From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Damerham, half-timbered cottages - geograph.org.uk - 1484981.jpg
Damerham is located in Hampshire
Location within Hampshire
Population519 [1]
508 (2011 Census including Lopshill and Lower Daggons)[2]
OS grid referenceSU103160
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtSP6
Dialling code01725
AmbulanceSouth Central
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°56′38″N 1°51′13″W / 50.94378°N 1.85373°W / 50.94378; -1.85373Coordinates: 50°56′38″N 1°51′13″W / 50.94378°N 1.85373°W / 50.94378; -1.85373

Damerham is a village and civil parish in Hampshire, England, located near to Fordingbridge. As well as being the location of notable Neolithic and Bronze Age barrows, Damerham was an important Anglo-Saxon manor mentioned in the will of Alfred the Great. By the time of the Domesday Book of 1086, Damerham was a major settlement in the possession of Glastonbury Abbey. Today Damerham is a rural village on the River Allen.


Situated north west of Fordingbridge and close to the Dorset border, Damerham is located on the River Allen.[3] Damerham contains a mixture of cottages, with a riverside mill and a Norman church.[3] Settled since Saxon times, Damerham is said to be the birthplace of Æthelflæd, wife of Edmund I.[3]

Adam of Damerham (13th century), the author of Historia de Rebus gestis Glastoniensibus, was a native of Damerham.[4] Damerham was once in Wiltshire, but was transferred in 1895 to Hampshire.[4]

The village gave its name to a Ham class minesweeper, HMS Damerham.


Will of Alfred the Great, AD 873–888, mentions Domrahamme (11th-century copy, British Library Stowe MS 944, ff. 29v–33r)[5]
River Allen at Damerham
St George's Church
The churchyard
The Compasses inn

Damerham is the site of a prehistoric complex including two 6,000-year-old tombs representing some of the earliest monuments built in Britain.[6] It was discovered by a team led by Dr. Helen Wickstead, a Kingston University archaeologist. These were previously undiscovered Neolithic tombs known as long barrows.[6][7]

Another earthwork, Soldiers Ring, situated on a crest in an area of Celtic fields, is thought to be a Romano-British cattle enclosure.[8]

Damerham was an ancient demesne of the Saxon kings and was mentioned in the will of Alfred the Great, who desired that his men of Damerham should be free.[4] In 940–6 Edmund I granted a hundred mansae at Damerham with Martin and Pentridge to his queen, Æthelflæd.[4] Damerham may have been the birthplace of Æthelflæd.[3] Æthelflæd bequeathed Damerham to Glastonbury Abbey when she died in the late 10th century.[9]

In the time of the Domesday Book, 1086, Damerham was a large settlement of 80 households.[10] Glastonbury Abbey still held the manor, which remained with the abbey until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.[4] It then passed to the Crown, and in 1540 Henry VIII leased part of the demesne land and certain farms belonging to the manor for 21 years to Richard Snell – these premises were in 1608 granted to Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, and remained with his descendants.[4] In 1544 Henry VIII granted the manor of Damerham to his sixth wife, Catherine Parr, but it passed back to the Crown on her death in 1548.[4] In 1575 Elizabeth I granted it to the Bishop of Salisbury, and, except for the temporary sale by Parliament to William Lytton in 1649, it remained in the possession of successive bishops until 1863.[4]

Another important manor was the manor of Little Damerham which was owned by Glastonbury Abbey.[4] Glastonbury Abbey also held lands in the manors of Hyde and Stapleham.[4] Some of these lands were also held by Cranborne Priory, and Tewkesbury Abbey, to which Cranborne Priory was a cell.[4] The hide at Lopshill (Lopushale) is mentioned as within the boundaries of the manor of Damerham in 940–6; it is now Lopshill Farm, in the south of the parish.[4]

The Domesday Book records four mills at Damerham.[10] One was given to Geoffrey Fitz-Ellis by John, Abbot of Glastonbury (1274–90).[4] In 1326 Henry Dotenel released to the Abbot of Glastonbury all his claim in a water-mill called Weremulle in Damerham.[4] In the survey of the manor taken in 1518 a water-mill called Lytellmyle is mentioned.[4] This mill probably stood near Littlemill Bridge at North End, but it has now disappeared.[4] In 1608 "all the water-mills of Damerham" were granted to Robert Earl of Salisbury.[4] The only mill now in existence in the parish is Damerham Mill in the village on the River Allen.[4]

Damerham Park is mentioned in 1226–7 and in 1283, and at the latter date it contained deer.[4] In 1518 the park, which contained 125 acres of wood, was divided into three coppices, Edmundshay, Middle Coppis, and Drakenorth Coppis.[4] It was apparently disparked before 1540.[4]

The church of Saint George dates from the Norman period.[3] The earliest parts are the lower part of the tower and the north aisle (12th century).[4] In the 13th century the chancel was seemingly rebuilt and a south aisle added to the nave.[4] The tower was nearly rebuilt around this time. The 12th-century north aisle and transept were probably pulled down in the 15th century and the existing aisle substituted.[4] The church has some rare features, including a canonical sundial and a relief of Saint George.[3]

In 1830 the manor-house (West Park House) was attacked by the rioters against the introduction of machinery (Swing riots) and several people were captured and sent to Winchester.[4] One quarter of the village burned down in the "Great Fire" of 1863, but the damage was soon repaired owing to the exertions of the vicar William Owen.[4][11]


  1. ^ "2001 Census Neighbourhood Statistics – Civil Parishes in the New Forest". www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hampshire Treasures – Damerham, page 73
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Victoria County History, (1912), A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5, Pages 586–591
  5. ^ Charter S 1507 at the Electronic Sawyer
  6. ^ a b Neolithic Age: Prehistoric Complex Including Two 6,000-year-old Tombs Discovered In Britain
  7. ^ Huge Pre-Stonehenge Complex Found via "Crop Circles" James Owen, National Geographic News, 15 June 2009
  8. ^ Hampshire Treasures – Damerham, page 76
  9. ^ Will of Æthelflæd, at www.anglo-saxons.net
  10. ^ a b Domesday Map – Damerham
  11. ^ History Archived 19 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine, www.damerham.net

External links[edit]