Hampshire Treasures

Volume 1 ( Winchester City District)

Page 107 - Exton

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Within the boundaries of the Parish of Exton there are several visible remains of early occupation. On the sweeping downs rises Old Winchester Hill, an Iron Age hill-fort with earthworks including interned entrances. Several Bronze Age barrows are to be found on the same hill. On the Preshaw Estate archaeological remains of the Roman and early Saxon period have been excavated, and the site of the Saxon and Mediaeval village of Lomer, deserted by the fifteenth century, survives as a series of earthworks.

Exton is first mentioned in documents in 940 when King Edmund made a grant of land at "East Seaxnature" to Ethelgeard. The land passed to the Priory of St. Swithin in Winchester as the Domesday Book (1086) records the manor as being held by the bishop. The Domesday Survey lists a church and two mills amongst the assets at Exton; the earlier church being probably replaced in the thirteenth century by a building which was enlarged and restored between 1847 and 1892. The foundations of a fifteenth century mill can still be traced at the Meon River, but it is impossible to identify this with either of the two Domesday mills.

Beacon Hill was the site of beacons until the late sixteenth century: bonfires were lit on prominent hills to give advance warning of invasion by enemies. The system of beacons stretched along the south coast and inland to communicate with London and other large towns: beacons were lit for the Queen's Jubilee in June 1977, but previously they were last used for the Spanish Armada in the sixteenth century.

The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul has a marble monument to Dr John Young, Dean of Winchester, who died in 1642.

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