Hook shown within Hampshire
|Population||8,334 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|– London||42 miles (68 km) SW|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||North East Hampshire|
Hook // is a small town and civil parish within the Hart district of northern Hampshire, England. It is situated 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of Basingstoke and 58 kilometres (36.0 mi) northeast of Southampton, on the A30 national route, just north of Junction 5 of the M3 motorway. London is 66 km (41 miles) northeast of the town.
In 2011, Hook had a population of 8,334 residents. Hook railway station has direct rail links to both London Waterloo and Basingstoke with indirect routes to Reading, Salisbury and Southampton. Rail services are provided by South West Trains.
There is a significant business community in the town, with the large Bartley Wood Business Park situated less than 1 km from the town centre. It is the location of the operational headquarters of the United Kingdom's largest cable television provider, Virgin Media Inc, formerly NTL and Telewest. Other companies located in Hook are BMW Group Financial Services, Lenovo, Serco, Trimble Navigation and HP. Hook is also home to a mid-sized Tesco supermarket. Between 2004 and 2006, Hook expanded eastwards with the development of the Holt Park residential district.
Until the 18th century only a few scattered farms could be found in the area, but small hamlets did not begin to appear until inns sprung up to serve travellers. Hook was located on the main London to Exeter stagecoach route. In the late eighteenth century a turnpike road was constructed to aid the navigation of the steep Scures Hill, to the west of the village. In 1883 Hook railway station was constructed, and the village began to grow with railway workers and commuters settling in Hook.
Early-Mid 20th Century
St John the Evangelist Parish Church was completed in 1938 replacing the tin tabernacle used by worshippers since 1886. The new Church was designed by Edward Maufe and shows in small scale design features that would later be incorporated by him into Guildford Cathedral. Even the Cathedral fund raising scheme of "buying a brick" was first utilised at Hook where the Church retains an impressive list of donors and benefactors. Hook also has a Roman Catholic church and an Evangelical Church. The latter now known as Life Church was originally paid for by the family who founded Burberry; founder Thomas Burberry being a Baptist who died in Hook. The present Life Church Centre was opened in 2011.
The distinct Anglican ecclesiastical parish of Hook was not created until 1955; Hook being a hamlet in the village of Odiham before that date. It was only in 1943 that permission was given for burials in Hook itself.
Post World War II History
Hook was considered as part of a scheme to settle Londoners in the country after the Second World War, but Basingstoke was selected for development instead. Recently, the town has grown in size considerably with new housing developments being constructed.
Although within 10 km of the far larger town of Basingstoke to the west, Hook's development since the 1980s has been rapid. Calls have been made to redevelop the 'village' centre as Hook has few amenities for its size, as it is now generally considered as a small town in terms of population and urban expanse.
Affluence is high due to surrounding rural areas, estates, such as Tylney Hall Park and Garden which is Grade II* listed and Hook Common, a large mixture of forest and acid heathland coupled with excellent transport links.
There is the main line rail station mentioned above and direct access to the M3 motorway, as well as the straight route parallelling the Roman road the A30 connecting local towns such as Basingstoke and Hartley Wintney. Southampton Airport is 56 km (35 mi) to the south and London Heathrow Airport is 53 km (33 mi) away to the northeast. The far smaller Blackbushe Airport municipal air facility is 10.5 km (6.5 mi) to the east, near Yateley. Many residents commute to the larger local towns of Basingstoke, Winchester, Reading, Camberley, Fleet and Farnborough, with some travelling further afield to Southampton, Bracknell and London.
In Hook, there are a number of local schools. They are:
- Hook Infant School
- Hook Junior School
- Robert May's School (in neighbouring Odiham)
- Nearest further/higher education college - Basingstoke College of Technology Queen Mary's College Farnborough Sixth Form College
- Nearest university - University of Winchester / Farnborough College of Technology which offers courses at a university level
- "History of Hook" Hook Parish Council Website
- "Home". Life Church Hook. Retrieved 2016-05-13.
- The National Gazetteer, 1868
- Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1000176)". National Heritage List for England. Tylney Hall Park and Garden
- Hook Infant School
- Hook Junior School
- Robert May's School
- Baskingstoke College of Technology
- Queen Mary's College
- "The Sixth Form College Farnborough". www.farnborough.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-13.
- Farnborough College of Technology
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