Hampshire Treasures

Volume 6 ( East Hampshire)

Page 55 - Bramshott

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The manor of Bramshott was held by two unnamed freemen in the reign of Edward the Confessor, and at the time of the Domesday Durvey it was held by Edward of Salisbury. The manor was split in the fifteenth century but by 1550 the entire manor was held by the Mervyn family. In 1610 the manor of Bramshott was conveyed to John Hooke and later passed to the Whitehead and Dennis families. The manor house has remained largely unaltered since the fifteenth century and parts may be even earlier. It is believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited house in Hampshire and was taken over by the War Office in 1917.

The industrial history of the parish can be traced back to the Romans who worked iron here. Henry Hooke, lord of the manor between 1616 and 1625, was responsible for developing the iron industry in the seventeenth century, but by the mid eighteenth century it had died out again. The association of the parish with the ironworks is recorded in the name Hammer Bottom. The other industries which have been carried on in the parish have included paper-making, milling, forestry and broom-making, the last two connected with Woolmer Forest and the adjacent heath-lands.

The church of St. Mary dates back to the thirteenth century, though it was much restored in the Victorian period. It contains some remains of mediaeval stained glass as well as some late nineteenth century examples.

The parish has associations with Sydney and Beatrice Webb, founders of the Fabian Society, who built Passfield Corners. In 1929 Sydney Webb was created Lord Passfield, and on their deaths the house was left to the London School of Economics.

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