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Greywell is a small village and civil parish in Hampshire, England – a past winner of the Best Kept Village in Hampshire competition and a recent winner of Best Small Village in Hampshire. It lies on the west bank of the River Whitewater, 6 miles east of Basingstoke and 1.5 miles west of Odiham. The area is popular with walkers and cyclists. Many photographers also take pictures of some of the local architecture. There are 29 Grade II listed buildings or entries in the area, and 2 Grade II* listed buildings. The nearby medieval Odiham Castle is of historical interest. At the centre of the village is the Fox and Goose public house.
The village was not recorded in the Domesday Book, possibly being considered part of the manor of Odiham. Becoming a separate manor in the 13th century, it was sold to Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, and the first Governor General of Canada in 1786, and has stayed in that family ever since.
Originally a Saxon hunting settlement, the village's economy is rooted in agriculture and more latterly timber, which flourished at the same time as the Basingstoke Canal. Built at the end of the 18th century, it runs through and under Greywell. However, the canal was never a commercial success and was soon overtaken by the advent of the railway; by the turn of the last century it had fallen into disuse. These days, agriculture remains the most important local industry, but most residents work elsewhere, commute to London or are retired.
Greywell Hill House
In the 17th century, Nateley and Greywell manors were owned by the Zouche family of Bramshill, then the Henley family. The 876 acres of Greywell Manor were bought in 1787 by Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, former Governor General of Quebec. Trustees who purchased the Manor for Guy Carleton described it as "A delightful spot... charming hills much woods, good water, a small river in the bottom with good Trout... the Farm buildings in most excellent condition."
There were three farms in the Manor, of which Grewell Farm was probably the least significant. An estate survey of 1788 shows the line of the tunnel for the Basingstoke Canal which crosses the north of the estate. The farm was tenanted, Guy Carleton choosing to live at Kempshott nearby and then in Middlesex. He died in 1808 and it was not until around 1824 when the farm had become a gentleman's residence that Arthur Henry Carleton, 2nd Lord Dorchester, finally moved in.
The Greenwood map, 1826, indicates that a formal garden has been started and it is clear that a gentleman's residence would have had pleasure grounds as well. The Tithe map of 1842 shows a mansion, approach drive, stable block, grounds and a surrounding park. The 1st edition OS maps show a partly walled kitchen garden as well as lawns and features such as a fountain and a pond. An old chalk pit to the east of the approach drive has become The Dell. Footpaths lead through the park and there has been much planting of trees in the parkland. An article in the Gardeners' Chronicle, 1907, indicates that the period 1870s – 1890s there was a great deal of planting both of plants and trees. A Dutch garden is described in what was originally the chalk pit (shown on early, old maps).
The title of Lord Dorchester became extinct in 1897, but Henrietta Anne Carleton (by then Mrs Leir-Carleton), daughter of the last Lord Dorchester, applied for reinstatement of the title, which was granted by Queen Victoria in 1899. Henrietta then became the 1st Baroness Dorchester. In its turn, this title became extinct in 1963 when Henrietta's son from her first marriage to Francis Paynton Pigott, died. However, their daughter had already married William James Harris, 6th Earl of Malmesbury. In 2000, William James Harris died and James Carleton Harris became 7th Earl of Malmesbury thus a direct heir of Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester. He is the current owner of Greywell Hill House.
St Mary's Church
Greywell's church, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, is an ancient structure of flint with stone quoins and dressings in the Norman and early English styles. It consists of a chancel, nave, porch and tower surmounted by wooden belfry containing four bells.
At the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086 it is thought that the Chapel of St.Mary, beside the Whitewater, was one of the two churches within the Manor of Odiham mentioned in the survey. The church is of Norman origin and was built in the 12th century.
Restored in 1870, it still boasts many old features, the most important of which is the early 16th century rood-screen, made of carved oak which before the restoration was used as a men's gallery with rood loft and circular stairs. The narrow 13th-century Early English chancel arch is also a prominent feature, while on the stonework to the left outside the church door there are visible remains of several consecration crosses dating back to the period of the Crusades. Church Cottage, beside the lych-gate on The Street, is believed to have been originally the priest's lodgings. St Mary's Church in Greywell is part of the United Parish of Newnham with Nately Scures with Mapledurwell with Up Nately with Greywell, which in turn is part of the North Hampshire Downs Benefice in the Church of England Diocese of Winchester.
