Shirley developed as an isolated farming community along an ancient road, known by 1332 as Shirley Street. In the 18th century traffic had increased along Shirley Street and inns sprang up to cater for the needs of travellers. This led to 'sportsmen' coming in large numbers to indulge in banned pursuits such as bull-baiting, prize fighting and cock-fighting and the inevitable drinking and gambling. By 1831 this changed when the Rev. Archer Clive built a chapel-of-ease. It was created a separate parish and the independent history of Shirley had begun.