Compton Lock was one of 17 locks built on the
Itchen Navigation to help float barges up the channel
to Winchester. Many of the locks are ‘turf-sided’ in
construction and nationally significant. Stone and
brickwork were only used at the head and tails of the
lock to hold the gates in place. The Wildlife Trust has
preserved some of the locks so examples of them will
survive into the future.
St Cross Hospital is England’s longest continuing
almshouse; for over 850 years St Cross has provided
food and shelter to people in need. Henry de Blois,
a grandson of William the Conqueror, was appointed
Bishop of Winchester in 1129. He founded the Hospital
of St Cross between 1132 and 1136, creating what has
become England’s oldest charitable institution.
Valley of Fields
Hockley viaduct is a 33 arch former railway viaduct. It
is the largest brick built structure in the country, and the
oldest in Britain with a concrete core. It was part of the
railway line that linked Didcot, Newbury, Winchester
and Southampton and provided a second independent
line into Southampton Docks from 1891 to 1960. During
World War II the viaduct carried military traffic to defend
against the invasion of Europe.
Compton Lock © Dennis Bright
The Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project is a Heritage
Lottery Fund project managed by the Wildlife Trust, preserving
an internationally important chalk river system for future
generations. Find out more about the Itchen Navigation at:
St. Cross Hospital
© Dennis Bright
6 miles / 10km
Hockley Viaduct © Chris Newbury
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Beechcroft, Vicarage Lane
Valley of Fields
Valley of Fields Trail
Explore the countryside around Compton,
the ‘Valley of Fields’. Discover views and
ancient yews on this beautiful walk along
the Itchen Navigation.
From Shawford Road, turn onto the Itchen
Navigation footpath, heading upstream.
Follow the Navigation for approximately 1 mile.
Where the path forks, bear left over the wooden
footbridge. At the Hockley Link Road cross the road
and follow the pavement left.
Badger Farm Road
St. Cross Rd
Public House or Café
Take the path heading southwest down to Hockley
Viaduct. Go over a stile and under the viaduct.
Five Bridges Road
Head north through the fields. Cross the road and
continue along the footpath.
At St. Cross Hospital, take the path left on the
north side of the hospital grounds.
Turn right onto St. Cross Road then immediately left
onto Mead Road. Follow Mead Road then cross over
the railway footbridge. Follow the path straight ahead.
Cross Badger Farm Road. Where the paths cross,
take the bridleway right.
Where the path forks again bear left.
Go straight on past the double gate. Turn left
through a gate next to the bench and head down
Where the path forks take the right path.
At the next fork in the path, turn right.
Go straight on.
COMPTON & SHAWFORD
Hockley Link Rd
Take the left fork.
Go through two gates and cross the road. Head
left down the road. Turn right at the T-junction and
follow the road over the M3.
When you reach the bus stops turn left through
two gates onto Shawford Down. Head down the
hill to Shawford.