Brickfields Country Park History
Situated off Boxalls Lane, in Aldershot, Hampshire, is probably one of the British Isles smallest and least known country parks. (Unless you know of one under 8 acres!) Reclaimed from the remains of a Victorian brickworks and clay diggings, Brickfields Country Park is a peaceful, natural park, known only by local residents and a few in the know – and now you!
The first records for the area on which Brickfields Country Park now stands dates from about 1175 when the monks of Waverley Abbey used an area roughly bounded by Church Lane, Church Road and Boxalls Lane for sheep grazing. For about 300 years the area was worked by the clerics and after the Dissolution of the monasteries, it was sold and amalgamated with neighbouring land to form one farm of 60 acres administered by John Faunteleroy, one of Aldershot's main landowners, until the early 1600s. About 1650, the Boxall family came into possession of the land, but in 1703 area was broken up into smaller portions, of which Boxalls Farm was the largest.
Soon after the Army's arrival in Aldershot the clay pit in what is now Brickfields Country Park was used for extraction of the clay used in bricks for many of the buildings of the rapidly expanding town. The Brickfields housing estate was the site of the brickworks and drying ovens, which were in use up until the late 1930s. In 1983 a report suggesting the area be turned into a nature park was proposed and adopted by the council and work commenced. Over the next two years Rushmoor Borough Council and The Manpower Services Commission transformed what had become an eyesore into a unique recreational facility for the local community.
The Friends of Brickfields Country Park are compiling a comprehensive history of the park and the immediate area, we have some information already but we need more so if you have any information relating to the park, anecdotes (a lot of local residents used to play in the old brick diggings in their younger days), photographs, press cuttings Etc, then please let us know. photos and other documents will be returned. E-mail or telephone Mike at the number on the E-mail page.
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