Parishes: Hawkley

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

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'Parishes: Hawkley', in A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3, (London, 1908) pp. 23-24. British History Online [accessed 1 March 2024]

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Hauckle, Haveskle, Hauekleghe (xiii and xiv cent.)

The parish of Hawkley, covering an area of about 1,447 acres, lies on the slope of high ground stretching north and south between Noar Hill and Westham Hill. The houses of the village are very scattered, but lie for the most part on the west of the parish, near the church and vicarage. The main road through the parish starts at Lower Green, where roads from Newton Valence and Empshott meet, and stretches uphill for about a quarter of a mile.

About half-way up the hill is a small pond on the left and the postman's hut. At the cross roads at the top of the hill the branch to the right leads by a small pond, some farm buildings and small cottages, to the vicarage on the right and the church on the left. This part of the village, which is called Upper Green, includes the oldest group of cottages.

The National school, which is now being pulled down, stands at the churchyard gate.

On a small cottage at Lower Green, which was originally the mill house of Hawkley mill, is a tablet put up by the late J. J. Maberly of Hawkley Hurst, stating that this was the ancient mill of the bishops of Winchester, was taken from them by Adam Gurdon, given back by Edward I 1280, (fn. 1) burnt down and rebuilt in 1774, (fn. 2) and used as a cottage from 1882. In 1564 it was purchased by Thomas Stempe, warden of Winchester College, (fn. 3) and belonged to the college from that date. The stream at the back of the house, which is part of the River Rother, originally drove the overshot wheel of the mill.

Hawkley Hurst, the seat of Mr. Neale Black, stands on ground about 300 ft. high, looking out over a wide expanse of woodland country. Further south-east, below Lower Barn Copse, are Scotland's Farm and Farewell Farm, and further west, almost south of the village, are Combe Hanger and Cheesecombe Farm. Hawkley Hanger, although locally without the parish on the north-western border line, seems to be generally looked on as part of Hawkley. Gilbert White describes how in 1774 a great part of 'the great woody Hanger at Hawkley was torn from its place and fell down, leaving a high freestone cliff naked and bare, and resembling the steep cliff of a chalk pit.' From this cliff a splendid view of the range of the South Downs and much of the Wealden Valley can be obtained. The part of the Hanger nearest the village is known locally as Furry Hill.

The chief crops are ordinary cereals, and fields of oats and barley and wheat are only occasionally intercepted by hopfields. There are 389¼ acres of arable land in the parish, 460¼ of pasture land, and 124 of woodland. (fn. 4)


The manor of HAWKLEY, if it was ever a manor, seems to have no definite history until the thirteenth century. Probably it was originally part of the manor of Newton Valence, and passed with Newton among the lands of Robert de Pont de l'Arche to William de Valence in 1249. (fn. 5) It was definitely mentioned in the grant made by William de Pont de l'Arche, brother and heir of Robert, to William de Valence in 1252 as the hamlet of 'Haveksle,' (fn. 6) and in the royal grant confirmatory of the former made in the same year as the manor of 'Hauekel.' (fn. 7) In answer to a writ of Quo Warranto, brought against him in 1280, William de Valence pleaded for his tenants of the manor of Hawkley, as for his men of Newton Valence, that by the charter of Henry III they were quit of suit at shire and hundred court, and that no sheriff should enter the manor for view of frankpledge. (fn. 8) Aymer de Valence, the heir of William, died seised of 'one messuage and 2 carucates of land in Hawkley' in 1324, (fn. 9) and these passed as 'certain lands in Hawkley' to Laurence de Hastings, (fn. 10) son and heir of John de Hastings, and grandson of the John de Hastings who had married Isabel, sister and coheiress of Aymer de Valence (see Newton Valence and Oakhanger). During the minority of Laurence the so-called manor was in the king's hands, and in 1331 he granted the custody of 'certain lands and tenements with appurtenances in Hawkley' to the prior of Selborne and Richard de Bromley during the royal pleasure. (fn. 11) Before 1334 the custody had been granted to Hugh de St. John 'in part satisfaction of certain debts which the king owed him,' but in that year it was granted to the bishop of Winchester. (fn. 12) Henry de Eston, on his death in 1332, (fn. 13) held these lands in Hawkley, extended at one messuage, a dovecote, and 72 acres of land, with remainder to his heirs. He held them 'of the heir of Aymer de Valence as of the manor of Newton Valence in the king's hands by reason of the minority of Laurence,' and by service of the eighth part of a knight's fee, and by doing suit at the court of the manor from three weeks to three weeks and rendering 25s. 4d. yearly to the manor. The same Henry held in his demesne as of fee 'a virgate of land containing 30 acres of the heir, as of the said manor by the service of 10s. yearly for all service.' (fn. 14)

