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Barton Stacey [ Approach from the north ] Winchester
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A brief history of the parish

[ About Barton Stacey ]The history of the parish covers over 4,000 years - with evidence from Neolithic tribes, through Romans, Saxons, and Normans, and into the modern era.

On this page are more details of past covering:

Origin of the name

The parish takes its name from Saxon times, when the village was Bertun ("ber" or barley and "tun" or place - another name for farmyard?), a Royal Manor of Edward the Confessor. In 1206 the Manor was bestowed on Sir Rogo de Stacey and became the Berton of Stacey or just Barton Stacey.

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Hampshire Record Office

The earliest period

There is clear evidence that Barton Stacey has been inhabited since the Neolithic period dating from 3500 to 2000 BC with the burial mounds (barrows) on Moody's Down. There are interesting exhibits on the early inhabitants of the area at the Iron Age Museum in Andover, just 7 miles away.

There was an Iron Age hill fort at The Andyke, Bransbury which formed its defences with the rivers Test and Dever and the marshes between them. Celtic field systems were in the area too, but have since been ploughed out and no visible traces remain.

There are a number of scheduled ancient monuments in the parish dating from this period:

Description Grid ref
3 barrows SW of Newton Down Farm SU 418 389
Long barrow 400m W of Moody's Down Farm SU 4528 3877
Long barrow 400m SE of Moody's Down Farm SU 4335 3867
The Andykes, Bransbury SU 426 426

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Andover Iron Age Museum


There is evidence of a Roman camp east of Manor Farm, with the remains of ditches and banks, and the Roman road from Winchester to Cirencester - both important Roman towns - cuts across the southern area of the parish as part of a byway.

Further evidence of Romano-British inhabitants was found in 1977 when the main gas pipeline was laid, with the discovery of a "plank" burial of a young woman between Barton Stacey and Bransbury.

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The Saxons were in Barton Stacey and it provided useful farmland for them. When King Edward the Elder founded New Minster in Winchester in 903 AD, he granted it land which included 3 hides at Drayton in Barton Stacey. The hamlet of Drayton does not exist now - but its location is marked by the Barton Stacey services on the main A303 truck road.

The Saxons left their mark with the trackways - cattle droves - which run southwards along the parish boundary and continue to nearby Wonston.

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The parish is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. The Victoria County History of Hampshire. Volume IV, pages 417-419 gives this account,

The manor…formed a part of the ancient demesne of the crown and provided a half a days farm of King Edward's farm.

The Normans left their mark in the parish with the fine church, which still has some 12th century stonework, among the mostly 13th century building which forms the largest part of the church today.

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Related items

[ All Saint's Church ]Parish church page



Manuscript 1451 The parish continued to be a farming community through the next centuries - with Church Farm House dating from the 16th century, and Manor Farm House and Bransbury Manor dating from the 18th century. Pictured right, Barton Stacey mentioned in a manuscript from 1451.

The parish registers, held at the County Record Office, give the details of the baptisms, marriages, and burials in the parish for the period from 1713 to 1985.

In the late 1700s the village was host to occasional bouts of bull-baiting - one of the popular sports of the time.

You won't find thatched roofs on the cottages in Barton Stacey; in 1792 a spark from the village forge set a great fire raging which destroyed many of the houses. But the village centre has a 200 year old pub, The Swan Inn, which sits opposite the church.

In 1830 agricultural workers in many parts of England protested against the social conditions, and men from Barton Stacey and neighbouring parishes petitioned King William IV for parliamentary reform. Some men went to remonstrate with local farmers, parsons and landowners, and these uprisings - part of the "Swing Riots" - led to severe penalties. James Annals, John Dore, James Whitcher of Barton Stacey were transported. Thomas Berriman and Henry Hunt of Barton Stacey were hanged.

The uprising is commemorated in a plaque on the outside wall of the "Coach and Horses" public house in nearby Sutton Scotney.

Excavations for an extension to the burial ground adjacent to the church in 1999 found numerous interesting bottles from the area, as well as a silver thimble from around the time of king William IV (1830-1835).

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Related items

[ The Great Fire of 1792 ]The Great Fire of 1792


The last 100 years

In the early part of 20th century, much of the area around Barton Stacey was owned by the McCreagh family. The last owner from this family, Michael McCreagh, was opposed to the tithe tax system which took one-tenth of the revenue of his farms, so he stopped them working and allowed them to fall into disrepair. Such was the effect on the area that Barton Stacey became known as a derelict village.

The derelict estates were requisitioned by the government around 1938-1939 for use as a military training area and this began the period of association between Barton Stacey and the army.

The parish became home to a large army camp - Barton Stacey Camp - and the parish church was used as the garrison church. The camp housed a variety of functions, particularly engineering units who carried out a number of repairs and restorations for the church.

In 1971 engineers from the camp repairing the church discovered under the north aisle a vault, probably sealed around 1740, containing 6 coffins thought to date from the 17th century. One of the coffins was opened and found to contain the body of a headless man - perhaps a victim of the civil war.

The camp played a significant role in World War Two when large numbers of American forces - particularly 5 Division - were stationed there as part of the preparation for D-Day on 6 June 1944.

The church's wooden font cover was made by army apprentices at the camp in ?year.

The army has since left Barton Stacey, and the camp has closed, and the camp buildings were all demolished in the late-1980s. The army retains much of the land around Barton Stacey as training areas, and these are sometimes used for day and night exercises which involve firing.

The army also has a live firing range for small arms at Moody's Down, which is used both day and night, mainly by young soldiers from the Army Training Regiment based at the Sir John Moore Barracks at Flowerdown, Winchester. Red flags and red lamps give a warning of the firing range is in use, but this doesn’t seem to disturb the farmers tending their fields or the sheep grazing. The range is subject to an interesting set of by-laws which set out the rights and obligations of the both the army and the public.

The army built a substantial amount of residential housing for married quarters in the 1950s and 1960s, with larger detatched houses along West Road, Pheasant Close and Partidge Close for the officers, and smaller semi-detached and terraced houses along Roberts Road for the NCOs and other ranks. The Army houses were mostly sold to private residents in the mid-1990s. With its concentration of houses, the school, the green, and a football field, the Roberts Road area is a natural centre for much of the community.

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Derelict village of the 1920s

Moody's Down range byelaws

Roberts Road


Much of this information can also be found in:

  • Hampshire Treasures published by Hampshire County Council (1979 to 1986) at www.hants.org.uk/hampshiretreasures
  • Victoria County History of Hampshire (1911) at www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk
  • Popular Radicalism and the Swing Riots in Central Hampshire by David Kent (1997) From Hampshire Record Office at www.hants.gov.uk/shop).
  • Barton Stacey - A Village History by G Timmins (2001) (who also wrote a history of neighbouring Longparish)
  • Southern Feeder - Archaeology of a Gas Pipeline by P D Catherall (1984) published by British Gas

to whom acknowledgements are given.

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Hampshire Treasures

Victoria County History


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Last modified
18 Mar 2010