Hermitage shown within Berkshire
|Unitary authority||West Berkshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Hermitage is a village and civil parish, near to Newbury, in the English county of Berkshire. The civil parish is made up of a number of settlements: Hermitage village, Little Hungerford and Wellhouse, in 2003 these consisted of some 1,154 people in 444 houses, although the population is nearer 2,000 now (2010) in 770 houses.
The village sits on the B4009, 5 miles (8.0 km) north east of Newbury in the heart of the North Wessex Downs, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is thus surrounded by beautiful woodlands and undulating countryside providing panoramic views.
Hermitage is well placed for access by car to almost anywhere in the country. There is easy access to the M4, which links Wales to London, and the A34 which is a main transport artery from the North to the South of the United Kingdom. Until the 1960s the village was served by Hermitage railway station on the Western Region of British Railways. The station was originally operated by the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway. From 18 February 2013, Hermitage is served by Newbury and District bus services 6 and 6A from Newbury.
It has a general store and post office, a butcher, a church (Holy Trinity) and two public houses (The Fox and The White Horse of Hermitage). There is a large garden centre with a cafe, bonsai shop, pool & spa concession and lawnmower centre. The village primary school enjoys an excellent reputation and feeds into the Downs School. The area is predominantly agricultural and the main local employers are the village school, village pre-school, the garden centre and a small light industrial unit housing several small businesses. In addition, there is the Royal School of Military Survey at Denison Barracks housing a small garrison of troops and their families. However, though generally referred to as being in Hermitage, it is actually just across the border in the Curridge area of Chieveley parish.
On Oare Common are two curvilinear ditched enclosures which are probably of prehistoric date, although it has also been suggests that they may represent a motte and bailey castle. The hill fort of Grimsbury Castle is in Grimsbury Wood. A folly stands at its centre. A 2nd and 3rd century Roman villa of some pretentions was discovered at Wellhouse in Victorian times. Between 1917 and 1918 D. H. Lawrence lived in Hermitage. Hermitage railway station was formerly situated on a line between Didcot, Newbury and Southampton. But the line was closed in 1962.
As of 2008, two new developments have recently been completed to north and south of the village. The new area to the north was developed by Miller Homes (Forest Edge) and Bryant Homes (Bryant at Hermitage). The new area to the south, Hermitage Green, was developed by Banner Homes.
- West Berkshire Council: Parish Statistics Retrieved 21 November 2010
- Online exhibitions - The University of Nottingham. Nottingham.ac.uk. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
- Hermitage Green
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