A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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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.
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.
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.