A concise illustrated history of an ancient community in Hampshire, England
The village lies on the estuary of the River Test, to the west of the large city of Southampton. A
satellite picture of the area was produced from Landsat 5 data. The colours are as close to true colour representation as possible.
Possibly the earliest reference to Nursling is as the Roman settlement called
Onna guarding the crucial crossing point on the River Test - very close to where the modern M27 crosses the same river 2000 years later. The road along the south coast between Venta (now known as Winchester) and the New Forest (as it would become known a millenium later ) passed very close to Nursling Mill. Since no trace remains of the bridge across the Test it is assumed that it must have been a wooden one.
The main activity in the dark Ages focussed around a large monastery. This was described by the
Venerable Bede in AD 686 as the earliest Benedictine foundation in Wessex. The exact location of the monastery is no longer known, but it was probably close to the existing village church.
In 716AD the young monk Winfrid, trained under Abbot Wolfhard, set off from what was then called "Nhutcelle" monastry to Germany. He went on to great things and eventually was canonised as St Boniface. Two accounts of his life may be found