Penton Mewsey
Parish Council

The History Of Penton Mewsey

Sites within the present parish of Penton Mewsey were first inhabited in the Bronze Age or earlier. Two Roman farm sites are recorded and there is probably at least one more.

The present village almost certainly dates from late Saxon times during the 10th or early 11th century, when many other villages around Andover and the town itself first appeared from what had been Royal hunting forest. Domesday Book (1086) has two entries for ‘Penitone’ : one belonging to King Edward the Confessor and the other (now the adjacent hamlet of Penton Grafton within the present civil parish of the same name) to Edith of Wessex, his Queen. Development over the past 100 years has effectively made Mewsey and Grafton one community with a combined population (2010) of c.800.

Penitone’ probably derives its name from ‘ton’ a farm worth a ‘penny’ geld or tax. Mewsey (spelled in various ways) first occurs in 1167 when the manor (landholding) belonged to the Anglo-Norman family named Maisey. It also owned other manors in Wiltshire and a member was constable of nearby Ludgershall castle. Holy Trinity Church was built c.1365 probably by the then new Lord of the Manor, Edmund Stonor, whose family’s wealth was also built on wool and whose connection (though not residence) with the village was to last for almost another 300 years.

In the middle ages Penton had many sheep and produced fleeces and wool, sold through Andover for export to the Low Countries. Arable cultivation took place in open fields divided into strips. From the 16th century onwards Penton, like many communities in north west Hampshire continued to rely upon sheep and corn for income and its open fields were progressively enclosed into larger fields in single occupation. After World War II mixed farming began to disappear and the number of farms reduced. Today there is only one resident farmer and cereals the only crop, but three riding stables flourish. The great majority of today’s inhabitants earn their living outside the village, with many commuting daily and some as far as London.

Long lasting family names include Noyes/Noyce, Hillier, Guyatt, Wale, Grace, Jeffries, Dudman, Hutchins, Dunning and Sturgess.

Please contact John Isherwood for further history.

Penton Lodge

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