‘Shutlands’ is an odd name for a house, and I have found no hint of when or why it was given to no 4 Portersbridge Street, on the western or Abbey side of the bridge. It is a timber framed house.

That house and some surrounding land came into the hands of Winchester College in the 15th century. In 1780 it was leased to Mr Damon, a lawyer, and it remained in legal use for more than 200 years, until about 1990.

The practice was conducted in numbers 2 and 4 Portersbridge Street and there was a garage between number 4 and the stream. It closed about 1990. At that time it was called ‘Tylee, Mortimer & Attlee’ but Messrs Tylee and Mortimer were long gone, and now there is no Attlee practising law in Romsey.

When the practice closed, local historians, under the direction of an archivist from Hampshire Record Office (HRO), removed many sackfuls of documents. These were sorted and many were listed and went to HRO in Winchester, where they can be seen. Some material was not wanted by the Record Office and these are held by Romsey Local History Group in the basement of the Town Hall.

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Hampshire Chronicle: Portersbridge Street, with no 4 on right. The entrance to the solicitor’s office is shown by the

After the sale, the houses were renovated and the garage converted to a two-storey dwelling – a far cry from property granted to a dyer some 700 years before.

Winchester College’s deeds fall into two parts. The older ones consist of property transactions before it became College lands and run from the 1290s to 1414. In the early days it had been owned first by Robert Doggecherl and then other members of his family. For some years, part of the estate had been let to Alexander Tintor, or Dyer or Degher. Dyers need plenty of water, so a property next to a stream would have been ideal, but I expect his waste products polluted it.

The College acquired Doggecherl’s property before 1491, and a few leases show that they owned land in Portersbridge Street on both sides of the stream, although it is difficult to get much of a coherent description from them. Part of the land included a garden with a newly built house on the eastern side of the bridge that was leased to William Molens.

Winchester College employed an archivist to summarise and list their documents in the 1980s and her work was published in three volumes. The College now employs a professional archivist to look after the collection and she can be contacted at the College.