Feeding the ducks and the trout
Des Res £1.5M
Once home of Edward VII.
Stockbridge means, literally, a bridge over the river. On a causeway of compressed chalk laid down in the remote past for a crossing of the River Test, Stockbridge is almost midway between Andover to the North and Romsey to the South. The river is shallow and divides here with five streams threading their way through the marshy meadows and under the main road.
There were settlements on Stockbridge Down from at least the second millennium BC; within a short distance are the impressive earthworks at Danebury, Meon Hill and Woolbury. Two ancient roads meet and cross at Stockbridge, one running east to west between Winchester and Old Sarum, later Salisbury, and the other running north and south along the valley of the Test. The prosperity of Stockbridge has always stemmed largely from the roads which pass through it.
The valley here is wide enough to have provided a river crossing since earliest times and a posting station in Roman times on the road from Winchester to Sarum.
The 'town' (actually little more than a single row of buildings on each side of the wide main street) grew in importance when Welsh drovers rested there with their flocks on their way to various sheep fairs and markets in the South East. A thatched cottage known as 'Drovers House' has the message in Welsh painted on the wall: 'Seasoned hay, tasty pastures, good beer, comfortable beds'.
Stockbridge has a 12th century chapel, now known as St Peters, which was served by the 'head-minster' at King's Somborne, as were other chapels in the 'hundred'. Thus, although Stockbridge became a flourishing small borough, which eventually gained parliamentary representation, it never had a parish church of its own until 1848. Its inhabitants were duly christened, married and buried, but in a chapel served from King's Somborne.
An old map of Stockbridge showing the railway bridge, the workhouse site and the Town Hall is also shown [with a very small rectangle].
The old church of St Peter's is also shown.