A Cistertian nunnery was founded at Hartfordbridge at about the time of the Norman invasion. The hamlet lies on the river Hart and the Trafalgar Way plaque can be found at the White Lion Antiques Centre on Star Hill on the A30. This used to be a coaching inn and it is here that Lieutenant Lapenotiere would have changed horses. There are now over 100 different antique stalls over three floors and you can have breakfast, lunch or tea.
White Lion Antiques
The White Lion coaching inn at Hartfordbridge still stands, but as an antiques centre today. Image © Ian Gregory
Blackwater, Bagshot Heath, Lightwater Country Park
Blackwater is a small town situated in the extreme north eastern corner of Hampshire. An important coaching inn to the west of Blackwater station now gives its name to a parade of shops known as the White Hart Parade. Today the A30 runs right through the town which appears in the 1859 novel The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. The famous Sandhurst Military Academy lies to the north.
In the 17th century the area along the turnpike road through Bagshot Heath (now the A30) was known as a haunt of highwaymen such as William Davies or The Golden Farmer - a nickname he acquired through his habit of fleecing victims of any gold they carried and the fact that he was a Sodbury Farmer. He was eventually hung in chains on Bagshot Heath in December 1689. According to oral history he was hanged at the junction of London Road and Gibbett Lane. From the late 17th century the pub at this location was known as The Golden Farmer and would have been named as such when Lieutenant Lapenotiere passed in 1805 - though its name was later changed to the Jolly Farmer. The pub was later moved to the centre of a busy roundabout where today you will find the American Golf Discount Store, on the wall of which you will find a Trafalgar Way Plaque.
Daniel Defoe described this area of sandy heathland, in his A Tour Thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain, as ‘horrid and frightful to look on, not only good for little but good for nothing.’ However amidst the urban development large stretches of beautiful heathland survive such as Lightwater Country Park.
The A30 now heads north east into Bagshot.