East Meon

East Meon

infobox UK place
country = England

static_image_caption= All Saints Church
official_name= East Meon
latitude= 50.99460
longitude= -1.03228
population = 1,171 [ [http://www.easthants.gov.uk/ehdc/housingweb.nsf/0/90F2A3A9B0A4A5FB802572D7004AF673/$File/East+Meon+Parish+Profile.doc Estimated Population] from the 2001 census for the Parish of East Meon.]
civil_parish= East Meon
shire_district= East Hampshire
shire_county = Hampshire
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= East Hampshire
post_town= PETERSFIELD
postcode_district = GU32
postcode_area= GU
dial_code= 01730
os_grid_reference= SU680221

East Meon is a village and civil parish in the East Hampshire district of Hampshire, England. It is 4.4 miles (7km) west of Petersfield.

The nearest railway station is 4 miles (6.5km) east of the village, at Petersfield.

The village is located in the Meon Valley approximately 31km (19 miles) north of Portsmouth and 98km (61 miles) southwest of London, on the headwaters of the River Meon. East Meon is geographically the largest parish in East Hampshire. The boundaries of the present Parish of East Meon date back to 1894.


There are bronze age burial barrows within the parish of East Meon which date back to around 2,000 BC. There is also an iron age fort, situated just outside the parish boundaries on Old Winchester Hill, constructed approximately 500 years before the Romans invaded Britain. There is also evidence of Roman occupation in and around the village. East Meon itself may have started life somewhere between 400 and 600 AD. Then it was part of a Royal Manor belonging first to King Alfred the Great. The Domesday Survey of 1086 shows that the Manor then belonged to William the Conqueror; it records six mills and land for 64 ploughs.

The village church was built after the Norman Conquest, and dates between 1075 and 1150 where Andrew Renny Blackman was once Christned. It resembles Winchester Cathedral in style, and like the Cathedral, it contains a black marble baptismal font created at Tournai, in what is now Belgium, circa 1130-40. The Tournai font is one of only four such fonts in the county of Hampshire. Inside the church there is a stone, which has the words "Amens Plenty" carved into it, which is said to sit atop the graves of four men buried in the standing position.

Opposite the church is the old Court House, with a mediaeval hall dating from the late 14th century. at this time, and for many centuries, East Meon belonged to successive Bishops of Winchester, and the Court House was its administrative centre and home to a number of monks who played host to the Bishop when he visited East Meon. They also recorded all memorial imports and exports.

East Meon has played its part in the English Civil War of the 1640s. The Parliamentarians camped near the village before the Battle of Cheriton in 1644, and it is said that they stole the lead lining from the font in order to make their bullets. This turned out to be the turning point in the War. During the Second World War, Hitler's Luftwaffe dropped 38 high explosive bombs and an estimated 3,500 incendiary bombs in the Parish; the only loss of life, however, was a pig.

In 1986, the 900th anniversary of the "Domesday Book", East Meon was chosen as "The Domesday Village", with a model in Winchester's Great Hall depicting the village as it was then - the model can still be seen alongside the famous tapestry at Bayeux in Normandy.


There are many groups, available for a wide variety of interests within the local area, that residents can get involved in. There are also a number of charitable organisations which work in and around the village.


* The East Meon Garden Club is an active society which organises two very popular East Meon Gardens Open Days, in April and June, seven evening meetings, two visits to interesting gardens and the opportunity to buy seeds and plants, fertilisers and bulbs at discounted prices. It also runs a Plant Sale and the annual Flower Show.
* The Care Group work hard arranging transportation to local surgeries and hospitals for people who are unable to get there by themselves. It runs on local volunteers who give a piece of their time to help others.
* There is a weekly lunch held in the Village Hall which is open to local residents over the age of 60. The meat is provided by a local butcher (who also donates sherry for the Christmas lunch). The vegetables are fresh and cooking is done by a team of local volunteers.
* The Golfing Society is one of the smaller organisations in the village with less than a dozen members.

Local Charity

* Forbes Almhouses are perhaps the longest-established institution in East Meon for administering help to the poor and elderly, the Forbes Almshouses are administered and funded by a Charitable Trust, whose aim is to provide basic housing for those of very limited means.
* The Sexton is an independent organisation, registered with The Charities Commission, which funds work on the more unruly sections of the graveyard of All Saints. It also has a mandate to protect natural habitats of the Church grounds. The Sexton has no direct links to the church itself.
* The Good Causes fund are responsible for considering requests for funding, and ensure that they are within the guide lines laid down by The Charities Commission. Numerous causes have benefited from the £29,000 donated since the Fund’s inception including the Village Hall, youth organisations, the Luncheon Club, East Meon School, Meon Matters, junior sports activities and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and Millennium celebrations. Thought has also been given to the village appearance with the planting of daffodils in road-side verges as well as additional trees and replacing some of the footpath stiles with ‘kissing gates’ more user-friendly to the less able.

Village Hall

The Village Hall is a modern, well-equipped venue with one large hall and a smaller room attached, together with a large kitchen, toilets and a stage. Tables, chairs, crockery and cutlery are available for hire. There is also ample car-parking space and ramps and toilets for the disabled.

The Hall is available for hire for Weddings and Funerals, Dances and Discos, Theatre Groups, Conferences, Trade Associations, Sales Promotion, Meetings or Private Parties, Children's Functions (there is an outdoor play area adjacent to the Hall) Indoor Sports, Keep Fit, Yoga and many more.

A vital part of fund-raising for the Village Hall is an annual May Fair which attracts thousands of visitors from the whole of the region and is run by volunteers drawn from every section of the Parish.



The Cricket Club is a village affair, with its teams rooted firmly in East Meon. Its ground is attractively located at the South East of the village and the team is sponsored by Ye Olde George Inn, to which teams repair at the end of play for sandwiches and reminiscences of the match that has just been played.

Needle matches are those against nearby villages, particularly Steep and West Meon. More social events include the games played against the President's XI, captained by Bill Tyrwhitt Drake, the Court House XI, with George and Clare Bartlett entertaining both teams to supper at the Court House after the match, and Captain Scott’s XI, a regular visiting side whose founder, Harry Thomson, died in 2005. [http://www.eastmeon.net/village/Charities_cricket.htm The cricket club website]


External links

* [http://www.hants.gov.uk/parish/east-meon/ Hampshire County Council page for East Meon]
* [http://www.eastmeon.net/village/School/Village_school_intro.htm East Meon Primary School]
* [http://www.eastmeon.net East Meon Web Site]

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