Hampstead Norreys

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Coordinates: 51°29′02″N 1°14′25″W / 51.483794°N 1.240184°W / 51.483794; -1.240184

Hampstead Norreys
Hampstead Norreys.JPG
Church Road (part of the B4009) to the east of the village
Hampstead Norreys is located in Berkshire
Hampstead Norreys
Hampstead Norreys
 Hampstead Norreys shown within Berkshire
Population 748 (2001)
OS grid reference SU528763
Civil parish Hampstead Norreys
Unitary authority West Berkshire
Ceremonial county Berkshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NEWBURY
Postcode district RG18
Dialling code 01635
Police Thames Valley
Fire Royal Berkshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Newbury
List of places
UK
England
Berkshire
Parish Church

Hampstead Norreys (alternatively spelt Hampstead Norris) is a village and civil parish in Berkshire, England. It is situated at grid reference SU528763 on the River Pang, north of Newbury. Hampstead Norreys was awarded Berkshire's best kept village in 1979. As well as Hampstead Norreys itself, the parish includes the hamlets of Bothampstead, Eling and Wyld Court. Hampstead Norreys has a large recreational field [Dean Meadow] that is used for fetes, parties and mainly the village football and cricket teams. Along with these the School uses the field for activities.

The Living Rainforest[edit]

Wyld Court is home to The Living Rainforest, an indoor glass house tropical rainforest with plants, animals and butterflies. It is an ecological centre, an educational centre and a visitor attraction.

Historic buildings[edit]

The Village was recorded in the Domesday Book as Hanstede.[1] The village is noted for its Norman parish church and the remains of a Norman motte-and-bailey castle in the nearby woods.

Aviation[edit]

World War II[edit]

The village was close to the wartime airfield of RAF Hampstead Norris, an RAF Bomber Command Operational Training Unit (OTU) station. The airfield was host to a small number of squadrons of Wellington bombers. The site was bombed on September 16, 1940 by the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. In 1945, the station was used by squadrons of Mosquito fighter bombers and became an ammunition storage depot as part of the Bramley Central Ammunition Depot near Basingstoke after its closure in 1946. Little of the wartime station now remains. There are four remaining pillboxes around where the airfield was and a few air raid shelters in the woods. Part of the bomb storage site remains also.

Today[edit]

The site still maintains a modern link with aviation with a farm strip used by a Tiger Moth biplane. It is now known as Haw Farm, part of the Yattendon Estate. An impression of the old runway layout of RAF Hampstead Norris can still be seen from the air. On the edge of the airfield perimeter track is a light beacon and an important VOR beacon known as Compton (CPT), named after the nearby village, which is used as a primary navigational aid for airway routes between European airports such as Heathrow airport and North America.

Education[edit]

Hampstead Norreys has a small rural primary school which has served the community for over 150 years.

Transport[edit]

Hampstead Norris railway station on the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway served Hampstead Norreys until it closed in 1962. From 18 February 2013, Hampstead Norreys is served by Newbury and District bus services 6 and 6A from Newbury.[2]

Sport and leisure[edit]

The 'Dean Field' is the local park in Hampstead Norreys. It contains a football and cricket pitch and a children's play area. On the north side of the field is Hampstead Norreys Village Hall. It is considerably larger than the village halls in surrounding villages. On the south side is Eling estate, a large wooded area (consisting of Park Wood, Westbrook Copse, Down Wood and Elingpark Copse) backed by a path which is what remains of the old Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway running between Hermitage and Compton, the two nearest villages.

References[edit]

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