Hampshire Treasures

Volume 1 ( Winchester City District)

Page 225 - Oliver's Battery

Previous page (Volume 1, Page 224) Previous page (Volume 1, Page 224) Next page (Volume 1, Page 227) Next page (Volume 1, Page 227)

The Parish of Oliver's Battery was formed in 1956 from part of Compton Parish, and covers only 300 acres. Most of the modern residential development occurred during the 1960s, but there are some old cottages which were built for employees of the Hursley Hunt. The name of Old Kennels Lane indicates the proximity of the Hunt stables and kennels.

The quaint name of the parish derives from the prehistoric earth work which was used as a camp by Oliver Cromwell during the Civil War. The battery of guns together with horses, ammunition, troops and stores was drawn up on the hillock overlooking Winchester.

In early October 1645 Cromwell requested a peaceful entrance to the city of Winchester without any bloodshed: "I come not to this city but with a full resolution to save it and the inhabitants thereof from ruin . . . I only expect you to give me entrance . . . without necessitating me to force my way" he wrote to the Mayor. Ralph Riggs, the then Mayor of Winchester, replied within half an hour that he could not open the city gates to Cromwell as the respons ibility for yielding or resisting lay with Lord Ogle, who was the temporary military governor of the besieged city. The garrison chose to resist the enemy and Cromwell assembled his forces on the ancient earthwork to the south west. Shots were fired on the morning of 4 October; Lord Ogle called a truce but broke off negotiations when he saw some troops advancing which he thought were a relieving force of Royalists to assist the defending garrison. The troops were Roundheads led by William Waller, and the firing from Oliver's Battery started up again. Winchester surrendered to Cromwell on Monday 6 October, although the garrison was very strong and the castle and city well supplied with food and other stores: the defenders could have held out under siege for weeks, but chose to capitualte before too much damage was done to the cathedral and other venerable buildings.

Please use "Next page" to see Hampshire Treasures entries for Oliver's Battery.

Previous page (Volume 1, Page 224) Previous page (Volume 1, Page 224) Next page (Volume 1, Page 227) Next page (Volume 1, Page 227)