History

EPSON MFP imageFor more information and details on Monxton’s history, there is an excellent book is available written by local resident, Diana Coldicott, who still lives in the village. For your copy please email Mrs Coldicott or call 01264 710330.

Monxton – A Hampshire Village History by Diana K. Coldicott (1998) ISBN 09056798 1 K. In 2016 Diana kindly reprinted just 50 copies of this excellent book, which is now available at just £15 (which barely covers the price of printing).

 

 

Monxton History Summary
Even a brief summary of the history of Monxton must mention the Romans, for the road that they built from London to the south west included a section called the Portway which ran right through the present village. Monxton continued to be on one of the main roads from London to Cornwall until the 18th century. After that the village became a quiet backwater, which is why it has never really grown.

Fortunately, from the time of the Norman Conquest until the early 20th century it was owned successively by two great institutions, and it is their records that provide much of the evidence for its history. The first was the Abbey of Bec-Hellouin in Normandy which was given the manor by one of William the Conqueror’s followers. At the time the village was known as ‘Anne’ but it soon became ‘Anne de Bec’. This remained its name until the 15th century when it was first called ‘Monkeston’.

In 1441 Henry VI gave the manor of Monxton to the college he had just founded at Cambridge, so the Provost and Scholars of King’s College, Cambridge became the corporate lord of the manor of Monxton. They also had the right to appoint the rector of the parish church, and always chose one of their own graduates. The original church was pulled down in 1853 and a new one, dedicated to St. Mary, was built on the same site; this remains the parish church.

Life in the parish revolved around the agricultural year. From medieval times, sheep were grazed and arable crops grown in the three great fields that lay to the north and south of the village and its little river, the Pillhill Brook. The fields were mostly farmed in strips by the several farmers until 1806, but in that year they were enclosed by a private Act of Parliament.

The village centre was at its busiest during Victorian times. It then had its own mill, brewery, shop, school and pub, while a blacksmith, farrier, saddler, shoemaker and two tailors all carried on their businesses. Today there is only the Black Swan – and a nice Victorian letter box.

King’s College continued to own all the property in Monxton until 1921, when they decided to sell. The parish remained an agricultural area but gradually the houses and cottages became owner occupied and independent of farming. As in most rural areas, during the last 50 years nearly all of them have been bought by incomers, but their varied talents have often helped to enrich village life.

 

Also take a look at our photo gallery for pictures of Monxton past and present.

Click here to see walks around the village and points of interest

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