What’s on offer in the village of Dummer

The Queen Inn

The Queen Inn - Credit: Archant

With an award winning pub, a cricket centre, countryside walks and some very famous residents it’s hard to believe this pretty village is so close to the busy M3, says Claire Pitcher

Dates for your diary

The Dummer Fair has been held around Michaelmas for over 20 years and 2016 saw one of the busiest to date. The 2017 fair takes place on Wednesday and Thursday October 11-12 at Dummer Cricket Centre. With 95 stalls and over 1,000 visitors, the fair remains one of the most successful in Hampshire, and the proceeds last year were used to help the young people at Treloar School and College. Entry on the Wednesday costs £8 (which includes a glass of wine) and £6 on Thursday. Find out more online at dummerfair.org.

Grabbing a bite

As well as the Sun Inn (suninndummer.com), Dummer has another pub in the centre of the village, The Queen Inn. With a lovely garden for sunny afternoons and a cosy bar for winter evenings, there are plenty of pub favourites on the menu, including lasagne, sausage and mash and burgers. They even have a gin and tonic menu! Book at thequeeninndummer.com or call 01256 397367.

What’s in a name?

There are various theories about the origin of the village’s name. The most accepted is that it derives from the word ‘Dun’ meaning hill and ‘Mer’ meaning lake or pond. The very English surname ‘Dummer’ is said to originate from the village, as the Dummer family were lords of the manor from the 12th to 16th centuries.

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In the news

Gordon Scott, landlord and head chef at the Sun Inn, was named ‘Pub Chef of the Year’ at the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards 2017. He has also been listed in the ‘top 30 under 30’ at the 31st Acorn Awards. The Craft Guild of Chefs Awards, also known as the ‘Chefs’ Oscars’, recognises culinary talent from across the country. The Sun Inn was also named National Gastro Pub of the Year at the Food Awards England 2016.

Did you know?

It may only have a population of just less than 1,000, but this small village has been home to some big names including Major Ronald Ferguson and family, who include the Duchess of York. The late Tara Palmer-Tomkinson also lived here.

Village voice

Julian Jones moved to Dummer from Surrey in 1985 when his work brought him to Basingstoke. He recalls: “The elderly lady that I bought my house from told me I had to join the village hand bell ringing team and that Dummer had royal connections. I thought this was a fantasy but a year later I found myself on worldwide television ringing in front of All Saints Dummer for Sarah Ferguson’s marriage to Prince Andrew. Dummer no longer has a hand bell team but I’m a ringer at All Saints.”

In 1999 he was elected to the Parish Council and has been chairman since 2001. Julian says the village has changed since he moved there: “It was still an agricultural community with many residents working for six local farms. Construction of the M3 north of the village in the late 1960s had divided farms and the dairy unit at Manor Farm in the centre of the village ceased operation in the early ‘80s. In the 1990s fields to the north of the village were landscaped for Dummer Golf Club designed by Peter Alliss and Clive Clark.

“When I moved to Dummer it seemed remote from Basingstoke, which was three miles away but since then the Hatch Warren Retail Centre with a Sainsbury’s superstore has been built and housing on Beggarwood reaches to within a mile of the village. Today a developer has submitted a proposal for 17 houses on the edge of the village itself, further reducing the gap between the village and the town.”