Potted History

/Potted History
Potted History2018-09-10T10:26:04+00:00

A Potted History of the Villages

8,000 years ago, close to the end of the Ice Age, one of the largest Middle Stone Age settlements in Great Britain flourished nearby on Broom Hill, Braishfield.

There is much evidence of habitation in Saxon times when kilns in Michelmersh produced cooking pots, pitchers [a famous example is the ‘Michelmersh Pot’ held at the Test Valley Archaeological Trust].

985 The original parish of Michelmersh, which included Braishfield and the whole of Awbridge was granted by King Aethelred II (‘Ethelred the Unready’) to Aelferd as a gift for life. It does not appear in Doomsday as it remained Crown Property until …
1043 King Ethelred died his wife Queen Emma gave the Michelmersh Estates to the Priory of St Swithun’s Winchester, possibly in gratitude for not overheating the nine (red-hot?) ploughshares, which she is reported to have walked over barefoot in the cathedral to prove her innocence of the charge of criminal familiarity with Bishop Alwyn.
1200’s Michelmersh Church was built, or rebuilt. Timsbury Church also dates from this period.
1205 The first mention of Michelmersh Manor Farm. Michelmersh Manor was a large grange with a fortified gate house, Great Hall, chambers for visiting monks and squires, an office for the bailiff, kitchen, Chapel, parts of which are still extant – a chamber, a gardrobe for the prior, etc.
1327 Prior Richard of St Swithun’s was certified ‘Lord of Michelmersh’ and a later prior received a grant to make a ‘Park’ here (Park Farm?). 30 taxpayers including Galfe de Kyngbrigg [who may also be the Geoffrey de Canterton buried in Michelmersh Church] were concerned in an attempt to preserve their rights to this park.
1415 668 Knights & Archers assembled for two nights in the field to the left of Manor Farm Road known as ‘Agincourt Field’. The troops were reviewed by the Duke of Gloucester.
1650’s After the Restoration, Sir William Ogle moved from the Manor Farm to the Dower House (now the Old House). It is his carriage which can be heard moving along the lane from the Manor to the Dower house. But it is never seen.
1662 Monument set up to Sir William Ogle at the west end of the Church.
1842 Commercial brickmaking at Michelmersh.
1846 ‘Public Elementary School’ erected by the Michelmersh School Board.
1850 Act passed for purchase of Redbridge-Andover canal and turning it into a Railway.
1855 Braishfield becomes a separate parish
1886 Michelmersh Temperance Band founded with the help of Canon Gore-Brown.
1887 First appearance of the band. The Rectory was built to a London house design by Charles Butcher, a retired London Policeman.
1877 Awbridge becomes a separate parish
1908 The band suffers a shortage of members. The Rector is persuaded to allow them to drop the title ‘Temperance’ and membership picks up!
1920 Formation of Michelmersh W.I.
1926 The band enters the Contest World and competes at Crystal Palace.
1938 The Recreation Ground is opened.
1940 The hurdle makers, the Parsons from Braishfield, come and go in the copse beside the Recreation Ground (now known as Haycroft Copse – the ‘Pocket Park’).
1944 Canadian and American soldiers camped in the Agincourt Field prior to Normandy landings!
1955 Civic Parish of Braishfield formed away from Michelmersh
The Horticultural Society is formed under the Presidency of Lady Newton of Timsbury Manor.
1963 Michelmersh School closes. The Rector moves away
1973 Weather boarding on St Mary’s tower replaced at a cost of £2600
1975 Dutch Elm disease hits the Parish and the trees bordering Haccups Lane and Bunny Lane are all destroyed.
1980 The Jubilee Hall replaces the old Church Hall in Manor Farm Lane and becomes a focus for village activities.
1981 The Rectory is saved from demolition by sale to Mr & Mrs Keith Bennett. Redland Tileworks closes down. The Rev. Bruce Kington, based at Braishfield Rectory, takes over the United Benefice.
1985 The village celebrates its millennium
1987 Michelmersh Country Fair held at Linhay Meads Farm
1993 The Milburns assisted housing opened
1994 Haycroft Copse ‘Pocket Park’ leased from TVBC
1997 30mph Speed limit imposed on village lanes
1998 Village Appraisal published
2000 Millennium Celebrations – Landmark Erected;
‘Trees for a Thousand Years’ Planted;
Midsummer Celebrations; Flower Festival etc.
2002 Golden Jubilee Celebrations.
2003 Parish Renamed ‘Michelmersh & Timsbury’
2004 First Village website
2009 The Old Tile Works redeveloped into housing, Casbrook Fields
2010 Community Garden opened
2010/11 Rev Bruce Kington retires and is replaced by Rev Steve Pittis
2011 Mannyingham Way play park renewed
2012 60 Jubilee celebrations – a weekend of events
2013 St Mary’s Michelmersh bells rehung and now rung electronically
2013 30mph speed limit imposed on A3057, Stockbridge Road
2014 St Andrew’s, Timsbury badly damaged in fire
2014/15 The old Band Hut, Manor Farm Lane redeveloped.