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Hurstbourne Tarrant Parish

Historical Society

We meet on the second Monday of the Month at the Community Centre, SP11 0AX

Click here to go to our web site

Next Meeting: “A History of Old Andover” - Derek Grimston

Monday 13th November at 7:45pm

Andover's first mention in history is in 950 when King Edred is recorded as having built a royal hunting lodge there. In 962 King Edgar called a meeting of the Saxon 'parliament' at his hunting lodge near Andover. Of perhaps more importance was the baptism, in 994 of a Viking king named Olaf (allied with Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard). The baptism was part of a deal with King Ethelred ("The Unready") whereby he stopped ravaging England and returned home. At the time of the Domesday Book (1086) Andover had 107 male inhabitants and probably had a total population of about 500. It was quite a large settlement by the standards of the time and it had six watermills which ground grain to flour.

During the 18th century, being situated on the main Exeter – Salisbury – London road Andover became a major stopping point on the stagecoach routes, more than 30 stagecoaches passing through the town each day. In 1789 a canal to Southampton was opened, though this was never a commercial success and closed in 1859. In 1836 the Borough established a small police force, although this was for the most part just two constables and a gaoler.

The population grew from 3,304 in 1801 to 5,501 in 1871. In 1845 a notorious scandal involving the hardships endured by the inmates of the workhouse led indirectly to reform of the Poor Law Act. The town was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Reform Act 1835 In 1846, the town came to public attention after an enquiry exposed the conditions in its workhouse. The Andover workhouse scandal brought to light evidence of beatings, sexual abuse and general mistreatment of workhouse inmates by the overseers.

Our speaker, Derek Grimston served with the RAF. During a spell as an instructor at the Joint Warfare establishment at Old Sarum he bought a house in Andover and after retiring joined Test Valley Borough Council as the Community Liaison Officer. Twenty years ago became a Green Badge Guide for Andover; in response to requests from people who were not able to join a walking tour he developed a slide-show version of the tour.

Visitors and guests are welcome at all our meetings - £3-00.

Andover Union Workhouse Andover Union Workhouse

About the Historical Society

The programme of events for 2017 - 18 is now available and you can view it here. All meetings will be held on the second Monday of the month at the Hurstbourne Tarrant Community Centre. Volunteer members will be on hand to provide, at a modest charge, tea, coffee, soft drinks and beer and wine.

"Hurstbourne Tarrant at War" - this 106 page document contains records of all who served in the first and second world wars, local reporting from the time and colour and black and white photographs. If you would like a copy, priced £5, please contact Andy Watson - details below. All profits will go to St Peter's Church, Hurstbourne Tarrant.

Chairman: Andy Watson  e-mail: EMail  Telephone No.: 01264 736459

Secretary: Bryn Evans  e-mail: EMail  Telephone No.: 01264 736361

The Hurstbourne Tarrant Historical Society is a group of people who are interested in the history of the village and surrounding area. The society was formally constituted in May 2010 and meets monthly with the exception of August, December and January. All meetings, except for outside visits, take place at Hurstbourne Tarrant Community Centre (SP11 0AX) . Please see the programme of events for full details of what is happening.

The society aims to look into various aspects of history whether local, social, family or archaeological. Society meetings will cover various subjects and ideas for new subjects or studies are most welcome from members. The constitution defines the full list of the aims of the society.

If you would like to join please contact any member of the committee or you can download and complete a Membership Application and pay by Standing Order if you wish.

The committee is made up of five members who are listed below along with a brief introduction to who they are and what projects they are currently working on.

Andy Watson, Chairman – I moved to the village in 1989 and my main interest is industrial archaeology. I have also been involved in Iron Age experimental archaeology as well as digging at a Roman metal smelting site on a cold and wet Welsh hilltop.

Bryn Evans, Secretary – I have lived in the village for more than 40 years and have recorded photographically many aspects of village life and activities over that period. I am currently converting the complete census records of the Parish from 1841 to 1911 into digital format. The Society holds a large archive covering village life, burial records, people, buildings, historical information, activities and events as well as an extensive photographic collection and would welcome any further contributions to add to the archive. Our aim is to hold as much information as possible in a digital format so that it can be more easily accessed and disseminated.

Mike Nash, Programme Officer – I’ve lived in the village almost 18 years and interested in everything! At the moment am looking at the "ritual marks" in our church and hope to publish shortly, I will then be starting work with Kim Vella on past village pubs.

Sarah Gould, Membership Officer & Treasurer – I’ve lived in the village since 1989 and have studied field archaeology. I work as a volunteer in the archives section of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. I’m currently writing blog entries on archaeological work for the Hampshire Cultural Trust at Chilcomb.

Michael Bateman, Publicity Officer

Margaret Jensen, Committee Member

The full list of current projects that the committee and other society members are involved in is below, along with who are working on them. 

    The ritual marks in the local church (Mike Nash)

    Pubs & Malthouses (Mike Nash & Kim Vella)

    The early 20th century memoirs of Percy Ball, a local gardener (Margaret Jensen)

If you would like more information on the society, anything it is working on or would like to join please see the contact details at the top of the page.

New members are always welcome. Also if you can contribute to the society archives in any way that would be much appreciated; we would love to hear from anyone who could loan or send us photographs, documents etc that are associated with the villages of Hurstbourne Tarrant, Upton and the Hamlet of Ibthorpe.

Hurstbourne Tarrant Parish Historical Society