Foreword by the Chairman of the Parish Council
The idea of collecting a lot of information useful to the village has been proposed for a long time. Recently Mary Jo Darrah has taken on this project with the aim of producing a booklet that would be of use to every household and also contain some details of the history of the village, and other points of interest. This then is not only for everyone who lives here, but it should also be a benefit to any visitor as well.
The first edition of the Village Handbook has now been produced, and I feel sure that it will prove useful. I would particularly like to thank Mary Jo whose energy made this production possible, and Mary Snow who drew the delightful illustrations. Mary Jo has consulted with a great many people, and has the full support of the Parish Council and myself.
This Handbook has been sponsored by the Parish Council, which is giving a copy to every household. The authors are grateful to all those, including the Parish Councillors, who read the various drafts, and who helped to improve it by pointing out errors and omissions. Suggestions from Jeremy Barber, Mrs Joan Driver and Richard Wills were especially valuable. The authors take full responsibility for any remaining mistakes or omissions, and would be very pleased to hear any suggestions for improvements.
It is hoped that the main booklet should not need correcting and updating too often. The Directory issued as a supplement is designed to be regularly updated. Please notify Mary Jo Darrah, Saddlers Cottage, tel. 720320 of any changes for the next edition.
Mary Snow kindly agreed to illustrate the booklet, and we are very grateful to her.
The authors would like to thank Barry Cornhill of Trefoil Printers and Stationers for the special care he has taken with the production of this booklet, especially the illustrations and the maps.
Mary Jo Darrah, Paul Knipe, John Woodcock.
Copyright Longparish Parish Council
All rights reserved
Farm and St. Nicholas Church
The Monument - Dead Man's Plack in 1905 (from a postcard)
War Memorial in the Cemetery
Conservation Area Map 1983 - reprinted under licence fron the Ordnance Survey [[ not available due to copyright reasons ]]
Fishing on the Test
Footpath map adapted from an original drawn by Jennifer Miller [[ not available due to copyright reasons ]]
Lychgate and the Church
Longparish Church of England Aided Primary School
The Plough Inn
Cowleaze Cottages, East Aston
The Cricketers Inn
Longparish is a village of 5,331 acres, lying along the river Test, about 4 miles equidistant from Andover and Whitchurch, and about 10 miles north of Winchester.
The name, Longparish, was not generally used until the mid-sixteenth century, but it is appropriate since the village is about 3 miles long by road and includes several small settlements:
across the A303 are Gavelacre, once a manor house, Longparish Station, and Balls Cottages;
on the A303 are the garage and Little Chef in the area once known as Cuthedgend or Cottage End, or Cutty;
Forton, lying off the main road, contains many of the older cottages;
Middleton, which includes the Church, the school, the village hall, as well as Middleton House, where the Lords of the Manor lived;
West Aston, which includes North Acre, a small estate of about 80 houses where the first Council houses were built in 1936;
East Aston with Longparish House and Upper Mill.
There are also outlying farmhouses, some now just residential:
Fox Farm to the north where the parish boundary crosses the B3400 to Harewood Peak,
Budgett Farm, opposite Apsley on the B3400,
Firgo Farm near the A34 to the east,
Larkwhistle, Vale, Owls Lodge and Southside Farms just along the south side of the Test, on the back road known as Nuns Walk.
The parish also contains most of Harewood Forest, which was a Saxon royal hunting forest
The early history of the village is not easy to trace. Some Roman and earlier artefacts have been found in the area and there was a Romano-British burial site on Firgo farm.
Records indicate that Harewood Forest was part of one of the Royal Forests in late Saxon times. All rights of chase were reserved to the King and any felling was strictly regulated. The Normans reinforced these Forest Laws and until the Charta de Foresta of 1217 land could not be enclosed or cultivated, nor game taken or timber felled. A Royal Enquiry of 1295 allowed the Abbess of Wherwell to cut down timber in Harewood.
A monument called Dead Mans Plack in Harewood Forest, erected in 1826 by Col. Iremonger, commemorates a colourful episode, but, alas, one which historians now think is apocryphal. It recalls the murder of Earl Aethelwold by King Edgar in 963, after the earl had himself married the bride, Aelfrida, whom the king had asked him to woo on the royal behalf. What is true is that Aelfrida subsequently married the king and after his death retired to the Benedictine Abbey of Wherwell which she may have founded in c.986 on land given to her by the king.
The Abbey was wealthy and evidence from its cartulary shows that the tithings which came to form Longparish were owned by the Abbey. The only one listed in Domesday Book is Middeltune, which it says was always held by the Abbey. Two mills are mentioned, as well as land for nine ploughs, a fishery for the use of the hall and nine acres of meadow. For most of its history the economy of the village has been based on farming, milling and fishing. The church is the only building which can confidently be dated before the sixteenth century, although some of the cottages may be older than has been thought hitherto.
When the Abbey of Wherwell was dissolved in 1539 by Henry VIII, most of its estates, including Longparish, were granted to Thomas West, Lord de la Warre, and subsequently bought in 1695 by Edward Boulter of London. He almost immediately sold his Longparish estates in 1698 to Richard Widmore of North Oakley whose family or their trustees owned Middleton House until it was sold to William Whitely, later Lord Marchamley, in 1912. There are several memorials in the church to the Widmores, and Richard Widmore perpetuated his name by establishing a small charity, which was wound up in 1998.
The population of Longparish according to the 1991 census was 730. When the first census was taken in 1801 the population was 558. It rose to 875 in 1851, but dropped somewhat to 729 in 1911. There has not, therefore, been a great change in numbers since the 19th century, but there are now considerably more households with fewer occupants. In the 18th century Longparish was regarded as a poor village with about 500 residents. The majority were employed in agriculture, either as labourers or as associated craftsmen. In 1789 the Rev. Iremonger produced figures to show that the income of a Longparish man with two small children was £20 16s, whereas unavoidable expenses were £23 1s 9p. The village was affected by the agricultural labourers riots in the early 1830s, and wages were then improved.
Longparish had some distinctive customs. The Christmas Mummers play which is preserved in the Church used to be performed in the big houses, and the mummers were given food and ale. The Post Office Directory in 1859 states Longparish Harvest Home is a great public festival at the expense of the farmers and landowners, for the benefit of the labouring poor of the village. In 1865, a letter in the Andover Advertiser on 10th March describes how wife-beaters were dealt with. In passing through Longparish on Tuesday evening I was much surprised at the noise and excitement going on. I should think I met 100 to 150 men and boys with numerous instruments of every shape and form, capable of making a noise, marching and yelling in the most excited manner, which they termed rough music. I was led to make enquiries respecting it, and was informed it was in consequence of a brute, calling himself a man, who had wallopd his wife in a most unmerciful manner- simply, one would think, to satiate his brutal appetite. I enquired of one person, who appeared to be respectable, why such proceedings were allowed, as I thought them very dangerous to individuals passing with vehicles; but he assured me it was the opinion of the whole parish that a man who was guilty of such brutality ought to be held as a despicable object and treated with contempt and scorn, and that this was the way they did it.
