Linger in Lockerley
- Credit: Archant
You maybe familiar with the nearby town of Romsey, but what do you know about Lockerley?
- Although there are various pubs in the Lockerley area, only one, the King’s Arms, is actually located in the village, off Butt’s Green. It’s well worth a visit, the listed-building inn dates back to the 18th-century but now also boasts a beer garden with state-of-the-art dining pods, each of which is lit, heated and wi-fi enabled.
- Butt’s Green has a bit of history itself in that it gets its name from the time, after the monasteries were dissolved in 1536 by Henry VIII, that all the able-bodied men of the village were required to spend an hour each Sunday practising archery. The target was known as the ‘butt’.
- There are three other greens or commons, around which the recreational and social life of Lockerley is woven and, for a village short of 900 souls, there’s a surprising amount going on with around 35 groups, societies and activities ranging from bellringing to bridge and cricket.
- Animals gave the village its name. In the Domesday Book, it first appears as Lockerlega becoming, by 1271, Lockerleye, which derives from the Middle English lokere or looker, meaning a keeper or shepherd, and leah from the Old English meaning a ley or open place in a forest, thus indicating a shepherd’s clearing or wood.
- Dating from the 13th century is Mottisfont Abbey, which was founded as an Augustinian priory in 1201 by businessman, administrator, and courtier to four Plantagent kings, William Briwere. Today, basking in bucolic beauty beside the fast-flowing River Test, it is owned by the National Trust, and the layers of its history can be explored by visitors.
- There are records of habitation at Lockerley reaching back a lot further than that, to which the iron age earthwork at Lockerley Camp stands testament. Other archaeological findings have also thrown up some Roman coins and pottery dating from AD 259-350, which were found in a neighbouring earthwork known as Holbury Wood Camp.
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