The Basingstoke Canal runs underneath part of the village through a 1,230 yards (1,120 m) long tunnel which is now no longer navigable. It originally ran from Basingstoke to join the Wey Navigation, but today it is derelict or has been built over from its original terminus near Basingstoke town centre, and only starts to be navigable a mile or so to the east. It then runs towards North Warnborough, passing the ruins of Odiham Castle and through Odiham and Woking.
The canal was authorised by an Act of Parliament obtained in 1778. The route as originally planned was to be about 44 miles (71 km) long, running from Basingstoke to join the Wey and Godalming Navigations near Pyrford, with a large loop to the north to pass round Greywell Hill. Construction was delayed due to objections to the route from local landowners and the American Revolutionary War being in progress. Eventually a survey was made by William Jessop, and a contract awarded to John Pinkerton in 1788. He shortened the route to incorporate a tunnel through Greywell Hill, with its construction being subcontracted to Charles Jones, despite his having been dismissed by the Thames and Severn Canal company after failing to complete the Sapperton Tunnel. Construction of the canal and tunnel started later in 1788, and after some problems eventually opened in 1794. Even after the opening there were more problems which further closed the canal until 1795.
Trade on the canal was never as intensive as had been predicted, and several companies in turn attempted to run it and failed financially. The last successful boat passage through the tunnel was in 1914; it was finally closed when part of the roof collapsed in 1932, and is now totally blocked.
The disused western portal is the largest winter bat roost in the UK, and the second largest colony of Natterer's bat in Europe. Along with Greywell Moors, the tunnel and its bat colony form one of two Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the area. A short section of the canal still in water, leading from the western tunnel portal with the original towpath, is maintained as a nature reserve.
By date of birth:
- Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester (1724–1808)
- Maria Fetherstonhaugh (née Carleton), romantic novelist, (1847–1918)
- Thomas Dawson, driver, Army Service Corps
- William Harris, 6th Earl of Malmesbury (1907–2000)
- Lady Nell Carleton Harris (born 1937)
- Bill Newton Dunn (born 1941), politician
- James Carleton Harris, 7th Earl of Malmesbury (born 1946)
- Richard James Anthony Noble (born 1946), entrepreneur
- Nick Jeffery (born 1968), Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone UK
- Rupert Willoughby Greywell: Church and Village with illustrations by Nicholas Kavanagh, 1997, Friends of St Mary's, Greywell
- Rupert Willoughby St Mary the Virgin, Greywell: An Architectural Note, 1996 (available at the church)
- "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2009-11-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- The Conservation Studio (March 2009). Greywell: Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Proposals (PDF). Hart District Council. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2009-11-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Victorian Research. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
- "Driver Thomas Dawson Army Service Corps". Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission. "Hampshire soldier commemorated 99 years after his death". Retrieved 9 April 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Greywell.|
- Hampshire Treasures: Volume 3 (Hart and Rushmoor) Page 61 - Greywell Group A - Natural Features and Group B - Archaeological Sites and Remains
- Hampshire Treasures: Volume 3 (Hart and Rushmoor) Page 62 - Greywell Group D - Buildings, Monuments and Engineering Works
- Hampshire Treasures: Volume 3 (Hart and Rushmoor) Page 63 - Greywell Group D - Buildings, Monuments and Engineering Works
- Hampshire Treasures: Volume 3 (Hart and Rushmoor) Page 64 - Greywell Group D - Buildings, Monuments and Engineering Works
- Hampshire Treasures: Volume 3 (Hart and Rushmoor) Page 65 - Greywell Group E - Street Patterns, Street Furniture and Open Spaces and Group F - Historical or Literary Associations
- Stained Glass Windows at St. Mary, Greywell, Hampshire
- Greywell Conservation Area Character Appraisal