Author: East Meon History Group
First Pasture Price: £25.00
The glorious countryside and buildings of today’s East Meon are the result of over two millennia of farming, until recently the sole industry in the valley. For a thousand years, this was the largest Hampshire estate of the diocese of Winchester reaching to the Sussex border and beyond: its magnificent church and bishops’ palace were the centres of religious and feudal control. Strip farming in communal fields made way to enclosed farms, oxen to horses, then machinery, natural tillage to artificial fertilisers.
The East Meon History Group have researched the social, architectural and economic aspects of life in the Hundred of East Meon: the great houses and successful farms in contrast with the insecurity and poverty of agricultural workers; colourful figures including the legendary millionaire recluse, the Dowager Countess Peel, and the penny-pinching Victorian vicar, the Rev Thomas Cook Kemp; involvement in national events including the Black Death, the Civil War, Swing Riots and two World Wars; a portrait of life in a typical English rural community.
The book contains lavish colour illustrations and original maps which plot the changes to life and work which underlie ‘Farming the Valley’, and is a publication which has wider appeal beyond those familiar with the Meon Valley and Hampshire.