Short history of Wymering
Wymering existed for centuries before Portsmouth, its name indicating it is an early Saxon settlement. Saxon graves from the 7th century AD were found nearby on Portsdown. The large Manor estate existed before 1066 and is listed in the Domesday Book. It remained in royal hands until granted to loyal retainers. The fields surrounding Wymering were farmed until the 1920s, when Wymering became part of Portsmouth. Since then Wymering has become a suburb of the city. Old Wymering is one of the city's designated Conservation areas.
Where is the walk?
The walk starts at the church situated on Medina Road at the corner of Old Wymering Lane.
Places of interest on the walk
St. Peter and St. Paul Church (Grade 2* listed building)
The church was begun in about 1180 but there was at least one earlier church of which no traces survive today. The church was extensively renovated in 1861 by G. E. Street and is well worth looking round.
Wymering Churchyard may have been used since about 1200. It is much higher than the surrounding land and enclosed by a flint wall. There are many tombs worthy of a closer look. There are elegant Georgian Table tombs of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Eleven are Grade II listed monuments.
On the side nearest Old Wymering Lane is Elizabeth Harrison's grave. She died in 1772 and the verse on her headstone is enigmatic.
All you my Friends who this Way passeth by Observe the adjacent field their shot was I: In Bloom of Youth I had no thought of Death So sudden was I forced to yield my breath Therefore I'd have you to prepare your way For Heav'ns high summons all men must obey
A legend says she was murdered by a local lad who had grown tired of her but is it true? You can discover more by going to the Wymering Tales / Murder most foul topic of the website.
Further along on the same side, Admiral Sir Francis Austen, Jane Austen's brother, is buried. Look carefully - he and his wife are commemorated on both sides of the path and it is not clear exactly where they are buried.
Wymering Vicarage (Grade 2 listed building)
This Georgian building was built in 1750. In the 1860 and 70s it was the base for the Community of St Mary, an order of nuns introduced by Rev. George Nugee, that cared for orphans and the sick.
Old Wymering Lane
This, like Medina Road, may be an ancient trackway, leading from the pasture on the hill slopes to the marsh at the harbour's edge.
Wymering Upper Farm wall
This flint wall marked the boundary of the farmyard. Upper Farm was the original Manor Farm but was demolished to make way for housing and the new Southampton Road around 1960.
Wymering Manor (Grade 2* listed building)
The present building dates to the 1580s when it was a fine timber framed building. It has been changed and extended by successive generations, serving as a private house, vicarage and Youth Hostel.
Medina Road, formerly Southampton Road
This was once the only road through the village and probably existed long before it was mentioned in 1269. It became a turnpike road in 1810, with a locked gate across the road close to South Farm and a toll house for the toll collector.
144 Medina Road
This was the Lodge at the entrance to Wymering Manor. The distance from Wymering Lane to the Lodge gives some idea of the size of the Manor's gardens at that time, before almost 4 acres were sold off for housing in 1946.
South Farm House (Grade 2 listed building)
South Farm was the smallest of Wymering's 3 farms. The farmhouse dates from 1840 with coursed flint walls and handsome sash windows but it is today largely hidden behind high hedges.
At the rear are flint faced stables, now converted to housing.
Cow Lane and Electricity Station
Cow Lane was originally part of Wymering Lane. The railway bridge was built in 1848. In the early 20th century there was a Tea Garden on the Electricity Station site. Wymering was popular for a walk through Wymering Fields, today's King George V Playing Fields.
Lower or East Wymering Farm house (Jubilee House)
Only the late 18th century front remains of this farmhouse which once had a large pond, many barns and sheds as well as extensive orchards. In 1935 it became Jubilee Home for elderly blind people and provides nursing care today.
Copies of the guide
If you would like a printed copy of the guide please let us know or, if you have your own printer, click here.