Weymouth-Dorset.co.uk Local History

  Boot Hill and Rodwell, Weymouth

Boot Hill is part of the ancient road to both Wyke Regis and Portland and it has been known in times past as Boot Lane and Leach Lane. Confusingly, the Edward's houses at the junction of the Old High Street and Boot Hill have inscribed on the boundary wall the name "Edwards Avenue" and further along on the same side the end row of houses before the summit has Rodwell Road written on the corner house. Rodwell Road is the correct name as this is the area of Weymouth known as Rodwell. It is along this road, followed directly into Old Castle Road that leads to Sandsfoot Castle and this was the old route to Portland before the Buxton Road was built.

Edwards Houses in Edwards Avenue, Boot Hill, Weymouth.  Built by Sir Henry Edwards in the late nineteenth century

Edwards Houses on Boot Hill

The previously mentioned Edwards Avenue on Rodwell Road is a row of houses. The Edwards Houses are one of several groups built by a former MP for Weymouth, Sir Henry Edwards in the late nineteenth century. They were built to house the poor elderly citizens of the parish. More houses were built in Rodwell Avenue further up Rodwell Road. Sir Henry Edwards also financed other projects in the town, amongst them, the clock on the old Town Hall during the restoration of 1896 and the actual clock of the Jubilee Clock on the Esplanade.

Immediately opposite these houses on the corner of Chickerell Road stands Netherton House. This house used to be known as the Manor House and is marked on old maps as such. The building dates mainly from the early eighteenth century although it may be as early as the late 16th century in foundation. Later the house was to become the Netherton Hotel and eventually a nursing home. A stone set in the boundary wall commemorates John Cree who is credited with widening the road by ten feet in the mid nineteenth century.

Netherton House, Boot Hill, Weymouth, formerly known as the Manor House

Netherton House, Boot Hill, Weymouth

Further up Boot Hill at the mini roundabout is the junction with the Wyke Road and as its name implies this road leads to Wyke Regis and the church of All Saints, which was formerly the Mother church to Weymouth. Along Wyke Road on the right hand side is a rather handsome looking old building. This building was erected and opened in 1836 as the Weymouth Union Workhouse and stands on the site of the former Weymouth Poorhouse. On cessation of the Poor Law Unions, the building became the Portwey Hospital. For a long time after the hospital closed in 1987, the building remained empty until in recent years it was refurbished and converted into apartments for local housing.

The old Weymouth Union Workhouse, on the site of the Weymouth Poorhouse, later to become the Portwey Hospital, Wyke Road, Weymouth, Dorset

The old Weymouth Union Workhouse,

later the Portwey Hospital

Springfield House, Weymouth - home of the Devenish family

Springfield House

Across the road from the old Portwey Hospital and workhouse is the site of the home of the brewing family of Devenish, Springfield House. The estate here was quite large and in the grounds stood a mansion house, fragments of which have been found in the grounds of the later built bungalows and houses on the site. The house was built of Portland stone in 1879.

When Major Devenish died in 1953 it was his wish as expressed in his will, that the house be used to provide homes for retired members of the forces and widows of clergy.

As the house had suffered war damage it was decided that that would be uneconomical and so the house was demolished.

Close by this estate, and beneath the Wyke Road, lay the remains of the old railway to Portland. Part of the platforms of the old Rodwell station remain amidst a pleasant walk through the trees that line either side, eventually emerging in the region of Sandsfoot Castle.


Old Weymouth's High Street and Town

Harbour, main

Old Harbour, Weymouth - Trinity Road and Trinity Street

Old Harbour, Weymouth - Hope Square and Hope Street

Nothe, Nothe Fort

Harbour, Melcombe Regis

Sandsfoot Castle

Wyke Regis


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