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Explore England's Past

The jailbirds, brawlers, vandals, drunkards, swearers and poachers of Windover Street, Basingstoke.

Windover Street c. 1970

Windover Street leads from Cross Street into Joice’s Yard. Even though it was little more than an alley and contained only six cottages, it often, quite literally, punched above its weight. In 1881 it was home to a glorious group of jailbirds, brawlers, vandals, drunkards, swearers and poachers, who entertained the readers of the Hants and Berks Gazette with their antics, and helped to keep the Magistrates’ Court in business.  The six cottages were demolished during the Town Redevelopment in c.1970 to make way for Joice’s Yard Car Park. The decision in 2013 to call the conversion of 12 Cross Street, Windover Mews, is a way of remembering one of the most vibrant streets in Basingstoke and the colourful crowd who lived there. 

Content derived during research for the new VCH Hampshire volume, Basingstoke and its surroundings.

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