Discover the fascinating role that Fareham has played through the work of local people. See how local industries have influence the world as well as the way that the town itself has developed.
The distinctive ‘Fareham Reds’ were the bricks that built much of Victorian England. The Borough’s largest export was The Royal Albert Hall, in London, built mainly of Fareham Red bricks produced locally. Fareham Reds went as far as the United States. A distinctive and modern building material In their day that made bold buildings and structures looking entirely new to people living at the time. In Victorian times, chimneypots were important; heating and power was mostly coal powered and the chimneys dominated how many Victorian buildings looked. A distinctive feature of Fareham chimneypots was the decorative white slip patterns applied in rings around the top of the pots. After visiting the Museum look for these pots still adorning many of Fareham’s historic buildings.
Many of us have found an old white clay pipe before – digging in the garden or among the pebbles on a beach. Fareham was a major manufacturer of these fascinating items, an industry that developed here because of the local availability of chalk. Later on all the raw materials would be brought in by boat and many of the finished pipes would leave from the same quaysides. Step back in time as you visit the recreated workshop from Leigh’s Pipe Manufacturers of Portchester, and see the skilled pipe maker at his bench with the tools of his trade.
Fareham was once the main area for producing strawberries: the railway line to Swanwick was built primarily to get the fresh strawberries to market in London quickly. Such produce was strictly seasonal and the strawberries were highly prized for their sweet flavour. You can visit our re-created strawberry packing shed and see and hear the strawberries being unloaded from a unique surviving locally built strawberry cart, ready for loading onto the train. Strawberries are still grown in the west of the Borough.
The family friendly Timeline Gallery shows how people have lived, worked and visited the Fareham area throughout history.
There are stone-age tools used by people living in the area around 9,000 years ago and the timeline takes a journey right up to the present day. Among the more recent items is an early 1980s mobile phone including its own shoulder strap! Younger visitors may find it hard to believe that this would have been the height sophistication for an estate agent or financial trader some twenty years ago!
One of the more unusual items is an amazing Roman curse, written on a small lead tablet, asking the Mighty Neptune to punish someone who stole a purse almost 2,000 years ago! Found in the Hamble River, this astonishing item is a very personal link across the centuries – we may no longer call upon Neptune but the basic emotion will have changed little!
A huge board game provides a centre point for the gallery and a light-hearted approach to local history and heritage. Join in and travel through Fareham’s history yourself!