All Saints Church
Houghton shown within Hampshire
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Romsey and Southampton North|
Houghton is a small village and civil parish in the Test Valley district of Hampshire, England. The village is situated alongside the River Test. Its nearest town is Stockbridge, which lies approximately 1.8 miles (3 km) north-east from the village. The village is mostly strung out along the single road through the village, which broadly follows the course of the River Test north-south. Houghton is dominated by large agricultural estates at each end, the Houghton Lodge estate to the north and the Bossington estate to the south. Each owns a number of properties in the village.
Manors and houses
Houghton Lodge itself is an example of the rare 'Cottage ornée' style, of the British Regency period. Unusually, it also boasts a 'hydroponicum' - where you can see plants grown in water (alone) by the hydroponics system. The village also has an old church, All Saints, where services run on a weekly basis (with more at the tiny St James's church Bossington, set in open fields just to the south of the village.) In the Summer of 1415, during the Hundred Years' War, the army of Henry V of England camped on Agincourt Field on the Bossington estate on its way to embark for northern France and the campaign which ended with the Battle of Agincourt.
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, a martial son of Edward III from whom the Plantagenet House of Lancaster was to spring, had a palace or hunting lodge in the neighbouring village of King's Somborne and a medieval deer park in the valley here in the fourteenth century. Some of the remains of the deer park's boundary embankments (or pale) can still be seen near Black Lake Farm as you cross the valley on foot on the Clarendon Way.
The architecture of the village is mainly Hampshire rural vernacular, with some timber-frame and thatch, as well as much brick and slate. There are nearly 50 listed buildings in the village, which include All Saints Church, the Manor House, the Old Rectory, Bossington Mill, Bossington House and Houghton Lodge, as well as many smaller houses, the oldest of which dates back to the fifteenth century.
A number of public footpaths intersect in Houghton, including the Test Way and the Clarendon Way, which crosses the River Test at the lovely spreading footbridge known locally as 'Sheep Bridge', a beautiful spot much frequented by swans. The spring-fed River Test is clear and teems with trout and grayling. The village has a village hall, used for functions such as the annual village Harvest Supper. There is a small recreation ground next to the hall. The village also has declared its interest in developing its own community response to the challenges of global warming and sustainable living, as witnessed by its Parish Plan and membership of the Test Valley Energy Initiative.
Media related to Houghton, Hampshire at Wikimedia Commons