A brief history of St Mary Bourne
The wooded areas around St Mary Bourne, especially to the south side of the lake contain a wide variety of wildlife. The traditional water meadows on either side of the Bourne Rivulet form pastureland from the lake towards the viaduct. The Bourne Rivulet is a chalk tributary of the River Test. Upstream views from the Summerhaugh Bridge in the village square include buildings dating back to the 16th century.
St Mary Bourne parish includes the larger village of that name together with Stoke. It also includes the surrounding hamlets of Binley, Dunley, Egbury, Upper, Middle and Lower-Wyke (pronounced “Wick” or “Week”) and Wadwick. The parish is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the villages of St Mary Bourne and Stoke form a Conservation Area. In the past the Parish’s main income was from farming, with supporting industries and trades. Swampton Mill, mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, was the earliest recorded business.
- Temporarily closed
- Restricted use
This walk follows the “Walk to School Route” which has local children’s poems on the gateposts.
Cross the recreation ground diagonally, towards the far side of Sports Pavilion. Follow the Test Way and the “Walk to School Route”, passing through five locally crafted green gates with poem posts. Take care when crossing the road.
Bear left at the school onto a Byway and after the second bungalow on your right turn right onto the Test Way. Follow the Test Way through the gate on the left and ascend a steep hill, keeping the fence to your right. Go through a second gate, bearing right. When you reach the road go through the third gate and turn left for a quarter of a mile. Turn left onto the Byway and follow this to the back of the school. Bear right and retrace your steps back to the recreation ground.