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You are here:home > Leisure > Parks and Green Spaces > Greenways > Lordsdale Greenway

Lordsdale Greenway

Image of Lordsdale GreenwayLordsdale Greenway travels for 2.25 miles from Dale Road to Lord’s Hill Way. At its northern end it links into Lord’s Wood Greenway and then into Lord’s Wood Plantation beyond. The Greenway follows the stream valleys of Tanner’s Brook and Holly Brook which supports several important habitats and species.

Lordsdale Greenway has been locally designated and protected as a site of importance for nature conservation (SINC). Habitats present include alder swamp woods, unimproved grassland and semi improved grassland. These support species such as wood horsetail (equisetum sylvaticum) which is rare in Hampshire and the nationally important bluebell (hyacinthoides non-scripta).

Below you will find a detailed description of Lordsdale Greenway and information on the local history of the area.

Lordsdale Greenway Route Description

1. Dale Road to Warren Avenue (0.4 miles)

The footpath runs alongside Holly Brook in an area of damp woodland and out into grassland which incorporates a play area and skateboard park located adjacent to Warren Avenue.  There are allotments situated close to Dale Road.  Alder and willow both of which are adapted to wet conditions dominate the woodland where the song thrush can be seen.

The woodland looks most attractive in spring when plants such as the bright yellow marsh marigold and lesser celandine are in flower.

2. Warren Avenue to Coxford Road (0.7 miles)

A footpath encircles Shirley Pond and follows Tanner’s Brook through a mixed area of woodland and grassland past the cycle track and Old Mill Way.  Shirley Pond is the only major area of open water within the Greenway and kingfishers can be observed here.  It is also an important bat feeding ground.  Pipistrelle the smallest bat occurring in Britain is most common but three other species have also been reported.

Look out for the nettle beds along the side of the path which attract the peacock butterfly during the early summer months.  The scarce lesser spotted woodpecker may be seen in the woodland south of Coxford Road.  The grey wagtail can also be seen along the banks of the brook.

3. Coxford Road to Olive Road (Bowers Meadow) (0.2 miles)

The area incorporates a variety of habitats that include a sunny sheltered area and grassland which are very popular with butterflies.  Greater spotted woodpeckers feed on many of the larger trees.

Along the stream edges purple loosestrife and water figwort grow.

4. Olive Road to Aldermoor Road (0.6 miles)

The footpath runs from behind Coxford Community Centre on Olive Road through Coxford Copse as far as the Springford Road allotments.  At this point the route follows the footpaths in Springford Road and then left into Aldermoor Road where it rejoins the Greenway path at Tanner’s Brook.

The area to the north of Olive Road comprises partly of marshy woodland and grassland.  The grassland area incorporates playing fields and an adventure playground behind Coxford Community Centre.  An old area of hazel coppice can be found adjacent to Vine Road that hosts lesser celandine and wood anemone which is associated with older woodlands.  The stag beetle makes its home in the dead wood stumps found here.  This area also supports frogs, broad leaved helleborines and wood horsetail which is rare in Hampshire.  To the south of Aldermoor Farm there is an area of tall herb.

The area next to Aldermoor Farm is one of the few remaining natural wet meadows in the city.  Cuckooflower or lady’s smock can be seen here during the spring.  This is one of the plants on which orange tip butterflies, which can be seen from April to early June lay their eggs.  There is a wet area dominated by sedges and rushes which contains many interesting plant species including yellow loosestrife and water mint.

5. Aldermoor Road to Lord’s Hill Way (0.1 miles)

The footpath carries on through this area of meadowland where cuckooflower or lady’s smock can be seen in spring.  Allotments can be seen to the west and towards Lord’s Hill Way the path runs through damp woodland.  On the north side of Lord’s Hill Way the path continues through Lord’s Wood Greenway.

Lordsdale Greenway Local History

1. Warren Avenue

During the 19th century there was a large ice store close to Warren Avenue which was used to deposit ice from as far away as Norway.  The present Ice House Inn was built in 1912 adjacent to the site of an older establishment and straddles the old ice cellar.  Warren Avenue was known locally as Ice House Hill.

2. Shirley Mill

There is reason to believe that there had been a mill in Shirley since the late Saxon period.  Shirley Mill was powered by water from three ponds which lay between Warren Avenue and Winchester Road.  The ponds were fed by Holly Brook a tributary of Tanner’s Brook which itself joined the ponds by Shirley Mill.  Two of the ponds have now been drained, filled in and grassed over.  The remaining pond offers opportunities for fishing and has been dredged to improve it.  The record catch is a pike of 29.5lbs.  In 1826 the mill was converted into an iron foundry in order to exploit the increased demand for iron.  The owner Joseph Till was declared bankrupt in 1842.  The buildings were then converted into a brewery which changed ownership several times before being taken over by the Winchester Brewery Company in 1899.  During this time it was known as the Shirley Brewery and Tap.  In 1900 it was taken over by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company and served as a laundry for the company whose ships sailed between Southampton and South America.  Shirley Mill no longer exists but was probably located at the junction of Romsey and Winchester roads.

There is evidence of early settlement by man in this area with the discovery of a number of hand axes dating from the Palaeolithic period.

3. Shirley Warren

In the 18th century before the present semi-circular housing estate was built the estate of Shirley Warren was owned by Arthur Atherley.  It originally covered 227 acres and was the land over which the Lord of the Manor had the ancient rights of ‘warren’ for taking rabbits and small game.  In the late 18th and early 19th centuries troops were several times encamped at Shirley Warren during the wars with France and other European countries.

In 1919 Southampton Corporation purchased approximately 35 acres of land for £7,050.  The Corporation built 442 houses on 28 acres leaving the rest of the land reserved for use as a school (to house 840 children) with a playground and recreation ground.  Building did not start however until 1926.

4. Aldermoor Road

This land was part of the estate belonging to the Mill family.  The house known as Aldermoor Lodge (later Aldermoor House) was built in 1800 on land which was previously part of Nursling Common.  Aldermoor Farm was associated with this estate but was located some distance from Aldermoor Lodge so that its inhabitants would not be disturbed by the noise and smell.  The estate was sold in 1932 to the Southampton Corporation for housing.

To the north west of Aldermoor Road (on land which is now Nursling Plantation) there was a prehistoric settlement known as Aldermoor Camp.

Images of Lordsdale Greenway

Lordsdale Greenway marker post

Lordsdale Greenway marker post

Lordsdale Greenway Stoke Road Field

Stoke Road Field

Lordsdale Greenway Shirley Pond

Shirley Pond

Lordsdale Greenway Award

Lordsdale Greenway Award - The Best Community Park 2010 nominated by local residents

Contact information

  • 0800 519 1919
  • Parks and Street Cleansing (RL) Southampton City Council, Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY