Stop 11: The Hardware Store-Information

The origins of the building where the hardware store now stands was probably an outbuilding, originally part of Deerleap.

Robert John Winnicott began his building business in Copnor in 1904. His business expanded through land purchase and house building booms in Portsmouth. Robert John Winnicott purchased Deerleap in 1937 and he decided to use this outhouse as a small shop selling hardware. The family moved from Copnor to Deerleap just before World War II. He used the area behind this shop as a builder’s yard.

In 1971  Robert Winnicott took over business from his grandfather, Robert John Winnicott, at which point they were employing 200 people.

In 1975 the Company moved completely out of Portsmouth to a newly constructed joinery shop and offices in Rowlands Castle. The shop as we know it was constructed on the present site, where the outhouse had stood.

In 2004 Robert Winnicott retired and his son Adrian Winnicott now runs the retail business. His son, Paul Winnicott, runs the construction side of the business. In 2005 the Post Office was set up within the shop.

Over the years many buildings have acted as Post Offices in Rowlands Castle.

Between about 1858 and 1921 it was located in Rooks Stores where the current Bumblebee Café is located today.

Between about 1921 and 1935, it was located in Myrtle Cottage located between the Robin Hood and The Fountain Inn. We believe that Myrtle Cottage was either number 28 or 30 The Green.

Between  1935 and 1945 it was located in the old Lloyds Bank at Number 16 The Green

Between 1945 and 1995 It was located at 20 The Green

1995 to 2005 Moved next door

2005 to the present it moved into the Hardware Store.

The original structure was built sometime between 1852 and 1871 based on mapping evidence. It was originally a single-storey building used as a builder’s yard and store. In 1929, John Hedgecock added a second storey and built two shops – a larger shop to the right and a smaller shop to the left, under the dormer windows where there had been an entrance to the builders’ yard.  At this point he moved to Finchdean and the property stopped being used  as a residence and builders’ yard.

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