswood) Common. It is shown on the OS 1:2500 map (c.1866) but had been demolished by 1934.
Whithedswood Farm
This farm was formerly situated on the north side of St James Road between modern Bridlington and Eastbourne Avenues. It is shown on the estate map of 1778 and had been demolished by 1934.
Whithedswood House
Whithedswood House was a Regency style house, built c.1820 for William Howard on land that had been previously part of Shirley Common. It was presumably the successor, on or near the traditional site, to the medieval manor house of Shirley. It was situated south east of modern Whithedswood Avenue, which was named after the house. The approach road to the house was originally Whithedswood Road, but was later renamed Shirley Avenue. An entrance lodge was built near the junction with St James Avenue. The property was owned by the Day family from the late 19th century until c.1926 when the house became a school for boys, with much of the estate sold off for development. At the beginning of World War Two the house was used as a Civil Defence Centre. It was demolished in 1950 and a block of flats was built on the site.
Whithedswood Road
An early name for Shirley Avenue, which was originally the approach road to Whithedswood House.

Whithedswood House

Image Unavailable

Photograph, c.1900

Further reading:
Lost Houses of Southampton, by Jessica Vale. (HS/i)
Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, p16-20. (HS/h)
Shirley From Domesday to D-Day, by John Guilmant and Hilary Kavanagh, p4, 66-68. (HS/h.SHI)


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