Longparish House in the late 18th and 19th centuries was owned by the Hawker family, whose most famous member was Col. Peter Hawker, who was born in 1786 and died in 1853. He was seriously wounded at the battle of Talavera in 1809 during the Spanish Peninsular campaign, but this did not deter him from the serious pursuit of country sports, especially shooting and fishing. His book Advice to Young Sportsmen, first published in 1814, is to this day regarded as one of the best introductions to young people taking up shooting or fishing and is still in demand. He was interested in technical matters, and helped to improve sporting guns, which he used to deadly effect at Longparish and at Keyhaven. The Gun pub at Keyhaven, near Lymington, commemorates his great punt gun for shooting duck, one of which is still at Longparish House.
Another notable character of 19th century Longparish was the Rev. Henry Burnaby Greene, who married Amelia Woodcock (great aunt to John Woodcock, currently patron of the living) and was presented as vicar by his brother-in-law in 1821. He built a new Rectory by the church in 1823, and was also responsible for improving both the Rectory and the church during his long incumbency. To make room for a front garden and give him more privacy he had the main village street, which used to go up to the lychgate and pass straight in front of the rectory, diverted. This meant knocking down an attractive small house, whose owners then moved opposite, to the house now known as Greenholme, which at one time was known as the Green Man, according to folk memory, to annoy the high-handed vicar. The cross which now stands in front of the old Rectory is a memorial to Henry Burnaby Greenes much-loved wife, Amelia, who died in 1867. He was also responsible for the grindstone, and Ashburn Rest, which was put there in 1868. He died in 1884 aged 88 years, having held the living for an astonishing 63 years.
The railway came to Longparish in the 1880s, when the London and South West Railway Company built a railway between Hurstbourne Priors and Fullerton through Harewood Forest to link the London-Exeter line with the Andover-Redbridge line. The line came to be called the Nile Valley, perhaps because Queen Victoria likened the views to those of the Nile Valley. She disliked tunnels, and this was her preferred route to the Isle of Wight. It involved new stations at Hurstbourne, Longparish and Wherwell which were completed in 1884. The first passenger trains ran in June 1885, and the school log book comments that the roll had fallen because the railway labourers had left. The railway was never profitable as a passenger line. In 1913 it was reduced to single track and in 1931 the passenger service stopped, but it was useful for local goods traffic, especially during the Second World War, when the Forest was used for storing RAF munitions, and Middleton House was taken over by the RAF Maintenance Unit no. 202. After the war the military pressed British Rail to keep the line open until the long job of clearing munitions was completed in the 1950s. The last goods train ran in May 1956; in 1959 the station was sold and in 1960 the track lifted. In 1961 plans for the Andover Bypass were helped by the blowing up of the railway bridge over the A303. The bypass opened in 1962.
The other railway through the parish was part of the line built by the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway Company to link Didcot and Newbury with the London Southampton line at Shawford which opened in 1891. The old embankment can be seen to the south of the village, running parallel to the river. This closed to passengers in 1960, but continued to carry freight to Fawley for a few more years.
Both world wars had an impact on the village. The war memorial in the cemetery commemorates those who lost their lives in the services, 28 from 1914 to 1918 and 11 from 1939 to 1945. The small Harewood Industrial Estate by the Station started with a gunpowder factory in the First World War, and remained after the war with the engineers, Kennedy and Kempe, as the largest firm. The Second World War had a more direct impact, as an important army transit camp was established at Drayton at the top of Southside hill. It had its own cinema and post office, and the men who passed through there liked to come to the village pubs, and the small cafe near Stream House. Dances were held in the village hall, resulting in some marriages with local girls. During the years of National Service following the Second World War, the camp became a headquarters of the War Office Selection Board.
The camp remained until 1985 when the buildings were demolished, and the land is now used for training exercises. A book in the church records the way the village, both men and women, mobilised to help the war effort. This included the Home Guard and an active Observer Corps, which scanned the skies from a post at the top of Southside Hill.
In the early 20th century both the major estates changed hands. Major-General Guy Payan Dawnay bought Longparish House and the sporting estate and farms which went with it in 1919, and it remained in the family until 1989. During the Second World War the house was occupied by the Bank of England. Kit Dawnay became a Colonel in the Coldstream Guards and served as Aide-de-Camp to Field Marshal Montgomery. It was a great day when Monty came to inspect the Longparish Home Guard. In 1989 most of the estate was sold to Mr Roger Smee, chairman of Reading Football Club. He carried out major renovations to the house, but never lived in it. Mr Robin Kelton, whose father spent much of his childhood at Longparish House, bought the estate in 1993. He has since renovated the house and most of the cottages, including Firgo Farmhouse. In an effort to rebuild the estate, he has also bought back substantial areas of land which had been sold.
The Middleton Estate was bought in 1925 by Captain Arnold Wills, whose main residence was Thornby Hall in Northamptonshire. He used it for shooting and fishing a few weeks a year until he came to live there after it was recovered from the Royal Air Force in 1955. His grandson, Captain Andrew Wills, took over the estate in 1965, and his great grandson, Richard, moved into the house in 1997.
The mills in the village were once of economic importance, as the Domesday entry shows. The Forton mill was a fulling mill for cloth. More recently a mill at Forton drove the Estate Sawmill, and although half the Turbine was removed by order of the Water Board, it still provides enough electricity to light one bulb at Middleton House. Upper Mill in East Aston was a working flour mill until about 1906 and was then used to supply electricity to Longparish House and the Mill. It ran a sawbench until the 1950s. Recently with much hard work Rupert Dawnay has restored the machinery, and it ran again in March 1998. Lower Mill was connected with brewing, and was linked with the Malthouse. In 1921 Lord Marchamley converted the mill into a large house built round the old mill room.
Once many of the village houses were owned by the estates, and occupied by their employees. As late as the 1940s most of the people living in the village were employed in the village, either on the farms or in the larger houses. The mechanisation of farming since the 1930s has meant that fewer have been employed in agriculture. In the late 19th century there were about 12 farms, but gradually they have been amalgamated. There are now three main farms, Middleton, Firgo and Vale, and the other farmhouses have been sold. The same is true of the cottages, many of which have been sold or let to people who can use the increased flexibility provided by the car and a public bus service to work elsewhere. The advent of electricity in the 1930s, a public water system in the 1950s, and main drainage, which came to most of the village, but not East Aston, in 1965 has made village life more attractive.
North Acre, the only recent large building development, was a Council housing estate. The first 8 houses were built in 1936, and during the Second World war it was enlarged by some prefabs. In 1946 more houses were added to complete the original road. In 1956, the houses were built along the top of the estate, including the flats. In 1968 bungalows for the elderly with a warden replaced the prefabs. The estate was further enlarged in 1974 with more bungalows and houses and street lighting. Since the right to buy Council houses was introduced, about 40% of the houses have been sold by Test Valley and are now privately owned. Acre Stores was built by Mr and Mrs Pat Burke in 1964-5, and when Mrs Priscilla Kingston retired from the old Post Office in 1989, the Post Office moved there too.
