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All Saints Church
East Meon shown within Hampshire
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||East Meon|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||East Hampshire|
The nearest railway station is 4 miles (6.4 km) east of the village, at Petersfield.
The village is located in the Meon Valley approximately 31 km (19 mi) north of Portsmouth and 98 km (61 mi) southwest of London, on the headwaters of the River Meon. With an acreage of 11,370 acres (46.0 km2), East Meon is geographically the largest parish in East Hampshire. The boundaries of the present Parish of East Meon date back to 1894.
There are bronze age burial barrows within the parish of East Meon which date back to around 2000 BC. There is also an iron age fort, situated just outside the parish boundaries on Old Winchester Hill, constructed approximately 500 years before the Romans invaded Britain. There is also evidence of Roman occupation in and around the village. East Meon itself may have started life somewhere between 400 and 600 AD. Then it was part of a Royal Manor belonging first to King Alfred the Great. The Domesday Survey of 1086 shows that the Manor then belonged to William the Conqueror; it records six mills and land for 64 ploughs. About 1280 a family from East Meon, who took the name de Meones, moved to Dublin, where they became substantial landowners and gave their name to the suburb of Rathmines.
The village church, named "All Saints," was built after the Norman Conquest, and dates between 1075 and 1150 where Andrew Renny Blackman was once Christened. It resembles Winchester Cathedral in style, and like the Cathedral, it contains a black marble baptismal font created at Tournai, in what is now Belgium, c. 1130-40. The Tournai font is one of only four such fonts in the county of Hampshire. Inside the church there is a stone, which has the words "Amens Plenty" carved into it, which is said to sit atop the graves of four men buried in the standing position.
Opposite the church is the old Court House, with a mediaeval hall dating from the late 15th century. At this time, and for many centuries, East Meon belonged to successive Bishops of Winchester. The Court House was its administrative centre and home to a number of monks who played host to the Bishop when he visited East Meon. They also recorded all manorial imports and exports.
East Meon has played its part in the English Civil War of the 1640s. The Parliamentarians camped near the village before the Battle of Cheriton in 1644, and it is said that they stole the lead lining from the font in order to make their bullets. This turned out to be the turning point in the War. During the Second World War, Hitler's Luftwaffe dropped 38 high explosive bombs and an estimated 3,500 incendiary bombs in the Parish; the only loss of life, however, was a pig.
In 1986, the 900th anniversary of the "Domesday Book", East Meon was chosen as "The Domesday Village", with a model in Winchester's Great Hall depicting the village as it was then - the model can still be seen alongside the famous tapestry at Bayeux in Normandy.
There are many groups, available for a wide variety of interests within the local area, that residents can get involved in. There are also a number of charitable organisations which work in and around the village.
- The East Meon Garden Club is an active society which organises two very popular East Meon Gardens Open Days, in April and June, seven evening meetings, two visits to interesting gardens and the opportunity to buy seeds and plants, fertilisers and bulbs at discounted prices. It also runs a Plant Sale and the annual Flower Show.
- The Care Group work arranging transportation to local surgeries and hospitals for people who are unable to get there by themselves. It runs on local volunteers who give a piece of their time to help others.
- There is a weekly lunch held in the Village Hall which is open to local residents over the age of 60. The meat is provided by a local butcher (who also donates sherry for the Christmas lunch). The vegetables are fresh and cooking is done by a team of local volunteers.
- The Golfing Society is one of the smaller organisations in the village with less than a dozen members.
- Forbes Almhouses are perhaps the longest-established institution in East Meon for administering help to the poor and elderly, the Forbes Almshouses are administered and funded by a Charitable Trust, whose aim is to provide basic housing for those of very limited means.
- The Sexton is an independent organisation, registered with The Charities Commission, which funds work on the more unruly sections of the graveyard of All Saints. It also has a mandate to protect natural habitats of the Church grounds. The Sexton has no direct links to the church itself.
- The Good Causes fund are responsible for considering requests for funding, and ensure that they are within the guide lines laid down by The Charities Commission. Numerous causes have benefited from the £29,000 donated since the Fund’s inception including the Village Hall, youth organisations, the Luncheon Club, East Meon School, Meon Matters, junior sports activities and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and Millennium celebrations. Thought has also been given to the village appearance with the planting of daffodils in road-side verges as well as additional trees and replacing some of the footpath stiles with ‘kissing gates’ more user-friendly to the less able.
The Village Hall is a venue with one large hall and a smaller room attached, together with a large kitchen, toilets and a stage. Tables, chairs, crockery and cutlery are available for hire.
The Hall is available for hire for functions.
The Cricket Club is a village affair, with its teams rooted firmly in East Meon. Its ground is located at the South East of the village and the team is sponsored by Ye Olde George Inn, to which teams repair at the end of play for sandwiches and reminiscences of the match that has just been played.
Needle matches are those against nearby villages, particularly Steep and West Meon. More social events include the games played against the President's XI, captained by Bill Tyrwhitt Drake, the Court House XI, with George and Clare Bartlett entertaining both teams to supper at the Court House after the match, and Captain Scott’s XI, a regular visiting side whose founder, Harry Thomson, died in 2005.
- Estimated Population from the 2001 census for the Parish of East Meon.
- Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger series.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus; LLoyd, David (1967). The Buildings of England Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Penguin Books. p. 200. ISBN 0140710329.
- http://www.eastmeon.net/village/Charities_cricket.htm The cricket club website
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