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Farming the Valley

Fields in the valley above East Meon

Fields in the valley above East Meon

 

For 1,000 years, East Meon was a hundred, a parish and a manor which included the modern parishes of East Meon, Froxfield, Stroud and Langrish and even a tithing east of Midhurst, Ambersham (which was described as ‘part of Hampshire’). It was the largest of the estates of the Bishops of Winchester, with the magnificent All Saints Church and the bishops’ Court House to reflect its importance; in 1986 East Meon was chosen as ‘The Domesday Village’ to celebrate the ninth centenary of Domesday and a spectacular model was built of the Norman settlement.

For all that time it knew only one industry, farming, and only one owner, the Diocese of Winchester. The History Group is conducting research into all aspects of agriculture in the valley, from Roman to modern times. Open Fields, the feudal system, enclosures, the Civil War and Restoration, Swing Riots and mechanisation have swept through this part of Hampshire, reflected in changes to the family, the church, the poor, the powerful.

Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, East Meon History Group is creating new maps which tell the story of farming in its parish.