Strict planning controls have limited new building in the village to infilling the existing settlements. Despite this there is a steady movement of families in and out of the village. Some families have lived in the village for several generations. Those who had grandparents born in the village include the Balls, Bowmans, Bournes, Brunsdons, Kingstons, Mills, Smarts, Smiths, Snows, Taylors, Tonges, Turtons, Warwicks, Wheables, Whites and Woottens. Lack of low cost housing is making it increasingly difficult for those who have grown up in the village to stay when they marry.
Opportunities for employment in the village are now very restricted, and most residents commute to work in surrounding towns, and several to London. An increasing proportion work from home. At the 1981 census 15.6% of residents were retired; in 1991 21.9 %. The social composition of the village is now weighted to the more affluent. At least half the primary school pupils live outside the village. They are attracted by the excellent reputation of the school, but the places are available because the high cost of housing means that many of the children now living in the village belong to families who send their children to private schools.
Access to the village from the south had become dangerous by the 1990s because of the amount and speed of traffic on the A303, and there was great relief when two bridges were built, one linking with Barton Stacey in 1994, the other with Wherwell in 1995. A long-requested speed limit of 30mph through most of the village was introduced in 1996.
^ The Environment
Longparish lies in the valley of the River Test which was designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Area by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1990. It gives grants to landowners and farmers if they agree to manage their land in a way that is sympathetic to the natural environment. Middleton Estate joined in 1993 and has a management agreement with the Farming and Rural Conservation Agency with regard to the Meadows. The Cleeves were designated by English Nature as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (S.S.S.I.) in 1987 and the river Test itself became an S.S.S.I. in 1997. This means that landowners are encouraged to enter into management agreements with English Nature and may not carry out operations which would damage the plants or wildlife the notification was designed to protect. Also any development is subject to approval by English Nature as well as normal planning controls. Harewood Forest is one of the Countryside Heritage Areas named by Hampshire County Council, which makes grants available for schemes which enhance wildlife conservation, or the visual or historic aspects of woodland, such as coppicing.
^ Longparish Conservation Area
Most of the village was designated a Conservation Area in 1983, and it contains about 80 listed buildings or monuments (see below). The Church is a Grade 1 listed building, Longparish House Grade 2*, the rest Grade 2. It is an offence to demolish or alter a listed building without listed building consent. The Conservation Area includes nearly all the areas of the village which contain old buildings, but excludes Southside Road and Mill Lane beyond the river, and North Acre. See the map on pages 11 &12. The Borough Local Plan of 1996 designates the existing open areas in the village as important open spaces, where development will not be allowed, and certain trees and woodland are also listed as important for the character of the village.
Stricter planning controls are imposed in a Conservation Area. The Test Valley Planning Department should be consulted before any changes are made. Any alterations to existing buildings and any new building must respect the character of existing architecture in style, materials and scale. In addition, no tree in a Conservation Area may be felled, uprooted, lopped or topped without six weeks notification to the Planning Department.
Those living in historic houses can obtain advice on caring for their buildings from Test Valley Conservation Department.
A Village Design Statement, currently in preparation, records what the community most values about the village and its buildings and aims to influence future development so that the character of the village is preserved.
^ Listed Buildings
(as listed in Hampshire Treasures)
There is also a list on the Test Valley website.
Forton House. Early C19. II
Inglenook Cottage. II
Kingfisher Cottage. C17. II
Test View Cottage, originally two. Early C18. II
Rose Cottage, originally two. Mid C18. II
Old Beams, originally two. C17. II
Forton Cottage. Early C18 house. II
Owls Cottage, originally two? C18 II
Yew Tree Cottage. C17. II
7, 9 (Sirrah), 11 (ex-off licence) Early C18. II
1, 3, 5, II
Riverside Cottage, originally two. Late C18. II
6 & 8, pair of houses 1865
2 & Queen Anne Cottage. C16 II
Forton Farmhouse. C18. II
Barn & Stable. C18 II
Middleton House Early C19. II
and granary. Early C19. II
Church Farmhouse, originally two. C18. II
Stable and cartshed. Early C19. II
Granary. Late C18. II
9, Middleton (Church Farm Cottage) Late C18. II
Woodbury House (former Rectory) Early C19. II
Church. C.1200. Grade I
Stone Cross. 1867 II
The Old Curacy. C17 II
The Cottage. Mid C19. II
White Windows. C18. II
Westbrook & Brookside, row of small dwellings, now two. Early C19. II
Fellmongers Barn. Late C18. II
The Thatch, Southside Rd. Late C18. II
Southside Farm. C17. 1815 additions. II
Barn & cartshed C18
Granary Early C19 all now River Barn II
Stable Mid C19
Honey Cottage, Sugar or Cotton Lane. Early C18. II
Lower Farm Cottage, Sugar Lane. House, formerly two. Early C18. II
Vine Cottage. Late C18. II
Yew Cottage, originally two. Late C18. II
Janor. C17. II
Newton Cottage and wall. Originally two. C17. II
Cricketers Inn. Early C19. II
The Drove. Early C19 house. II
Maiden Cottage. C18. II
Meadow Lawn. Late C18. II
Preston Cottage. C17. II
West Aston & Aston Cottage. Late C18. II
Little Newton. C17. II
Keepers Cottage. C17. II
Tudor Cottage. C17. II
Malthouse Cottage C17. II
and granary. Early C19. II
Cricket Field Cottages. C17. II
Millhouse and mill. Early C19 house attached to water mill, C20 additions.
Grade II Meadow Farm Cottage. Late C18. II
Home Farm Cottage. Late C18. II
East Aston House. Early C19. II
Orchard Cottage and barn. Late C18. II
Garden Cottage. C17 frame, C18 cladding. II
Cowleaze Cottages. C17. II
Longparish House. Late C17 or early C18. Late C19 additions. Grade II*
Granary. C18. II
Dead Mans Plack. Monument in Harewood Forest 1826. II
Gavelacre. Early C18. II
Barn C18 II
Stable & granary Early C19 II
Smallwood Lodge & Harewood Halt (former station) 1884 II
Firgo Farm. C17. II
Barn & stable II
Longparish has a variety of habitats, each rich in a diversity of wildlife, some with nationally rare associations of plants and animals.
The River Test provides an important breeding ground for fish, including brown trout, salmon, grayling, minnows, millers thumb and brook lamprey. It also supports a diverse invertebrate fauna including mayflies, stone and caddis flies and molluscs.
