Downton, Hampshire

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Downton
Downton, The Royal Oak - geograph.org.uk - 1099367.jpg
Downton, The Royal Oak
Downton is located in Hampshire
Downton
Downton
 Downton shown within Hampshire
OS grid reference SZ2693
Civil parish Hordle
District New Forest
Shire county Hampshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LYMINGTON
Postcode district SO41
Police Hampshire
Fire Hampshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament New Forest West
List of places
UK
England
Hampshire

Coordinates: 50°44′N 1°37′W / 50.74°N 01.62°W / 50.74; -01.62

Downton is a hamlet in Hampshire, England situated - mostly - around a crossroads on the A337 road where the road from Lymington to New Milton intersects with the road from the original settlement of Hordle northwards. It is mostly in the parish of Hordle, although most of the population live in the part that is in the parish of Milford. Part of the Green belt, its population is static.[1]

History[edit]

Downton is first mentioned in the Pipe rolls for 1160 as a 'new place'.[2] The name is first recorded as Dunchinton although more commonly Donketon and Coates states that this is most likely derived from Dunneca's farm or otherwise from *OE dunnocatu-n (farm of hedge sparrows).[3] In 1263 the estate seems to have belonged to Thomas de Orweye although, by 1397, it had expanded to include part of Everton in Milford.[4] After c. 1500 the manor became part of the extensive possessions of the Milles family of Southampton, builders of Hurst Castle. The manor was purchased at end of the 18th century by Sir William Cornwallis (with adjoining manors in Milford) whose heir, Anne Whitby was the grandmother of Col. William Cornwallis-West.[4] His son George Cornwallis-West went bankrupt around 1920 and the estate was sold. The western part, owned by the Ashley Clinton family, was sold a few years later although the planned large scale development was prevented.

Piecemeal house building followed for the next few decades. Before the 1980s, the A337 road west of Downton made six sharp turns,[5] but the road has since been straightened.

The region has always been one of dispersed settlement although, with its forge and the inn known as The Royal Oak,[4] Downton provided one centre for the provision of services in Hordle. Whilst the inn remains, today the adjacent businesses are car-related. In 2009 permission was granted for gravel extraction on a nearby site, despite opposition from local residents.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hordle, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72, at visionofbritain.org
  2. ^ Pipe Rolls 11 Henry II
  3. ^ R. Coates, Place names of Hampshire, 19
  4. ^ a b c "Hordle". A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5 (1912). Retrieved 2010-12-27. 
  5. ^ See the 1940s Ordnance Survey Popular Edition map for an example of the old road layout
  6. ^ Group gives up fight to stop gravel pit bid, Southern Daily Echo, 13 December 2009