Why NORTH Town? North of what?

Since North TOWN takes its name from its main thoroughfare North Lane, the real QUESTION is why NORTH Lane and It is here that the clues begin to appear.

Firstly, it is certainly NOT north of the earliest known Aldershot Village around the foot of Church Hill – it is in fact due EAST of Aldershot.

Secondly it has been NORTH LANE for a very long time much longer than the formation of The Camp. The venerable Col. Cole tells us that it appears as such on 1841 when only four roads are shown in the area. They were :-

1. Cranmoor Lane (then called Cranemer Lane after the farmer through whose fields it passed to link to the old London Portsmouth Road with the Parish Church)

 2. Church Lane and Church Hill these latter two names are Self explanatory bearing, bearing in mind the location of the a Parish Church and the original Aldershot village at the foot of the hill on which it was built.

We are left with this wretched North Lane which is North of nothing in Aldershot and for which there is no local reason.

ts significant, I believe, is not local at all. It rests in the old 18th and 19th Century Drovers Routes from the West Country to London. Col. Cole traces their route to the slopes of the Fox Hills and through the village of Ash towards Aldershot. The same Drovers Route has been clearly identified across Bagshot Heath

The line of North Lane is directly South to North of these two points. Its locality also had the three requirements at Drovers sought avoidance of inhabited areas, free pasture and abundant water provided by Deadbrook Pond (a prominent expanse of water in the area at that time)

I suggest that this is the true origin of North Lane not a North Lane of Aldershot but THE North Lane to London.

Apart from a few farm buildings of which only Shawfields Farm House still stands, North Lane remained unchanged until the coming of the Camp in 1854. The Aldershot we know today was already mushrooming around the High Street area but here was a location which might be called the "back door" to the Camp within walking distance of both North and South Camps

This point was not lost on a speculative builder from Brighton who constructed rows of mean terraced houses in an area off the Lane which became Queen Street, Alexandria Street and Denmark Street

North Town had begun to take shape . By 1879 it had grown into a rather embarrassing working class annex to the more august Parish of St. Michael's Aldershot.

Chapter 2


First beginnings

Chapter 2.

The Altar Cross

Chapter 4

The East Window

Chapter 5

The Font

Chapter 10

The Wooden Cross

Chapter 11

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