The margins of the river also support a rich flora and fauna, including riverine plants such as purple loosestrife, angelica, hemp agrimony, marsh woundwort, yellow flag and water dropwort and three different types of comfrey. Typical of some sections of the river are the distinctive towers of the great tussock sedge. Extensive areas of reed, lesser water sedge and reed mace provide essential cover for sedge and reed warblers, water rail and ducks (mostly mallard and tufted). Mute swans, moorhens, coots, little grebes (or dabchicks), grey wagtails and herons are the most commonly seen river birds. Occasionally kingfishers flash past. Greylag geese breed by the river, and Canada geese, although reduced from their numbers in the 1980s, are still numerous and less welcome residents.
The watercress beds provide overwintering habitat for common and green sandpiper, redshank, water rail, and, once in the early 1990s, a bittern.
Water meadows There is evidence that the fields on either side of the river were at one time managed as water meadow. This meant that in winter sluice gates were used to allow controlled flooding through channels cut in the fields. Flooding enriched the soil, protected the grass from frost and encouraged earlier growth. This system benefited wildlife as well as stock, but was abandoned in the early years of this century as being too labour-intensive. There are still pockets of some of the bio-diverse plant communities resulting from this annual flooding, especially in spring fed areas. Indicator plant species include common spike rush, Devils bit scabious, water avens, bog bean, ragged robin, southern marsh orchid, marsh and fen bedstraw, meadow arrow grass and greater birds foot trefoil.
Willow scrub and alder carr Wetland scrub habitat through this part of the Test is becoming less common having grown into mature alder carr, or been overplanted with poplars. Poplar was originally planted to supply Bryant and May with matches, and when they were taken over the market vanished, so the trees have been left to mature. The scarcity of this habitat is one reason for the decline in certain birds: grasshopper warblers, whitethroats and nightingales.
Chalk grassland and scrub is found on the disused railway embankment along the eastern end of the valley. The sward is grazed by rabbits and rich in species, of which stemless thistle, spring sedge, eye-bright, horseshoe vetch, quaking grass, twayblade, common spotted orchid, purging flax, common broomrape are among the less common. There is a healthy colony of marbled white butterflies. Scrub species such as dogwood, guelder rose, privet, spindle and purging buckthorn shade taller grassland and herbs, which include field scabious, giant knapweed, parsnip and hardheads.
Road verges and hedges Wide road verges are characteristic of the village and are mostly dominated by false oat grass and cow parsley with small numbers of chicory, field scabious, giant knapweed, meadow cranesbill, common mallow and parsnip. Hedges are mostly hawthorn, with sections of wild privet, hazel, field maple, blackthorn, spindle, wayfaring tree, elder and dogwood.
Harewood Forest is a remnant of ancient forest. Since the mediaeval period it has been managed as coppice with standards; the crown kept the oak standards and allowed locals to use the coppice. By the 14th century Andover was an important centre for the tanning industry which required large quantities of oak bark from Harewood. This would have been a strong local market until the 19th century. In 1884 it was noted that Harewood consisted of one large wood dominated by oak and beech and other coppice wood common to the country. None of the trees were of very great dimension. In the First World War the establishment of the Gunpowder Factory at Harewood resulted in all trees over 6 inches in diameter being felled for the war effort. Current management is directed to converting the stools left back into standards.
The ground flora is rich with wild anemone, bluebell, primrose, wood spurge and Solomons seal. As well as oak standards and hazel coppice, there is some beech, birch, ash and sycamore, and a few areas, less than 15%, of conifer plantation.
Birds The river valley acts as a flight path for many migratory birds, such as redwing and fieldfare, families of tits, siskins, warblers and birds of prey, such as hobby and osprey. Buzzards have become more common recently and up to seven of these have been seen at one time. Swallows, swifts and house martins are a delight sweeping the sky for insects in the summer, and cuckoos are often to be heard.
We enjoy a rich variety of raptors including the ubiquitous kestrel, a healthy population of sparrowhawks, common buzzard, and tawny, little and barn owls. Other notable breeding species include linnet, yellowhammer, skylark, lapwing, woodcock, whitethroat, song thrush and missel thrush, willow tit, coal tit, blue tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, pied wagtail, blackbird and robin. Green and great and lesser spotted woodpeckers, tree creepers, nuthatches and spotted flycatchers are garden visitors.
In 1996 Richard Wills won the Laurent Perrier award for wild game conservation for his project to recreate a habitat for snipe by flooding part of the water meadow, which has not only helped snipe, but also a variety of duck like teal, wigeon, mallard and gadwall. He is hoping to encourage the breeding of more English partridge, having restored the old rubbish tip at Cutty Brow and planted it up with 1.5 miles of mixed hedgerow and various beneficial grasses and crops.
Species recorded breeding in the period 1920-1960, but not now, include Montagus harrier, land rail (corncrake), redbacked shrike, quail and stone curlew.
Mammals The forest has at least one major badger sett complex and is home to herds of fallow deer, and also roe deer and muntjac, who are also commonly present in the marsh and scrub of the river valley. Muntjac were not seen here until 1990, and are a pest as they eat bluebells amongst other things, and breed all the year round.
Deer can be a hazard on the roads, and anyone seeing a wounded deer or a dead one by the side of the road is asked to report it to the Middleton Estate gamekeeper, David Graham, tel. 720256, so that the Estate can either destroy it or clear it away. On average 25 deer are killed by cars each year on the A303, B3400 and the Middleway.
Otters have been reported along the Test. Water voles, once common, have become rare since the recent crash nationally in their population. Wild mink have become a problem, and also reduced the number of coots and moorhens.
There are healthy populations of hedgehogs, moles, field mice, common and pigmy shrews, and short-tailed and bank voles. Pipistrelle and Noctule bats are common.
^ Fishing on the River Test
Although barely 30 miles in length, the Test is the most famous trout stream in the world. If the quality of the fishing is not quite what it was, that is because of the declining water level, the result of ever-increasing abstraction and a recent shortage of the rainfall which is needed to fill up the chalk aquifers. The Middleton Estate estimates that the water level has fallen about 2 feet in 30 years. The river is fed by springs throughout its length, and these are essential for the watercress industry. Much of the river in Longparish has either been narrowed or allowed to grow in, in order to give it depth. The water flow is controlled by hatches; because of that, and the fact that the chalk acts as a sponge to soak up surplus water, flooding in the village is not a danger. The beauty of the river is maintained by careful keepering. The weed is cut, and the banks built up with chalk.
The fishing is privately owned. Much of it goes either with the Longparish House Estate or with Middleton, whose owners let rods by the day or by the season, which runs from May 1st to September 30th. The accepted method of fishing is with a dry (or floating) fly, cast upstream with a view to deceiving the fish into thinking it is part of its normal diet.
The river is regularly stocked with brown trout, and occasionally rainbow trout. The more inaccessible a fish is to the fishermen the better the chance it has of surviving the season.
Grayling are also plentiful, and make good autumn sport.
The fishing is of great value. If the riparian rights of a stretch of the main river in or around Longparish were to come up for sale, entitling its owner to fish from both banks, it could be expected to fetch something in the region of £300 to £400 a yard.
Longparish was first linked with game shooting through the Sporting Diaries of Colonel Peter Hawker, which covered the years 1802 to 1853, and is a classic book of its kind. Hawker once shot a woodcock from the window of his bedroom in Longparish House.
