Thursday 25 June 2015

On a delightful summer’s evening, PAHS members met up with our guides, Doug Jones and Bob Wright.

Starting beside the pond, Doug explained its importance as a water source and its probable reason for the early settlement of the village. Archaeological evidence shows activity nearby from the Bronze Age and Roman times but it was first recorded by the Normans in the Domesday Book as part of the Manor of Mapledurham.

Opposite the pond lies the Church of St Mary dating from the 12th century and the mother church of Petersfield until 1886. Bob gave us a fascinating tour of the interior with stories of its stained glass windows and the prominent people who have been involved with the church and village over the centuries.

The adjacent Georgian Manor House includes part of the former mediaeval structure and has been home to the lords of the manor for centuries. Amongst them were Edward Gibbon, the famous historian who wrote The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, and the Bonham-Carter family.

Our tour progressed up Bones Lane, past the sheep dip, which had been used over the centuries, to the Hop Kilns, part of the hop production process, which had been an integral part of village life until the mid 20th century.