Clenefeld and Clanefeud (xiii cent.); Clanefelde
(xiv cent.), and Clanffield (xvii cent.).
Clanfield is a small parish with an area of 1,404 acres,
shut in on the north and east by great chains of downs,
being bounded on the north by Tegdown Hill, Oxenbourn Down, and Hilhampton Down, and on the east
by Holt Down, Chalton Down, and Windmill Hill.
The main road from Petersfield to Portsmouth runs
through the east of the parish, keeping parallel with
the line of downs which forms its eastern boundary.
The village itself, dominated by Windmill Hill,
which, capped by its windmill, towers to the east, is
grouped round the cross-roads in the extreme west of
the parish, and consists of a collection of half-timbered
thatched farm-houses and cottages which, though somewhat out of repair, are of picturesque appearance. A
little road which runs north past the New Inn has
the thatched post office on one side and the village
police-station on the other. The church of St. James,
with a widely spreading yew in the churchyard, stands
to the south of the cross-roads. Near it is the village
well, with its dilapidated thatched roof. The schools
stand to the south of the village at the junction of
South Lane with the road leading to Hambledon.
There is a small Wesleyan chapel in the parish.
View in Clanfield Village
The parish contains 989½ acres of arable land, and
248 acres of permanent grass. (fn. 1) The soil is light and
dry, the subsoil chalk. The chief crops are wheat,
barley, and oats. Clanfield Down was inclosed in
1816. The population in 1901 was 213. The
parish is wholly within the manor of Chalton (q.v.).
The church of ST. JAMES, CLANFIELD, was rebuilt in 1875 in brick with
an external facing of flint and wrought
stone, and consists of chancel with north vestry and
organ chamber, and nave with south porch and west
bell turret. It contains nothing ancient, but the two
bells in the turret are both mediaeval, the work of
Roger Landon. The treble has his founder's mark, his
cross, and the lion's face, but no inscription, and the
tenor is inscribed 'Ave Maria' in black letter capitals
and smalls, with the three marks as on the treble.
The plate consists of a communion cup of 1672,
with a band of ornament of Elizabethan type on the
bowl, and a modern paten.
The registers, in two books bound together, begin
in 1547, the first book ending in 1748, and the
second in 1799.
There are burials in woollen from 1675 to 1735.
CLANFIELD seems in origin to
have been a chapelry dependent on
the mother church of Chalton. The
first mention of it is in 1227, in which year Sybil,
prioress of Nuneaton, arraigned an assize of darrein
presentment to the chapel of Clanfield against Bartholomew, archdeacon of Winchester. (fn. 2) She proved her
right to the advowson, but nevertheless had some
difficulty in maintaining it, for a year later she summoned Alan, the official of the bishop of Winchester,
for not having admitted a fit person at her presentation to the chapel. (fn. 3) By 1318 the chapelry had
become a rectory, for in that year licence was granted
to Walter de Mursele, rector of the church of Clanfield, to study at Oxford or elsewhere in England for
a year. (fn. 4) Sybil evidently won her suit against Alan,
for the prior, prioress, and convent of Nuneaton
were patrons of the church until the dissolution, (fn. 5)
from which time the advowson followed that of
Chalton. In 1617 Giles Williams, incumbent of the
church of Clanfield, by presentation of Queen Elizabeth, resigned the church by agreement with the earl
of Worcester, during the vacancy of the see of Winchester, to George, archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 6) The
earl thereupon presented John Heathe, whose right
to the church was confirmed by James I when he
settled the advowson on the earl and his heirs. (fn. 7) The
right of the crown to the rectory was re-established
when Dr. Gillingham by private agreement with
Godfrey Price, rector of Chalton, regained the advowson of Chalton for Charles I. (fn. 8) The advowson of
Clanfield subsequently followed that of Chalton until
1787, in which year the rectory of Clanfield was
united to that of Chalton with Idsworth chapelry by
Brownlow North, bishop of Winchester.
John Richards by will proved in
1846 left £200 to be invested, and
income applied at the discretion of
the rector for the benefit of the poor. The legacy
was invested in £206 9s. 1d. Consols, with the official trustees. In 1905 the dividends, amounting to
£5 3s., were applied in the distribution of coals to
six deserving persons.