Are you a Friend?The Town Trust in Alresford is proud to manage the trees and verges on the Avenue, to the west of the town, as a heritage asset and attractive entrance to the town for visitors. The Avenue was originally given to the town, for the recreation of the residents, by the Bishop of Winchester in 1869. Managed by the Bailiff & Burgesses until the mid-1880s the New Alresford Town Trust took over in 1890.
As a charity the Trust is almost entirely dependent on grants and donations to undertake the maintenance of The Avenue and the trees in Broad Street. Up until last year significant contributions were made by Local Authorities; originally Winchester City Council and for the last five years New Alresford Town Council.
However, with the current budget cuts imposed by all levels of local Government, these costs become difficult to justify and the only remaining support, provided by the Town Council, was withdrawn at the end of 2015. The Town Trust is keen to maintain the standard of care that the residents and businesses of Alresford would expect, and will be continuing to provide the tree maintenance, grass cutting and general maintenance as in previous years, from the general income to the Trust, especially as the Town Council has now agreed a grant to help with the annual maintenance charges which amount to £6000 plus per annum.
The Avenue itself does not create any income to provide for these maintenance costs and so the Trust has launched the Friends of the Avenue scheme to encourage donations and sponsorship from town businesses, residents and tourist events. Sponsorship of the Avenue trees and flowers, and grass cutting, are being offered under this scheme.
Become a Friend
Residents are invited to become a ‘Friend’ for a minimum subscription of £25 per annum.If you wish to become a 'Friend of The Avenue' please complete the Application Form which can be found here.
It is hoped that businesses in Alresford will also support our efforts in The Avenue by contributing £500 in sponsorship in return for a sponsorship board on The Avenue and recognition on the Alresford and Town Trust web sites.
If you wish to sponsor The Avenue please e-mail the Clerk.
A gift to the town.
'At this Court with the consent of the homage of the Lord of the said Manor by his Stewards doth give and grant unto.(the) Bailiff and Burgesses of the Borough and Town of New Alresford.all those pieces and parcels of land.called Pound Hill on the Winchester Road extending from Drove Lane on both sides of the road.more particularly delineated in the plan hereto annexed and therein coloured green together with the trees thereon standing.'
With these words the Reverend Charles Richard, Bishop of Winchester, gave away his title to the land on either side of The Avenue, on 23 September 1869. The document is signed by Charles Sumner, clerk to the bishopric, as is the attached plan shown below. The Bailiff at the time was one Edward Hunt and his burgesses were John Covey, William Toynbee, Edward Blackmore, John Adams, George Hayles, William Benson, William Hunt and John Lipscomb. They had just accepted the gift and grant from the bishop on behalf of the Borough of New Alresford.
There were strict terms attached to the gift. The land was to be used for the recreation of the inhabitants of the town, 'and for no other purpose whatever'. There was an express condition that no building or other erection of any kind was permitted. It couldn't be used for 'any offensive, noxious, noisome or noisy purpose'. The grazing of animals was not allowed and its management and usage had to be ratified by the Charity Commissioners. The bishop was doing his level best to ensure that the land on both sides of The Avenue should remain forever exactly as he had known it.
It was then and, now that the bypass has taken away much of the traffic, still is, a calm and peaceful place to walk or to sit in the shade of the trees on one of the benches provided. In addition, most would agree that The Avenue provides a rather grand western entranceway to the town. However, these twin benefits may have come about somewhat by accident.