A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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Froxafeld (x cent.).
Froxfield is a parish of irregular shape containing several small groups of houses, the principal settlement being at Froxfield Green, where the old church formerly stood. Petersfield station on the London and South-Western Railway is about four miles from the Green, and reached from it by the road (fn. 1) which winds up the steep wooded slopes of Stoner Hill, reaching a height of over 750 ft. above sea level at the eastern boundary of the parish. This road runs north-west through the north of the parish, its highest point being 807 ft., and from it and the branch road leading to the Green fine views can be obtained over the valleys in which Petersfield, East Meon, West Meon, and the other villages lie. Beyond rise Teglease Down, Chidden Down, Wether Down, Oxenbourn Down, Butser Hill, and Ramsdean Down, and on a clear day the sea is distinctly visible. An earthwork or vallum which runs through the parish from south-east to north-west is supposed to have formed part of the boundary of the kingdoms of Wessex and Sussex, and a Roman encampment in the south of the parish in which several interesting remains have been discovered proves that there were settlers here at an early date. Froxfield Green, which is in the south of the parish at the junction of roads from High Cross, Stoner Hill, and Bordean, consists of a small triangular green round which are clustered several cottages and farms, a smithy, some old-fashioned houses of the better sort, one of them being the schoolhouse endowed by Mr. Robert Love in 1733, a post office and general shop, a reading-room, and the little church of St. Peter-on-the-Green. This was built in 1887 on the site of the chancel of the old church, which was pulled down, the expense being borne by Mr. William Nicholson, D.L., J.P., of Basing Park. At High Cross, about a mile north-east of the Green, stands the church of St. Peter-at-High-Cross, erected in 1862, Mr. John Silvester of The Slade presenting the site. Opposite to it are the schools which were built in 1876 and the vicarage, while a little to the east, on the north of the road leading to Week Green, is The Slade, the residence of Mr. John Silvester. The Trooper Inn, the police-station, and a general shop lie near each other in the east of the parish a little to the north of Week Green Farm, along the main road from Petersfield to Ropley. To the east, at the corner of Honeycritch Lane and Old Litten Lane, is a small Wesleyan chapel which was opened in September, 1851. A mission chapel with a reading-room attached has recently been erected by Mr. William Nicholson at Warren Corner in the north of the parish.
Basing Park, the seat of Mr. William Nicholson, lies in the north-western extremity of the parish, and extends into the neighbouring parishes of Colemore and Privett. The park is very richly wooded, and covers an area of 450 acres. The house, which is modern, is approached from the main road by an avenue of pines. Broadhanger, formerly the property of the Greenwood family and at present the residence of Mr. Reginald Montgomerie Caulfield, is on high ground between Stoner and Bordean Hills, and looks down upon the hanging woods of oak, ash, and chestnut which sweep down into the vale of Langrish. Oakshott, in the extreme north-east of the parish, was formerly a tithing of East Meon, as also was Week Green near Stoner Hill.
The area of the parish is 4,909 acres, including 2,847½ acres of arable land, 1,240¼ acres of permanent grass, and 471¾ acres of woods and plantations. (fn. 2) In 1680 there were the following common-lands in the parish of Froxfield—The Barnett, Ring's Green, Wheatham Hill, Staples Down, Old Litten, Stoner Hill, and Broadway—altogether covering an area of 723 acres 2 roods 6 poles. (fn. 3) Barnett Common was inclosed in 1805. (fn. 4) The principal landowners are Mr. William Nicholson and Mr. John Silvester, but much of the land is freehold. The soil varies from a stiff clay to a light vegetable loam, and the subsoil is chalk; the chief crops being wheat, barley, and oats. Among place-names occurring in a survey of the parish made in the seventeenth century are Pikes, Holehouse and Rutters in Froxfield tithing, Ruddlecombe, Hewet's Garden, Great and Little Hatchersnap and Hatchersnap Wood, Chesscombes and Old Lytten (fn. 5) in Oakshott tithing, Treddles, Mary Crosse and Burie Wood in Week tithing, and Basinges (fn. 6) in Longhurst tithing.
The first mention of FROXFIELD is in the tenth century, when the alderman Ælfeah left land at Froxfield to Ælfwine his sister's son. (fn. 7) It is not mentioned in Domesday Book by name, and it is probably included in the entry under 'Menes,' (fn. 8) as in after times most certainly it formed part of the great episcopal manor of East Meon. (fn. 9)
In a rent-roll of the manor of East Meon for the year 1567 John Love is mentioned as holding a messuage and lands called 'Basings' in the tithing of Longhurst by the yearly rent of 17s. 10d., two churchetts and two harvest-days. (fn. 10) This seems to be one of the earliest mentions of the estate, which in later times came to be called Basing Park. It was held by the Loves of Froxfield for over two centuries, (fn. 11) and there are frequent mentions of them in connexion with their property in the court rolls of East Meon. For instance, in a court roll of 1675 occurs the entry that Richard Love came to the court and surrendered into the hands of his lord Basing Woods in the tithing of Longhurst. (fn. 12) On Richard's death in 1690 Basing passed to his son Robert, who by will left £1,000 for the founding of the free school which still stands by Froxfield Green with the inscription 'The gift of Robert Love 1733.' Robert was succeeded by his nephew Richard, whose daughter and sole heiress Susannah married Francis Beckford. (fn. 13) From the latter's son and heir Francis Love-Beckford Basing Park passed by sale to Joseph Martineau, on whose death in 1863 it was sold to Mr. William Nicholson, the present owner.
The church of ST. PETER-ATHIGH-CROSS dates from 1862, three bays of the nave arcade of the old church which was at Froxfield Green being re-used in it. It has a chancel of two bays with an organ chamber on the north, a nave with north aisle and south-west tower, the ground story of which serves as an entrance porch. Three pillars in the north arcade are of late twelfth-century date, with round shafts and scalloped capitals, but their bases and all the rest of the arcade are modern. In the vestry at the west end of the north aisle is an eighteenth-century altar table, but no other fittings from the old church have been preserved.
In the tower are six bells, the treble and tenor of 1880, the others of 1890, by Mears & Stainbank. The little church of St. Peter on the Green, which stands on the site of the old church, was built in 1887, and contains no old work.
The plate consists of a silver communion cup and cover paten, a paten given by Robert Love of Basing, 1712, a cup and flagon given by Josephine Martineau in 1862, and a paten given by A. Z. Hosegood, 1893. There are also two pewter almsdishes and one of brass.
The registers begin in 1545, the first book ending in 1676, while the second contains baptisms 1693– 1716, marriages 1677–1707, and burials 1677–1716. The third has baptisms 1717–87, marriages 1718–54, and burials 1694–1787. The fourth is the marriage register, 1754–93, the fifth has baptisms and burials 1788–1812, and the sixth marriages 1793–1812.
The living of Froxfield was a vicarage annexed to the vicarage of East Meon (fn. 14) until 11 March, 1881, in which year by an Order in Council the patronage was transferred to Mr. William Nicholson, of Basing Park, (fn. 15) with whom it still remains.