FEW newspaper offices can boast the history of the Hampshire Chronicle’s new editorial office in Winchester city centre.

Five Upper Brook Street can trace its history back to Roman times, when a large toga factory stood on the site!

So it is apt that it is the new editorial home of the Chronicle —one of the oldest newspapers in the world, having been first established in 1772.

After being swallowed up by the River Itchen in Saxon times, Upper Brook Street was drained and the first wattle and mud huts appeared, followed by timber buildings in the Middle Ages.

Bits of Roman tiles and medieval stonework can still be seen on the southern side of the building that faces St George’s Street.

The present building, with its mouldings, friezes and fireplaces, dates from the 18th century. In more recent times it was a pub, the Plough Inn, and a lodging house.

The Southern Evening Echo paid for the building to be restored, before in 1959, it became its Winchester base. In the mid-1990s reporters from the Winchester News Extra also moved in.

The last of the Echo reporters vacated the building in 2007, and it has now been refurbished.

The office relocation marks a return to the heart of the city for the Hampshire Chronicle after it moved from the High Street to Staple Gardens in 2004.

The move of the editorial office will make it easier for the public to access the team of reporters and photographers who will operate from Upper Brook Street.

Chronicle editor Keith Redbourn said: “It’s great for the reporters to be back in the heart of the city again.

“We’ve missed our old home at 57 High Street, and I’m sure many of our readers have too.

“But the limitations of number 57, which is a listed building, didn’t make it conducive in the end as a modern working environment.

“However, now we’re back in the city centre we’d be delighted to see any of our readers who might have a story for us.

“Just pop into 5 Upper Brook Street (opposite the entrance to the Brooks Centre) anytime during normal office hours.”

Alternatively, you can call the editorial team on 01962 860836, or e-mail news@hampshirechronicle.co.uk.

The Chronicle’s advertising team is now based at Newsquest’s call centre at Redbridge, in Southampton.

All advertising enquiries should, in the first instance, be made by calling Jason Tuck (classifieds) on 01962 831444, or for display advertising, Caroline Justice, on 01962 831403, (e-mail jason.tuck@hampshirechronicle.co.uk or caroline.justice@hampshirechronicle.co.uk.