Hampstead Norreys


Hampstead Norreys

Hampstead Norreys (alternatively spelt Hampstead Norris) is a village and civil parish in Berkshire, England.

It is situated at gbmapping|SU528763 on the River Pang, north of Newbury. As well as Hampstead Norreys itself, the parish includes the hamlets of Bothampstead, Eling and Wyld Court. The last named is home to The Living Rainforest, an indoor glass house tropical rainforest with plants, animals and butterflies. It is an ecological centre, an educational centre and a visitor attraction. Hampstead Norreys was awarded Berkshire's best kept village in 1979.

Hampstead Norreys has a large recreational field [Dean Meadow] that is used for fetes, parties and mainly the village football and cricket teams. Along with these the School uses the field for activities.

Historic buildings

The Village was recorded in the Domesday Book as "Hanstede". [cite web
url = http://www.domesdaybook.co.uk/berkshire2.html
title = The Domesday Book Online: Berkshire D-M
accessdate = 2008-01-21
]

The village is noted for its Norman parish church and the remains of a Norman motte-and-bailey castle in the nearby woods.

The village was also close to the wartime airfield of RAF Hampstead Norris, an RAF Bomber Command Operational Training Unit (OTU) station. The airfield was host to a small number of squadrons of Wellington bombers. The site was bombed on September 16 1940 by the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. In 1945, the station was used by squadrons of Mosquito fighter bombers and became an ammunition storage depot as part of the Central Ammunition Depot at Bramley near Basingstoke after its closure in 1946. Little of the wartime station now remains. There are four remaining pillboxes around where the airfield was and a few air raid shelters in the woods. Part of the bomb storage site remains also. The site still maintains a modern link with aviation with a farm strip used by a Tiger Moth biplane. A light beacon is also situated on the edge of an old airfield peri track as the site is under the flightpath of aircraft flying to and from Heathrow airport. An important VOR beacon is also located here. It is now known as Haw Farm, part of the Yattendon Estate.

Education

Hampstead Norreys has a small rural primary school which has served the community for over 150 years.

port and leisure

The 'Dean Field' is the local park in Hampstead Norreys. It contains a football and cricket pitch and a children's play area. On the north side of the field is Hampstead Norreys Village Hall. It is considerably larger than the village halls in surrounding villages. On the south side is Eling estate, a large wooded area (consisting of Park Wood, Westbrook Copse, Down Wood and Elingpark Copse) backed by a path which is what remains of the old Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway running between Hermitage and Compton, the two nearest villages.

References

External links

* [http://www.hampsteadnorreys.org.uk/ Hampstead Norreys - information from the Parish Council]
* [http://www.westberks.org/GroupHomepage.asp?GroupID=2568 Hampstead Norreys Primary School]
* [http://www.acny.org.uk/5543/ A Church Near you: St Mary the Virgin, Hampstead Norreys]
* [http://www.livingrainforest.org/ The Living Rainforest at Wyld Court] (previously [http://www.tissuequickplantlabs.com/wyldcourtorchidshomenf.htm Wyld Court Orchids] then [http://www.worldlandtrust.org/news/2000/06/new-owner-for-wyld-court-rainforest.htm Wyld Court Rainforest] )
* [http://www.pub-explorer.com/berkshire/pub/whiteharthampsteadnorreys.htm The White Hart - village pub]
* [http://ukgraves.info/view.asp?id=206 The graves at St Mary's Church, from UKGraves.info]


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