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Autumn 2019 Newsletter

The Autumn 2019 members newsletter is now available with content searchable on line. It includes news of recent HAT activities and features on recent acquisitions by the major Hampshire archives.

What Really is a College?

The evolution of the idea of a chantry, where prayers for the departed are said and the liturgical ritual of mass is celebrated, to a collegiate church with similar aims, and then the emergence of colleges with mainly an educational function, was traced in recent a talk by Dr Andrew Budge to the Historic Buildings Section of the Hampshire Field Club.

The Hampshire Medieval Graffiti Project

The Hampshire Medieval Graffiti Project is organised by Historic Buildings section of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeology Society.

Farming the Valley

The glorious countryside and buildings of today’s East Meon are the result of thousands of years of farming, which was until recently the sole industry in the valley.

Victoria County History – Hampshire Branch

The Victoria County History marks its 120th anniversary in 2019. Originally dedicated to Queen Victoria, the VCH is an encyclopaedic record of places and people in each county of England.

Southampton Archives

Southampton Archives are located in the basement of the south block of the Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY, close to the Southampton Local History and Maritime Library

Independent Website for Hampshire History

If you Google ‘Hampshire history’ the first hit is a Wikipedia entry, a short piece with ‘multiple issues’, according to its editors. The next is

Grant to Victoria County History

HAT recently made a grant of £8,000 to the new Victoria County History (VCH), which, under the guidance of Dr John Hare and Dr Jean Morrin, has the long-term objective of rewriting the history of the entire county, starting with a series of studies on the north-east of Hampshire. The money will go towards financing the publication of its latest ‘short’, on Herriard and Southrope, near Basingstoke. This parish has been chosen because of its remarkably fine surviving archive and should provide a picture of the development of a chalkland village. It will be written by Dr Alex Craven an experienced author for the VCH in Gloucestershire, Hereford and Wiltshire.

In 2007, nearly a 100 years after the first edition after the completion of the Hampshire, the Hampshire Archives Trust, in association with the Hampshire Record Office, the Hampshire Field Club and the University of Winchester, pledged its support to update and extend the VCH for a new age. As well updating the existing content, the plan is to extend the coverage in a numbers of subjects, including the economy, and social structure and life.

The VCH was a remarkable act of Victorian self-confidence, the idea that one could produce a history of every parish and county in England. It is a national project that still continues, 235 volumes later. The Hampshire volumes have formed an essential first step for so much local history in the county. They were also were the first to be published for any county,  more than 100 years ago, and the new series is the first of any county to be updated.

Since then the national project has been bedevilled by periodic financial difficulties but has survived and continued, with 16 counties currently active. During one period of difficulties, in 1932, the whole project was taken over by the University of London, which has subsequently provided a national focus and quality control for the project.  Even so, more than a century later in some counties work has not even started! The need for a new approach was evident. The original parish histories reflected the assumption of their age: a world dominated by the landowner and apparently by the Church of England. Now a parish history needs to cover the life of all the community, its economy and society and not just the rich of the community. But in addition the communities themselves have been transformed in the last century. Basingstoke is no longer the flourishing, but relatively small market town it was, while the villages around are no longer predominantly occupied by the workers of the land.

Realism dictated that work should initially focus on a limited area and the Basingstoke area has proved an admirable choice.

Rewriting Hampshire’s history is very much a long-term project, whose value should be seen on both a national and county-wide scale. It is to be hoped that this will help towards a reappraisal of Hampshire’s past and help generate further interest in the development of its diverse communities.

Whereas the original work came out in large volumes, the new VCH is published as a series of ‘shorts’, each dealing with a relatively small area – a parish, or a pair of parishes, or a period in the history of a town. Details of published shorts to date are given below.

Future titles which are being worked on, or are in press, include a village near Andover, further villages in the Basingstoke area and a study of Basingstoke in the 19th century. Work is being carried out on a voluntary basis under the leadership of Dr John Hare and Dr Jean Morrin. A group in Basingstoke meets fortnightly to transcribe 16th and 17th century wills and inventories and as a focus for planning research, while individuals write the text for publication on the web, or eventually as shorts.

