Thanks to a generous grant by the Hampshire Archive Trust, we have been able to publish a lavishly illustrated book which makes available to readers the result of our research into the history of the Hundred of East Meon. Another grant, from the Heritage Lottery Fund, enabled us to commission 50 maps which track developments from sheep grazing on the downs through the introduction of arable and dairy farming in the valley. Since agriculture has been the only ‘industry’ in East Meon and in most English villages for most of recorded history, this is the story of life in rural England in Roman, Saxon and Medieval periods, through to the arrival of machinery, enclosures, two world wars and the present day. It includes poverty and pestilence, feudal rule by the bishops of Winchester, occupation by the Parliamentary Army, and the formation of the glorious landscape which is now part of the South Downs National Park. It is local history, pure and simple.
‘Farming the Valley’ will be available at £25 from One Tree Books
of Petersfield, and other outlets, from November 2019. More information about this grant see Grant to East Meon Historical Society