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At the top of the High Street is the Church of St Peter and St Paul. It is outwardly 13th century with a 15th century porch and late 18th century tower but with an almost entire 11th century Saxon church within. It is the oldest standing building in the village. The yew tree in the churchyard is about 950 years old. Further information on the Church is contained in John Goldsmith's book Hambledon which is available from Clark's, Lott's Stores and other booksellers in the surrounding area. A leaflet on the Church is available.

To celebrate the beginning of the third millennium of the Christian faith, a small chapel has been created within the church. An altar has been fashioned together with a sculptured crucifix. A commemorative slab has been put in the floor with an inscription which reads "To mark the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ MM and the third millennium of the Christian faith"

Notable Houses and Streets

The High Street leading from The People's Market up to the Church is a veritable treasure of history. Although now almost entirely residential, it has in recent times contained a grocer's shop, tea room, two butchers' shops and, in earlier times, a saddler, a public house and a private school. Many of the houses are timber framed dating from 1600 or earlier. Some have been given more modern fronts in later years as is common in many houses in the village.

West Street, contains houses from every period from about 1200 to the present day. Manor Farm, on the south side just past the Post Office and Bank is a rare example of a manor house of about 1200 in stone and flint. The north wing in timber framing was added in the 16th century and has been altered many times.

Almost opposite the farm buildings is The New Inn which ceased trading in May 2000. Further down on the same side is Minna Bluff, a brick-built detached house, notable for its association rather than architecture. It was built in 1932 by William Lashly who had accompanied Captain Scott on his two expeditions to Antarctica. It was named after a promontory not far from Scott Base to the west of which lie the Lashly Mountains. He was born and brought up in Hambledon before entering the Royal Navy in 1889 as a stoker. William Lashly is commemorated in the village at Lashly Meadow, a recent housing association development, a few hundred yards up Green Lane, the B2150 road to Droxford. From Minna Bluff it is a short step to The Vine Inn beside the Village Hall built in 1982.

Further down West Street (the B2150 from the junction with Green Lane), just beyond Lotts General Store and Tea Room, at the bottom of Cams Hill, the imposing Bury Lodge can be seen to the east above the main road. Built in the early 19th century, it has some fine knapped flintwork. Behind it lies the site of a Roman building.

Running north east from the centre of the village, East Street, starts at George House, an 18th century coaching house with a stable yard virtually untouched and a very good wrought-iron bracket for its sign. Here the old Cricket Club held its annual dinners in the 18th century. The Hambledon Hunt Balls were held here in the 19th century. Over the centuries the coach left daily to catch the Portsmouth to London stage-coach near Petersfield. The old George Hotel has been refurbished as residential units. Opposite, the row of houses as far as the old Bakery were all re-built on the site of earlier houses destroyed in a fire in 1726. Many frontages have been added to earlier houses along East Street. Just as one leaves the village, the Vineyard can be seen on the slopes of Mill Down.

Alongside George House, Speltham Hill lane leads to Speltham Down, with access to the National Trust land on the right. Several interesting houses starting with the large ones at the bottom front onto the lane which leads up to a modern house at the top on the site of an old windmill.

Further descriptions of houses in the village are in the booklet "Hambledon Guide & Walks" available from Clark's - The Peoples Market price 75p.

Hambledon Vineyard

Hambledon Vineyard, the first commercial vineyard in England since the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in 1537, is no longer open to the public, but the wine currently produced can be purchased at The Peoples Market, the village grocer at ?5.95 per bottle.

The 1995 Fum? was carefully aged in oak barrels in the traditional way to produce a delicate balance of fruit and oak. Although there were thirty eight English vineyards listed in the Domesday Book, the tiny English wine industry expired during World War I. By planting vines in the field below their house Mill Down in 1951, Sir Guy and Lady Salisbury-Jones led the revival of English wine production. Now, the gentle south-facing slope in front of Mill Down, the chalky soil, and the Pinot Meunier grape variety imported from the Champagne region, produce a dry white wine. Aggressive pruning practices have reduced yields, but have enhanced the character of the wine. Mill Down and the Vineyard changed hands in 1999. It is now owned by Hazel and Ian Kellett. The Kelletts lease the whole wine-making operation to the local viticulturalist Peter Crabtree and he takes on the risk of the enterprise. Peter is introducing two new varieties of grape this year, the Rondo and the Dornfelder which are both red grapes. Last year Peter got about 3 tons of the Pinot Meunier grape from the vines. He sold all these to the Wickham Vineyard where the wine is manufactured. When the leases expire, the Kelletts intend to extend the acreage of vines planted and to resume wine production under the Hambledon label. The new grape varieties being planted will significantly change the character of the wine. The labels on the bottles have always carried the symbol of the old curved cricket bats, a good reminder of the association between Hambledon, Cricket and Wine. Hambledon wine has been sold and served throughout Britain, in many embassies abroad, on board the QE2, and even in France, Germany and the USA. When did you last taste how good it is?

Gardens open to the Public

The following garden is open for Charity under the National Gardens Scheme.

See details in the directory/places to visit

Hambledon House East Street. In the village centre behind George House. Approximately 2 acres partly walled plantsman's garden. Large borders filled with wide variety of unusual shrubs and plants. Hidden, secluded areas reveal surprise views of garden and village rooftops. Teas available; plants for sale; dogs not admitted except guide dogs which must remain on a lead. 

Local Walks and Scenic Views

There are many attractive walks in and around Hambledon affording pleasing views of the village from the surrounding downlands including Speltham Down. There are several suggested walks varying from 1 to 10 miles in the booklet 'Hambledon Guide & Walks' available from The Peoples Market price 75p. For details of the short walks around the village visit the Local Walks page. See also Village Walks on the Clubs and Groups page.

The Wayfarers Walk from Emsworth to Inkpen Beacon (about 70 miles) passes through the village. A leaflet, published by Hampshire County Council in 1996, is available. Tel: 01962 870500.

See Spotlight section for details of a local walk.

Speltham Down

Opposite the High Street, Speltham Hill leaves the main road to the south-east and winds up past Speltham Down. From the upper reaches excellent views of the whole village can be seen. In 1984 these rolling fields were due to be sold. An appeal was launched and by public subscription the down was bought by the village and the National Trust who now own and manage it. It is one of the few chalk downs owned by the Trust. The wild flowers are a delight. Cowslips are followed by carpets of buttercups with clover and ox-eye daisies galore, then the orchids - Common Spotted, Bee, Pyramidal, Common Twayblade and Greater Butterfly - bud and bloom in their turn. The Wayfarers Walk crosses Speltham Down on its route through the centre of the village.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 April 2012 )