An example of the wealth of material written for the VCH, much of it not yet in print, but available at

Published shorts

  • J. Hare, J. Morrin and S Waight, Mapledurwell (£9 inc. p & p).
  • J. Morrin, with contributions by J. Hare, Steventon (£14 inc. p & p).
  • J. Hare, Basingstoke: a medieval town, 1000-1600. (£14 inc. p & p).
  • A. Deveson and S. Lane, Cliddesden, Hatch and Farleigh Wallop. (£16 inc. p & p).

Shorts are available from Dr J. Morrin, 23 West Road, Emsworth, PO10 7JT. Cheques should be made out to ‘Hampshire Archives Trust (VCH Project)’. Extensive research findings and draft material on forthcoming shorts, and other information on the new VCH, is posted on

Buriton Village Association

The parish of Buriton, Hampshire, has a rich local heritage and a fascinating local history. As with many places, however, there is a risk that, over time, much of the knowledge and many photographs of the past could be lost. The Buriton Heritage Bank was therefore launched in 2001 to collect information about the history and heritage of the parish, to share it more widely and to record it for all time. The project is coordinated by the Buriton Village Association, chaired by Doug Jones  

The idea allows anyone to ‘pay in’ or ‘deposit’ information, experience and research and also to be able to ‘draw out’ information from the expanding pool of knowledge – to enhance their own appreciation of the local heritage and to develop their own studies. Contributions are regularly made from thousands of miles away as well as closer to home. Young people in the parish can draw on the knowledge of older residents; newcomers can learn from those whose families have lived in the area for generations; and those with a good knowledge of local specialist subjects can share and explain it to others.

In two years the project had collected together well over a thousand old photographs (many dating back to the 19th century) and a wealth of information and knowledge. There are now over 3,250 photographs in our archives and a series of publications brings together images and information about Buriton’s social, cultural and natural history. An annual ‘Bygone Buriton’ local history exhibition is held every year (the last being on 28 September 2019) which always results in more information and images for our archives.

It is hoped that, by encouraging the local community to explore the local heritage and to find out more, it will generate a greater interest in, and respect for, the local area. And, through the website those who live further afield can also take part I the project. One completely unforeseen bonus of the initiative is the number of long-lost friends and relatives who have been reunited through the project; and the number of new contacts and friendships that have blossomed.

Research into local topics is ongoing and the archive is always looking for more old photographs of local people and places. One project based on all available maps is determining the evolution of the parish. Amongst the items posted on the website is a ‘house detectives toolkit’. Sound recordings of people with memories of life after the Second World War are also in progress. Those with information about the history or heritage of Buriton (including Weston, Nursted and Ditcham) are encouraged get in touch.


  • Buriton:Local Luminaries
  • Buriton in Living Memory
  • The Wealth of Weston
  • Buriton Beyond Living Memory

A copy of a recent publication was given free to every one of the 400 households in the village! For more information, visit: For general information on the parish, visit:

Contributed by Sarah Stevens, Secretary, Buriton Village:

Hampshire Field Club

The Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society was founded in 1885 to foster and promote the county’s heritage and history.  Although the society has changed a great deal over the decades, it continues to study and promote Hampshire through its four sections:  Archaeology, Historic Buildings, Landscape and Local History.

The Society organises conferences, seminars, talks and lectures throughout the year as well as trips and visits to embrace all these four aspects of the county and its surrounding area.  Two Newsletters per year are published for members, plus an annual journal, Hampshire Studies, and the occasional Monograph.  A second series of the Hampshire Papers is also available.  This series is a more in-depth report on a wide variety of subjects of local interest.  Full details of all our publications are on our website.

The Hampshire Field Club has close links with the County Council, Hampshire Archives and Local Studies (the Record Office) and draws on Universities throughout the UK for top-quality speakers and experts.

For further information about the Society and all its activities why not visit the website and see why, if you have any historical or archaeological interest, you should join us.   If you don’t have access to a computer then call Julia Sandison on 01962 867490 and she’ll send you details.    We welcome all ages!