East Meon Village - Hampshire

Grid ref: SU680221

East Meon village is in the Meon valley with boundaries dating back to 1894, and is the largest Parish in east Hampshire with over 11,000 acres.

Click here for a Google map to get to East Meon.

Meon village cross

Saxons in the Meon Valley

Meon's Saxon ancestors were the Meonwara (Meon People) who came from Denmark and settled in the Meon Valley after the Romans left Britain in 410 AD. For seven centuries until the Norman Conquest in 1066 they developed the Meon into the fertile farming valley that runs from the South Downs at East Meon to the Solent at Titchfield Haven. Trading vessels navigated the Meon, a Celtic (ancient British) word meaning ‘Swift One’, the name also used for one of our local ales!

Friends of Corhampton Saxon Church website - click here

The village church was built after the Norman Conquest, and dates between 1075 and 1150. 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, c. 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..

All Saints Church, East Meon

Village evolution

Opposite the church is the old Court House, with a mediaeval hall dating from the late 14th century. 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.

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.

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.

East Meon village cottages

Recent History

During the Second World War, Hitler's Luftwaffe dropped 38 high explosive bombs and an estimated 3,500 incendiary bombs in the Parish. However, records indicate that the only loss of life was a pig...

East Meon has two excellent pubs - the Izaak Walton and the 'Ye Olde George' (excellent food but be advised to book ahead for lunch - 01730 823481), plus a central combined Post Office and store. The village is unusual in that the river Meon runs right through the middle of the village.

The river Meon runs though it...

Village life

The Cricket Club is a village affair, with its teams rooted firmly in East Meon. Its ground is 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. 

Ye Olde George pub - book lunch on 01730 823481

About the South Downs

The South Downs Way covers Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex in England and is part of the South Downs National Park, created in 2011. Along the 100 mile (160km) South Downs National Trail you can walk, cycle or ride along grassy chalk and flint ridges, wander up challenging hills and take in the fantastic views of hills, downlands, woodlands, grasslands, coast and estuaries.

Want more of the Downs? See YouTube heritage video channel videos

South Downs Sounds

South Downs Interactive

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