Today the shooting in Longparish, like the fishing, is all privately owned and expensiveUntil the second half of the 20th century, wild English partridges were plentiful (204 brace were killed by eight guns in six hours over 700 acres of the Lower Mill estate in 1930), but these are now very scarce, due to changes in agricultural practice. For their main sport, guns depend upon pheasants and French partridges, reared by hand.
The two main shoots, centred on the Middleton and Longparish House Estates, are family concerns. The Lower Mill Estate has been broken up. Birds are driven over the guns by beaters, providing targets which vary in quality according to the lie of the land and the weather conditions. As a rule, the steeper the ground and the higher the wind, the better the sport. Where it is possible to take a days shooting (not at Middleton or the Longparish House Estate) the cost ranges from £25 to £20 a bird. The pheasant season runs from October 1st to February 1st, the partridge season from September 1st to February 1st.
There is wild duck, geese and snipe shooting through the water meadows. Hare drives are organised when the game season is finished. Rabbits, still the farmers greatest scourge, were more or less wiped out by myxamatosis in the mid-1950s. They are now returning in increasing numbers, only to find themselves run down on the roads, or hunted at night out of car headlights. To protect crops, farmers have to try to keep numbers in check.
The rising deer population has to be kept under control by careful and professional culling, the fallow does in winter and the bucks in spring and summer. There is stalking to be had in Harewood Forest and other lesser coverts. The deer are mostly fallow. Roe deer were first seen at Middleton in 1974 and muntjac in 1990.
The numerous farms which once existed in the village have mostly had their farmhouses sold and the land taken back in hand. The main farms now are Firgo, from which the Longparish House Estate land is farmed, Vale Farm, and Middleton Farm on the Middleway. Nearly all the farmland, which is free-draining chalk, is now used for arable crops such as winter wheat, rape, barley, field beans and peas, with the exception of the water meadows which are grazed by a few sheep, cattle and horses. The farms in the area are still thriving despite the problems now being experienced by the farming industry in this country. In the last few years some landowners have tried to diversify and find new uses for their land.
There is a piggery and a chicken farm at Patchington near the Station.
Watercress has long been an important industry in Hampshire, and and since the early years of this century the Biggs family have had beds in Longparish. The family concern near Larkwhistle Farm is now managed by Mr James Smith and produces high quality organic watercress.
Mr Jackson has developed trout rearing ponds and a fishing lake in the water meadows near Southside Farm. The Dunfords of Vale Farm are developing their own trout and coarse fishing lakes in front of the farm.
Mr Faulds of Lodge Farm has temporary permission for a clay pigeon shooting school, which provides Trap shooting, an Olympic discipline at which his son excels.
There is a cross-country horse riding course on the Longparish House Estate.
The parish is criss-crossed by footpaths, which Hampshire County Council and the Parish Council have done their best to preserve with the cooperation of the landowners. A footpath map may be found in the centre of this booklet (pages 16 to 19) which includes the path numbers. Paths are also marked on Ordnance Survey Landranger 185 map scale 1:50,000, and more clearly on Ordnance Survey Pathfinder 1223 and Ordnance Survey Explorer 144 map scale 1:25,000. The paths include part of Hampshires long-distant path, the Test Way, which runs from Combe Gibbet to Totton. In 1995 The Parish Council decided to join the Parish Paths Partnership, in which the County Council devolves its duty to maintain the paths to the Parish Council, and gives a grant and advice to help it. The landowner still has the duty to ensure that paths are not obstructed, that vegetation from the side does not fall in and that paths are restored within 14 days of ploughing. Landowners are also liable to maintain stiles and gates. The Parish Council is encouraging the use of kissing gates wherever possible.
Those using the paths should observe the Countryside Code, and make sure that they shut gates, do not drop litter and keep themselves and their dogs on the path. This is particularly important where stock or game may be disturbed.
^ Some good walks
^ Refuse collection
Test Valley is responsible for collecting household refuse. Since October 1998 two wheely bins have been provided, and more can be obtained. One is for waste, which cannot be recycled, which is emptied every week. The brown topped bin is for recyclable materials; one week for paper, cardboard, cans, and plastic bottles; the alternate week for compostable garden and kitchen waste. Normally the bin should be put ready by the road on collection day, but special arrangements can be made if this is impossible for you.
The Council will arrange to collect large items from your house on request (tel. 364144).
The nearest household waste recyling centre is at Shepherd Spring Lane, behind Do It All, in Andover, and newspapers and bottles can also be taken to bins at Tesco, Safeways, or Roberts Road in Barton Stacey.
^ The Church
St. Nicholas Church dates from the early 13th century, though only the transept pillars, if anything, survive from that time. There have been various extensive restorations, the most recent of them in 1954, when the screen between the nave and the chancel was taken away and the walls were stripped of the texts that had been painted on them between 1882 and 1884. The turreted tower was built in 1520, and the first of the six bells was hung in 1731. Unusually the churchyard has two lychgates, where coffins could rest, which may indicate the importance of Forton as a settlement. The memorials in the church are mainly of the leading families: the Widmores, the Hawkers, the Durnfords, the Burnaby-Greenes and other rectors. Most of the stained glass, which is admired by those who sign the visitors book, was also contributed by these families. The window commemorating Major Lanoe George Hawker VC DSO, who was killed in 1916, is a good recent acquisition. He was one of the most successful pilots of the First World War but was shot down by Manfred von Richthofen, known as the Red Baron. A book in the Church records his life, and the window is reproduced at the Museum of Army Flying at Middle Wallop.
The stocks which stand outside the church are a recent copy of those which used to be there.
The parish registers, recording births, deaths and marriages and dating from 1654, are to be found in the Hampshire Record Office in Sussex Street near Winchester Station. The churchyard was closed for burials in the early years of this century, whereupon the present cemetery, which is owned and managed by the Parish Council, was opened near the village hall.
Until 1954 St. Nicholas had its own Rector, who had no other parishes to look after. Until the Great War (1914-1918) there was even a curate to share the Rectors duties. He lived at the Curacy. The Rector lived in the large white house (now called Woodbury House) which stands next to the Church. The old Rectory was sold in 1980, and replaced by a smaller house near the telephone box, just east of the Sugar Lane/Southside road crossroads.
Since 1954 St. Nicholas has been joined with St. Andrews, Hurstbourne Priors; between 1980 and 1999 All Saints, Barton Stacey and St. Michael and All Angels, Bullington were also part of a united benefice. In 1998 the decision was taken by the diocese to join Longparish and Hurstbourne Priors with St. Mary Bourne and Woodcote. Details of church services can be found in the Parish News which is distributed free to every household each month.
Of the three chapels which there have been in the village, only the Methodist one in Southside Road still stands, and this is now a private house. A second methodist one was in Forton, roughly in front of Appletree Cottage, and in what is now a spinney in the garden of White Windows the Baptist Chapel.
