Book launch of Hyde: from Dissolution to Victorian Suburb at Winchester Business School on 28th November 2012
The book launch of this valuable contribution to the history of Winchester was well attended by academics, representatives of local organisations and those interested in local history.
Dr Grover gave a spellbinding resume of the development of Hyde from the destruction of Hyde Abbey by Thomas Wriothesley to the eve of the First World War. For 160 years, the former Hyde Abbey farms were owned by the Knight family who also owned Chawton. In 1811 Edward, Jane Austen’s brother, sold Abbots Barton to William Simonds, a farmer from St Cross. William was related to the Reading brewery family and James Simonds married his sister and ran the successful Hyde Brewery.
William’s son, William Barrow, started developing the fields into desirable villas for Winchester’s elite to ensure the financial viability of the farm faced with cheap imports from abroad.
Today, development on the former Abbey lands is subject to controversy with continuing opposition to large-scale housing plans.
Torquil Sligo-Young of Young’s Brewery was the special guest of honour. Mr Sligo-Young is a descendent of William Barrow Simonds whose daughter married into the Young brewing family. He talked about his boyhood memories of Hyde when he visited relatives who still lived on the farm. The evening ended with Mr Sligo-Young presenting books on behalf of the William Allen Young Trust to those who had helped in the production of the book.