In 1339, when Laurence de Hastings was of age, he obtained licence to enfeoff Thomas West of his lands in Hawkley (fn. 15) (see also Oakhanger and Newton Valence). The latter died seised of the same in 1379, when Hawkley passed presumably to his heirs, for although there is no mention of it in any of the later inquisitions, it was undoubtedly included with Newton Valence as owing suit to the latter.


The church of ST. PETER and ST. PAUL, standing back from the road at the westernmost part of the village, was entirely rebuilt in 1861 on the site of the old church, which was low-roofed and picturesque like that still existing at Priors Dean close by. It consists of chancel with north chapel and south vestry and organ chamber, nave of three bays with aisles, and west tower with gabled walls and a wooden spire. The style is an adaptation of Romanesque, and the church contains no ancient fittings but the font, of Purbeck marble with a square bowl on a round shaft, formerly surrounded by four angle shafts, the bases of which alone remain. It dates from c. 1190–1200.

In the south wall of the chancel is a fifteenth-century alabaster panel of English work, with the betrayal of Christ by Judas. It came from the old church, and was once doubtless part of the reredos of an altar; the background is gilt, with white spots.

The earliest parish register at Hawkley dates from 1797 to 1812. A mixed Hawkley register, dating from 1640 to 1797, is kept at Newton Valence, and before that date the entries were made in the Newton Valence registers.

The plate consists of two silver chalices (one 1861, the other undated), one silver ciborium dated 1903, one pewter paten cover, three patens (one silver, 1861, one pewter, and one electro-plated), and two glass flagons.


The chapel of Hawkley was annexed to and subservient to the church of Newton Valence at least as early as 1291, when the entry 'Ecclesia de Niwenton cum capella' undoubtedly meant the church of Newton with the chapel of Hawkley. (fn. 16) In a composition made about 1364 between the rector and vicar of Newton Valence, the vicar was to have all obventions from the church of Newton and the chapel of Hawkley 'ab eadem ecclesia dependenti.' (fn. 17) Hence the advowson of Hawkley passed with that of Newton Valence to the monastery of Edington, thence to the lords of Newton Valence, until they sold it in the early nineteenth century.

Mr. James Maberly of Hawkley Hurst endowed Hawkley with a separate living, and it was finally severed from Newton Valence in 1860. The advowson then passed to the Maberly family and is held by them at the present day.


  • 1. See Gilbert White, Antiq. of Selborne, Letter x.
  • 2. There is another tablet on the cottage W.R.M. 1774.
  • 3. Kirby, Annals of Win. Coll. 280.
  • 4. Statistics from the Board of Agriculture (1905).
  • 5. Cal. Chart. R. 1226–57, p. 339.
  • 6. Ibid. 402.
  • 7. Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), 71. Unfortunately the membrane to which the calendar refers is missing from the charter roll itself, i.e. Chart. R. 36 Hen. III, m. 1.
  • 8. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 765.
  • 9. Inq. p. m. 17 Edw. II, No. 75.
  • 10. Cal. Close, 1323–7, p. 360.
  • 11. Rot. Orig. (Rec. Com.), ii, 51.
  • 12. Cal. Close. 1333–7, p. 258.
  • 13. Inq. p. m. 6 Edw. III(1st Nos.), No. 58.
  • 14. Cal. Close, 1330–3, p. 446.
  • 15. Cal. Pat. 1338–40, p. 395.
  • 16. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 210.
  • 17. Lansd. MS. 442, fol. 239.