^ The Parochial Church Council
The Parochial Church Council currently has 17 members. A proportion of the members are elected every three years at the Annual General Meeting in March by all those on the Church electoral roll who attend the meeting, and members serve for three years. It meets every other month on the second Friday, and is chaired by the Rector. Those who attend church regularly are eligible for the electoral roll. The officers of the council are elected at the A.G.M. Technically the Church wardens are elected at a vestry meeting preceding the A.G.M. at which any parishioner may vote.
The P.C.C. is responsible for
Supporting the Rector, for example, giving advice about services.
The upkeep of the fabric of the church and maintaining the churchyard.
Finance. The money raised in the parish from collections, donations, bequests, covenants, the Fete and sales is used not only for the running expenses of the Church but also for the contribution, or quota, which each parish pays to the diocese. This goes towards clergy stipends and salaries, as well as other local and central church expenses. Because Longparish has a church school the P.C.C. is also responsible for paying a Barchester Contribution to the diocesan education fund. Major programmes of renovation are financed by special fundraising.
Nominating, with Hurstbourne Priors P.C.C., the foundation governors appointed by the church to the school. The church owns the school building and land.
The village hall is owned by the Diocesan Board of Finance, but is leased to the Parish Council, and run by the Village Hall Management Committee A proportion of the profits from the Fete is given to the village hall.
The playgroup for children from 2 years 9 months to school age meets on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings in a hut behind the school bought by the committee in 1990. It shares the school playground. It is run by a committee of parents and the supervisor, and links with the school are close. Any interested parents should contact the supervisor.
^ Longparish Church of England Aided Primary School
The first school on this site was built in 1837 by the Rev. Henry Woodcock under the auspices of the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church. It was a brick and flint building on the current car park, and included a headmasters house on site. The two classrooms in the original building were quite small as were the numbers of pupils. The 1851 census shows that of 155 children in the village between 6 and 13 years only 26 attended school. Numbers grew in the 1870s and in 1894 the school was enlarged, as was the infant room in 1898, when 131 children attended.
The old school was demolished in the winter of 1955-1956 and rebuilt in a modern style with large windows overlooking the river, timber cladding and a flat roof. There were still just two classrooms, for the rolls had dropped. In May 1969 Hurstbourne Priors School was closed, and since then the children from there have come by bus to Longparish School. A temporary classroom was added, and when the mid 1960s bulge went through, a second one in 1973. In 1997 a permanent addition was built on the front of the school to provide offices, a waiting area, a medical room, and a library, funded mainly by the sponsors of John Ellicocks great walk from the Needles to Cape Wrath, and also by parents fundraising and grants from the DfE and Diocese. The school is now filled to capacity with over 80 children.
The school has a Governing Body which includes the Rector, the Head, a teacher, a parent, governors appointed respectively by the County Council and Parish Council, and 6 foundation governors nominated by the Parochial Church Council and appointed by the Diocese. Hampshire Education Authority provides funding for running the school, but the building is owned and partly maintained by the Church. The Governors have wide powers to appoint staff, supervise the running of the school, ensure the National Curriculum is delivered, and oversee finances.
The school is keen to maintain strong links with the community, and welcomes those who are willing to share their experience and expertise with the children. Each month in term time senior citizens are invited to have lunch at school for a very modest charge, and the resulting friendships between old and young are much valued.
^ Testbourne School
Transport for children from 11 to 16 is provided to this Grant-maintained secondary Community School in Micheldever Road, Whitchurch. Courses for adults and sports facilities are also available.
^ Cricklade College
The nearest sixth form education is provided at the Tertiary College in Andover, which also has a wide range of vocational and leisure courses for adults.
^ Local Government
^ Parish Council
The Parish Council has 10 members and is elected every four years. The next election will be in 1999. Those interested in serving on the Parish Council are particularly welcome to attend meetings, and should ask the Clerk for advice on election procedures. The Council normally meets in the Village Hall committee room at 7.30pm on the second Monday every other month: in January, in March (this meeting includes the annual Parish Meeting when the Council reports back to anyone who wishes to come), in May, when officers and committees are elected for the following year, in July, September and November. The times and the agenda of each meeting is posted on the notice boards by the village shop and in Forton about a week before the meeting. Parishioners are welcome to attend any meeting, and time is made available for them to voice any concerns. The two District Councillors try to attend Council Meetings, and the County Councillor will attend if there is a compelling issue affecting the County. The Council employs a part-time Clerk to deal with all correspondence, take minutes, and execute Council decisions.
The main responsibilities of the Council are as follows.
It looks after the interests of the parish by doing what it is empowered to do, and drawing other needs to the attention of the relevant authority, for instance, problems with roads. It also responds to consultation from other authorities.
It looks after Parish property, which includes the bus shelters, Ashburn Rest, the grindstone, the stocks, the Jubilee Seats (one by the church and one in Forton), the memorial cross by the school, the parish notice boards.
It expresses its views on planning applications to District and County Planning Committees. It is not able to make decisions on planning matters.
It administers the cemetery. In practice you should contact the Clerk, who is also secretary to the Burial Board.
It leases the Village Hall from the Church and delegates the running of it to a management committee. The car park opposite is managed by the Council by arrangement with Middleton Estate.
It is responsible for the childrens playground which it has leased from the Middleton Estate since 1973.
It leases the allotments from the Middleton Estate which are then run by the Allotments Association.
It has areas of common land which it owns - the sand pit by Larkwhistle Farm, the chalk pit by Vale Farm, and the Common, off Southside Road. East Aston Common, which is registered as Village Green, is part of the Longparish House Estate, and the field across Long Bridge is cut by arrangement with the owner.
The football field behind the Plough belongs to the Middleton Estate, and by arrangement the Parish Council has it cut for the benefit of local players.
It is responsible for the rights of way through the Parish Paths Partnership with Hampshire County Council (see footpaths).
It appoints a governor of the village school, a bus representative, and a treewarden.
The Council charges Test Valley for the money it needs to carry out its responsibilities, and this amount is shown on the Council Tax bill.
^ Test Valley Borough Council
Longparish belongs to the Harewood ward of Test Valley which is represented by two councillors. For administrative purposes Longparish is in the Northern Area of Test Valley which is based at the Headquarters in Beech Hurst, Andover. Some departments are based in the Southern area offices at Duttons Road, Romsey.
The District Council is responsible for most planning issues, some aspects of transportation, housing, leisure facilities, environmental health, including waste collection. It levies Council Tax which partially funds local government. It also runs the telephone Lifeline for the elderly and disabled. See the Directory.
Meetings of the Council and its committees are advertised in the Andover Advertiser, and members of the public are allowed to attend. Provision has recently been made for objectors to planning applications to make a short verbal presentation to the Planning Sub-Committee. Those who wish to do so should notify Test Valley more than 48 hours before the meeting. Planning applications are advertised in the local paper, and plans can be inspected at the Planning Department at Beech Hurst. Letters should be addressed to The Planning Officer at Beech Hurst, Weyhill Road, Andover. SP10 3AJ
^ Hampshire County Council
The County Council is based at the The Castle in Winchester. Longparish is in the Andover Rural ward. The council is responsible for education, police and fire services, social servies, public transport, roads, libraries, recreation, rubbish disposal.
