Sep 26

Owslebury in 1908 and its history

The parish of Owslebury consists of 22 acres of land covered with water and 5,412 acres of land which rises gradually from south to north, reaching the greatest height, with the exception of the rise on Green Hill in the west of the parish, near the village, which stands on the crest of a hill towards the north. The main road from Winchester to Bishop’s Waltham, passing south-east through Morestead, sends off a branch road directly south towards Owslebury. Rising on to high ground this road then descends steeply into Owslebury parish. At the bottom of the hill two or three thatched cottages and the Shearer’s Inn standing on the right-hand side make up the outlying portion of Owslebury, known as Owslebury Bottom. A few yards on as the land begins to rise the road curves slightly east round by the Cricketers’ Inn and winds up the hill, curving sharply south-west into the village. Entering the village, the blacksmith’s shop, a low tiled picturesque building, stands on the north side of the road facing wide sloping fields which stretch away to the south. As the road continues uphill, past two or three thatched cottages and outbuildings, the old windmill, near which is a new mill which supplies the pumping power for the Owslebury waterworks, stands in a high field to the north, marking the crest of the hill. Beyond this the greater number of the cottages and houses composing the village are grouped. On the south side of the road are the village schools, immediately west of which is the square-towered church of St. Andrew, standing on high ground overlooking the valley as the ground falls away to the east and south-east. Immediately to the east over the valley lies Baybridge, beyond which the high land which sweeps away to Millbarrow Down rises in the distance; to the southeast, over the stretches of woodland which lie in the south-east of Owslebury parish, lies the parish of Upham, beyond which rises the high ground round Winter’s Hill House. South-west of the church is the vicarage, to which a pathway from the church leads across the square inclosed recreation ground of about four acres. The village stocks stood at the churchyard gate until recent times, but have now disappeared. As the long village street continues to run south-west down the slope of the hill beyond the church and vicarage, several picturesque thatched cottages lie on the left, while others lie on either side as at the further end of the village the road forks north to Twyford and south to Marwell Hall, round a small triangular green. On the north side as the road forks stand two tiled lichen-covered cottages, known as Yew-tree Cottages, in front of which grow two large yew trees, shaped like the trees of a toy Noah’s Ark. Beyond these cottages is the Ship Inn, a low, thatched, timberframed house, which has some good panelling within, and the date 1681 on the tap-room fireplace. Marwell Manor Farm, the manor farm of Owslebury parish, stands on the site of the ancient palace of Marwell, which was probably destroyed

via Parishes – Owslebury | A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3 pp. 332-335.

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