The 1826 large scale map of Hampshire is the first reasonably accurate map of the countryside outside of towns in north Hampshire. Earlier maps have trackways wandering off in various directions but they were clearly not surveyed. The 1826 map can be found at this web page.
Fuzzy Drove or Furzy Drove may well have been a drove way long before this date but the track shown on the map is the route from the west – i.e. Steventon, via Pardown to the Old Roman Rd/Kempshott. Up until the 19th century Kempshott, known as Basingstoke Down, was an area of open downland grass and scrub on which cattle and sheep could be grazed by locals.
The Kempshott Lane and Old Roman Road are virtually one and the same from Worting to Five-ways. After that the track of Kempshott Lane runs straight up the hill to the A30 Winchester Road whereas the Old Roman Road had a slightly more western track.
Fuzzy Drove as we know it is the link between the two routes south westwards. The roman roadway continues to diverge from Kempshott Lane and curves slightly westwards as it nears the Winchester road to meet it.
Why was there a drove road, you may ask?
Since 1671 Basingstoke Down was the site of two annual fairs – in Spring and Autumn, at which sheep and cattle were bought and sold and, especially at the Autumn fair, agricultural workers secured their next year’s hiring. Fuzzy Drove would be the route for farms in the west to the fair grounds.
These fairs were in addition to the town market and annual fairs held variously near Holy Ghost Chapel and later on Fairfield.
The relevance of the fair faded towards the end of the 19th century (1875 -90) when local cattle auctions in town (near the railway station) took over with animals being brought to auction by rail or road.
The above information has come from research by Marion Wolstencroft and other members of the Kempshott History Group – and is reproduced with their kind permission.
If you have any information, memories, old photos or old maps that show Fuzzy Drove please contact us as we would love to add to the information on this page.