Complaints about roads should be made to the Area Surveyors office at Totton. See the Directory. It is a help if you also notify the Parish Council Clerk.
Longparish is now, since the last boundary change, in the Romsey and Waterside constituency.
^ European Parliament
Longparish is in the Hampshire North and Oxford constituency.
^ Law and Order
^ The Police
Longparish is the responsibility of the Hampshire Constabulary based at Whitchurch. This station is not fully manned, and is currently open to the public morning and evening. The police constable with special responsibility for Longparish is based at Hurstbourne Tarrant. Telephone 999 in any emergency. For routine matters, try the Whitchurch number, and if it is not answered, ring the Andover station which is manned around the clock. Numbers are in the Directory section.
Lost Property is based in Andover.
^ Neighbourhood Watch
Longparish takes part in the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme under the direction of the Hampshire Police stationed at Whitchurch (tel. 01256 895096). The object of the scheme is to assist the police in preventing crime or apprehending offenders by observing and reporting unusual events and the suspicious behaviour of individuals. Recording car numbers can prove useful. Please ring 999 if you see anything that might need investigation, and keep your Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator informed. Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators are located throughout the village. It is useful to inform them if your house is likely to be unoccupied for any length of time.
Longparish still has a better bus service than many villages, but it is not much used. Hampshire County Council produces an indispensable guide to bus services called Connections, which is delivered free to every household each May and November. It includes current timetables for buses and trains.
All services through the village are run by Stagecoach Hampshire Bus, New Market Square, Basingstoke RG21 7HP tel. 01256 464501, and any problems should first be referred to them. If it cannot be resolved, contact The Passenger Transport Officer, Hampshire County Council, The Castle, Winchester SO23 8UD tel.0345 023067 (Calls charged at local rate. Answerphone out of hours)
The main service is the 61 which runs runs between Newbury and Winchester, via Highclere, Hurstbourne Tarrant, St. Mary Bourne, Smannell, Andover, Hurstbourne Priors, Longparish, Barton Stacey, Sutton Scotney, and South Wonston. The 61A at certain times runs between Andover and Winchester, stopping opposite Station Hill on the A303. In the early morning only, there is a 75 service bus from Whitchurch to Andover via Longparish, and in the evening there are 3 buses each way between Basingstoke and Andover which pass through Longparish. The current timetable is in the Directory.
There are stops at The Plough and North Acre and request stops at each end of Forton, opposite Mill Lane, and two in East Aston, opposite Orchard Cottage, and at Mills Corner.
Permanent residents who are over the state retirement age, or registered disabled with Social Services are entitled to help with paying for public transport. This can take the form of travel tokens which can be used on buses and for some taxis. Alternatively, you can buy a half fare bus pass for £5, or use your entitlement to buy a Senior Citizens Railcard, with some tokens to make up the difference. Up to date information can be obtained Test Valley Borough Council Benefits Section, Revenue Service. The year starts in April.
Whitchurch and Andover are the nearest railway stations. Many of the Waterloo-Exeter trains stop in Whitchurch; all stop in Andover.
An alternative service is available at Micheldever on the Waterloo-Southampton line, where some trains stop, especially at commuting times.
The nearest taxis are based in Andover and are listed in the Yellow Pages.
This service is available for those who are unable to get to a bus stop or on to a bus. It can accommodate wheel chairs and provides door to door transport to Andover shopping centre on Wednesday or Thursday. See Directory.
^ Village Amenities
^ Shop and Post Office
In the past Longparish was much better provided with local services than it is now, and they were concentrated in Middleton. The local farmers, Mr Snow at Southside, Mr Lywood at Forton and Mr Beaves at Church Farm, had milk rounds. There were two coalyards: Turtons behind the Methodist Chapel on Southside Road, and Englefields where Shallow Waters now stands, which both closed in the early 1960s. There was a blacksmith by what is now Blacksmiths Bridge on Southside Road. Opposite Englefields there was a shop on the corner of Brookside. In the 19th century it was a cobblers, and more recently a small general store. It closed about 1964. Stream Stores, on the other corner, was a shop until the late 1980s, and at one time had a butchers shop run by Mr Kail on the end. Where Lacey Gates now stands there was a small cafe, run by the Judd brothers, from about 1930 to 1960. This was very popular in the war. Mr Ted Plummer had a bicycle repair shop on the side at one time.
Since the closing of Stream Stores, and of the old Post Office nearly opposite the grindstone, the only shop left is the Londis store at North Acre, which includes the Post Office. It sells groceries, basic stationery, toiletries, Calor gas, National Lottery tickets and also has an off licence. Dry cleaning can be left there. Newspapers and magazines are sold in the shop or can be delivered. Increased car ownership and the popularity and availability of supermarkets has made business difficult for small shops, and the warning to all residents, based on the experience of other villages, is Use it or lose it.
^ The pubs
Although only two survive, The Plough (dating from 1721) and the Cricketers (previously The Free House), Longparish has had several other pubs, beer houses and off licences in its time. The last to go was The Buck (previously The George) which was on the A303 just to the Andover side of the new bridge linking Longparish with Wherwell: it stood where the filling station now is and was open until the mid 1980s.
The last of the beer houses (no spirits) was the Stream Inn, which later became the Stream Stores and is now a private house. Its last landlord, Mr Hounsome, also ran a carrier service. The last off licence in the village, other than the present village shop, was in one of the thatched cottages in Forton, and remained in business until the late 1970s. That was also run by one of the Hounsome family, Mrs Vera Richardson.
In the Second World War, when there was a large transit camp between the top of Southside Hill and the A303, and beer was very short, long queues of British, Canadian and American soldiers would form outside The Free House and The Plough if it was known that the brewers, Marstons in the case of The Free House, and Strongs of Romsey at The Plough, had called that day.
Details about the Cricketers and The Plough are in the Directory section.
^ Bed and Breakfast
See the Directory for details.
^ Village Hall
The Village Hall was built on church land in 1910 as a church hall. By the early 1960s it was badly in need of renovation, and so in 1964 the Church leased it to the Parish Council. This lease was renewed for 21 years in 1996. Grants were obtained and the kitchen and cloakrooms were added. In 1976 the Longparish Sports and Social Club built a clubhouse on to the rear, which was demolished in 1997 after the club disbanded due to lack of village support and problems with the building, as the extension had deteriorated beyond repair. Now in 1999, once again a major renovation is needed, and funds must be raised to give us a hall fit for the new millenium. The Hall is run by the Village Hall Committee, a group of devoted volunteers. The financial administration is done by Middleton Estate Office.
There are eight allotments in the field opposite the cricket field, which are rented from Middleton Estate by the Parish Council and organised by the holders. Apply to the Secretary in the Directory section.
