What’s on offer in the village of Ampfield

The Potters Heron

The Potters Heron - Credit: Archant

This quiet village offers peace and tranquility for its residents with the advantage of the hustle and bustle of Romsey close by says Claire Pitcher

Grabbing a bite

The White Horse has won awards for its food, using locally sourced produce. The pub is in a lovely setting in the Test Valley, with a beer garden for the summer and a roaring fire for the winter. Just some of the dishes on the menu include slow cooked lamb shank, cod, smoked haddock and salmon fishcakes and vegetarian Halloumi burger. Call 01794 368356 to book a table. Another great pub to try for lunch or dinner is The Potters Heron. Sample their warm goat cheese croquettes, trio of wild boar sausages and their Bailey’s cheesecake. You can book a table online at www.potters-heron.co.uk.

Looking back

The glorious rolling countryside around the village has hardly altered over the centuries and has been designated a Heritage Area.

The Parish Council of Ampfield was apparently one of the first in the country to be formed in 1894.

People have called Ampfield home throughout history, from the early Stone Age, 7000-6000 years or more ago, through the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age. The Romans lived there, plus there is evidence of Saxon occupation too.

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From medieval times Ampfield was part of the much larger Manor of Merdon, developing as a number of scattered hamlets, with the centre of manor life in nearby Hursley.

The establishment of Ampfield as a separate entity came gradually as the population increased. It was the White family who built Ampfield House in the 1750s with its Estate carved out of the Hursley manorial holding. Then, in early Victorian times, the Vicar of Hursley, The Revd. John Keble, and Sir William Heathcote of Hursley Park worked together to build St Marks Church, and Sir William went on to provide a village school.

Village voice

Victoria Ashdown has been Vicar of Ampfield, Chilworth and North Baddesley for just under a year.

“My first impressions of Ampfield were all Church related. St Marks stands in the most beautiful of settings within a woodland glade.

When driving through Ampfield it may be quite easy to miss it! Apart from the golf club, hotel, pub and restaurant one might not notice the school and housing that makes up the tight community.

It is perhaps quite surprising to know how many things go on in the village, from the monthly market held at the village hall, where you can go and buy local produce and meet up with the neighbours. There is a weekly coffee morning, with cake, at the village hall, monthly lunches at the church, as well as regular talks, art classes and social events shared between the village hall and the church.

I’m looking forward to exploring the Hillier Gardens in the parish, and getting to know the area and its lovely people much better!”

Village souvenir

If you have just spent the day at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Romsey, you may feel inspired to make a few changes in your own outdoor space. Pococks Roses on Jermyns Lane might have just the thing. They have roses to suit most gardens and soils. If you are after a gift, some even have special names such as Warm Wishes, Silver Anniversary or Golden Smiles. They are open every day except Sundays.

Getting there

Stagecoach runs a number 66 bus from Winchester and the Xelabus service X6 and X7 goes between Eastleigh and Hiltingbury. The nearest train station to Ampfield is Romsey, with services to Southampton and beyond. By road, leave the M3 at j12 and head along Hocombe Road and Hook Road into Ampfield.

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