At the time of Domesday, Titchfield had a market and a toll, testament to it’s success as a port
A visitor to the sleepy village of Titchfield may be forgiven for not knowing the importance of this place in Medieval times. Since St Wilfrid landed on these southern shores, Titchfield grew in importance, Titchfield church was founded here in about 680AD making it one of the oldest churches in the country but even that re-used Roman materials. The importance of Titchfield lies in it’s position relative to the River Meon. It was a sheltered estuary and a port was established here from the earliest times.
When Titchfield Abbey was founded in the early C13th, the prosperity of Titchfield was assured. The trade was such that a toll was established, one of only two in Hampshire.
The abbey records show that Titchfield was a thriving settlement, referring to a wide range of businesses in the town including butchers, bakers, brewers and salters with craftsmen of all kinds, carpenters, coopers, thatchers, rope makers, tailors, blacksmiths, millers, saddlers, dyers, the list is endless.
Close to France as well
Titchfield offered a safe port close to France and good accommodation at the Abbey for monarchs passing through.
All good things must come to an end
The second oldest canal in the country (or maybe not a canal but a means of irrigating land about) was developed by Thomas Wriothesley in 1611. The mouth of the River Meon had a dam built across it and a channel dug alongside the river. This is thought to have led to the silting up of the river and effectively put a stop to Titchfield being a port. Little is known about the actual reasons for the canal’s construction nor the impact it had on the trade in the town. To find out more visit the Southampton Canal site.