Cities, towns, and villages
Hampshire’s is Winchester, a historic city that was once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Wessex and of England until the Norman Conquest of England. The port cities of Southampton and Portsmouth were split off as independent unitary authorities in 1997, although they are still included in Hampshire for ceremonial purposes. Fareham, Gosport and Havant have grown into a conurbation that stretches along the coast between the two main cities. The three cities are all university cities, Southampton being home to the University of Southampton and Southampton Solent University (formerly Southampton Institute), Portsmouth to the University of Portsmouth and Winchester to the University of Winchester (formerly known as University College Winchester; King Alfred’s College).The northeast of the county houses the Blackwater Valley conurbation which includes the towns of Farnborough, Aldershot, Blackwater and Yateley and borders both Berkshire and Surrey.
Hampshire lies outside the green belt area of restricted development around London but has good railway and motorway links to the capital and, in common with the rest of the south-east, has seen the growth of dormitory towns since the 1960s. Basingstoke, in the north of the county, has grown from a country town into a business and finance centre. Aldershot, Portsmouth and Farnborough have strong military associations with the Army, Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force respectively. The county also includes several market towns:Alresford, Alton, Andover, Bishops Waltham, Lymington, New Milton, Petersfield, Ringwood, Totton and Eling, Romsey and Whitchurch.
Welcome to West Meon
This Hampshire village has a history dating back to the Iron and Bronze Ages. Evidence of the Meonwara tribe living in this northern most part of the Meon Valley has been found locally. In Lippen Wood there are the remains of a substantial Roman Villa. The village features in the history of the English Civil War being near to Cheriton and the churchyard is the final resting place for some well known names of English history. Among them Thomas Lord the founder of Lord’s Cricket Ground, and another less celebrated figure from the 20th century, the spy Guy Burgess.
Today the village is a thriving community that despite its modest size maintains a village shop, cafe and Post Office, a butchers shop and two public houses. At the last census the population was 749. Residents support a variety of local clubs and organisations in the village while the Church of St John the Evangelist is a fine example of a flint knapped building that was designed by Gilbert Scott. In an extraordinary turn of events the design was copied and taken to New York where an exact replica was built as the Church of St. Thomas, Mamaroneck.
As well as a listing of local events you will find information on West Meon organisations and sports clubs. The history and environment sections are being developed to provide an archive of material on the less well known features of the village.