^ Open gardens
White Windows (Barry and Jane Sterndale-Bennett). This small garden beautifully planted with unusual hardy plants, chosen for the interest of both flower and leaf, is open several times a year. Details are in the annual National Gardens Scheme yellow book.
Longmead House (John and Wendy Ellicock). The garden is usually open one day in the summer. It is a large organic garden with herbaceous borders, wildlife ponds, a wildflower meadow and an extensive vegetable garden.
^ Village Organisations
Contact names and telephone numbers for all organisations can be found in the Directory section.
^ Cricket Club
Longparish Cricket Club has a reputation as one of the most illustrious village cricket clubs in the country. It was founded in 1878, and the rules of the club date from 1884. It has a lovely ground in the middle of the village, generously provided by the Wills family, and beautifully maintained. In 1993 the pavilion was rebuilt in the same style as the old one, but with much improved facilities. There was once a second ground in the park behind Middleton House.
Notable players in the early days included F.R.Wilkinson, who was killed in the Great War, and Cobden Snow, whose sons, Dick and Allen, have played a prominent part in the affairs of the club, both on and off the field. Over the years, a host of famous Test cricketers came to play for John Woodcocks XI against the village, and the club achieved national fame in 1987 by winning the National Village Championship, beating Treeton Welfare, the Yorkshire Champions, in the final, played at Lords. Seven years earlier they had lost in the final to Marchwiel from North Wales. Dennis Luff, their champion batsman and a great village cricketer, scored an astonishing 55 centuries for Longparish. With the departure to other clubs of some of their best players, Longparishs fortunes have recently declined, but every effort is being made to recruit and encourage young players, several of whom show promise.
The club welcomes new members, both playing and non-players, male and female, and spectators. It runs a 100 Club to raise funds. Contact any of the officials to find out more.
^ Football Club
The football field behind The Plough, which has vehicular access from the end of Sugar Lane, is currently used by the Under 12 and Under 13 teams of Swan Hill Football Club. Training takes place on Friday evenings in Andover, and matches are played on Saturday mornings in winter. In summer 6 a side games are played. The ground is part of the Middleton estate. The Parish Council arranges for the grass to be cut, and the Club maintains the pitch. The Club is keen to establish more junior teams, particularly Under 10s and would welcome any offers of help. Longparish boys are welcome to join the Club, and should contact the Under 14s manager.
^ Other sports
Public facilities for other sports in the village are limited, but two young international sportsmen train here, and both are preparing for the 2000 Olympics.
Richard Faulds is an outstanding clay pigeon shot. He competed in the 1996 Olympic Games and came 5th. He won both the Junior World Championship and the European Championship four times, and as a junior came 2nd twice in the FITASC overall World Championship, which was unprecedented. As a senior he is the British, European and the world record holder in Double Trap shooting.
Mike Ellicock represented Great Britain first as an oarsman at the World Junior Rowing Championships and then trained as a triathlete (running, cycling and swimming) and competed for Great Britain in the World Championships at both junior and senior levels.
Longparish Tower has six bells which are rung at services once or twice a month on Sundays, and occasionally at weddings and other celebrations. It is hoped to have an experienced team of ringers to ring in the second millenium. Change ringing is fascinating and it will cost you nothing to learn. You do not have to be big, strong or musical to ring, nor do you have to be a churchgoer.
Longparish bellringers practise every Friday evening from 7.30pm to 9pm. There is also a good social life for those who enjoy it, with Tower outings and competitions, social events, and visits to the pub after practices. All new recruits are welcome, and should contact the Tower Captain.
^ Village Hall Committee
The committee is made up of representatives of the organisations in the village who may use the Hall, and can co-opt other members. Meetings are held in the Hall, normally the 3rd Mondays in January, April (the Annual General Meeting), July and October. It is responsible for the day to day running of the hall, including cleaning and bookings, which should be made through the bookings secretary. It also ensures that the hall is decorated and kept in good order, and that facilities meet current standards.
^ Fete Committee
Longparish Fete at the beginning of August has been a key date in the calendar for many years. At one time it was usually held at Longparish House, but in recent years it has been in the School field. It is the major fundraising event for the Church and the Village Hall. Help is always needed, and there is considerable experience and expertise available to help new recruits. Planning starts in the New Year and there is a social event the day after the fete to hear the result and celebrate its success.
^ Friends of Longparish School
This is an organisation for parents and others who share their concern for the education of the children of the village. It is particularly concerned with fundraising for improvements to the school, playgroup and mother and toddler group, and holds a fete in late spring. It also organises social events, and runs a 100 Club from January to December with a monthly draw to raise funds. Contact the Chairman.
^ Mothers and Toddlers
This informal group meets on Tuesdays 1-3pm in Hurstbourne Priors Village Hall, and anyone looking after babies and children under school age is very welcome. It gives the children a chance to play together, and mothers and carers an opportunity to meet others and talk. Tea, coffee and soft drinks are served. Those with transport difficulties should contact the organisers who will do their best to arrange lifts.
^ St. Nicholas Wives Group
The St. Nicholas Wives Group meets once a month in members houses. Guest speakers are invited to several of the meetings and Bring and Buy sales and raffles are also held. Husbands and friends are invited to a Christmas Party and a summer barbecue. The Group is responsible for serving teas at the annual village fete.
^ Welcome Club
The Welcome Club meets in the Village Hall once a month on the afternoon of the third Monday. It welcomes anyone over 55 years to its activities and outings, which are announced in the Parish News. Speakers are invited to some meetings, and refreshments are provided.
^ Mothers Union
The Mothers Union is a national Christian organisation founded in 1876, and the Longparish branch has existed for about a hundred years. Its aims are to uphold Christian values in family life and to help families in adversity at home and abroad. Meetings are held once a month in a members house, sometimes with a speaker, and sometimes for discussion and to arrange fundraising. There is a Deanery service on Lady Day, and a joint overseas meeting in the autumn. New members are welcome and should contact the Chairman.
^ Countess of Brecknock Hospice Fundraisers Group
The Longparish Fundraisers Group was formed by Barbara Smith of Forton in 1987-8. Over the last 12 years a group of ladies from Longparish and Hurstbourne Priors has organised various functions to raise funds for the Hospice. These are well supported, and the Hospice very much appreciates the work of the group. Anyone interested in the work of the group should contact the Chairman.
^ Friends of Newbury Lodge Boarding and Rescue Kennels
A group of village people have formed a group to raise funds to help Newbury Lodge Kennels at Hurstbourne Tarrant to pay the vet bills for the dogs it rescues. These amount to £400-500 a month. Any support is welcome, whether attending its functions and providing goods or prizes, or more active help in organising events.
^ Youth organisations
In the past the village has had a Youth Club. The lack of one now means that older children have little scope for organised activities in the village. Contacts for Scouts and Guides, and the Army Cadet Force, which offers similar activities and is open to boys and girls of 13 and over, are in the Directory.