Note.... the pages in the Historical Section of the site are being updated and refreshed, bringing Jo Smith's research alongside the other village pages - there are still some links which need to be sorted out and cleaned up ...
Headley is a parish with a long history but, as in the case of very many isolated settlements of Saxon and later times, very little is known of its earliest days. The first known reference is in the famous Domesday Book, which William the Conqueror, who came to England exactly 900 years ago, caused to be compiled. Says Sir Winston Churchill, "The history of many an English village begins with an entry in Domesday Book".
The paragraph in Domesday relating to Headley (where it is called Hallege) in translation is as follows:
Earl Eustace holds five hides in Hallege which were assessed in the time of King Edward as three hides. They were held by Earl Godwin, and are reckoned as part of Sutton
Sutton refers to Bishop's Sutton, in which Manor Headley was then situate. Earl (or Count) Eustace III of Boulogne, had a son, Count Eustace IV. He married Mary of Scotland, and their daughter Matilda married King Stephen, and so the Manor became Crown property in 1136. Subsequently the King exchanged this Manor with his brother, Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester, for Merton Manor, and the Priors of Merton became the first known patrons of the living. [There is some doubt about the sequence of events given here – see Timeline]
The curtain now closes on the parish for more than 100 years [but see entries in Winchester Pipe Rolls from 1210] and it is not till 1314 that the name of the first recorded Rector appears. He was GEOFFREY DE HOVILE, and he was succeeded in that year by WALTER DE BROLNESBOURNE. Presumably Geoffrey was a Prior of Merton: at any rate his successor was presented to the living by the Priory, who remained patrons till the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538.
Walter de Brolnesbourne was succeeded by ROBERT (surname unknown), for it is recorded that in 1368 JOHN PODISDONE was instituted priest of the Church of Hethleghe in succession to Robert on the presentation of the Prior and canons of Merton. In 1377 THOMAS DRAPERE, a sub-dean and penitentiary of Exeter Cathedral exchanged livings with John Podisdone and in 1380 THOMAS AUMENET rector of Beaumond exchanged with Drapere.
Situated in the District of East Hampshire, the parish of Headley today has a population of about 5,700.
The parish comprises a number of hamlets as well as the village of Headley itself: Standford, Arford, Headley Down, Barford, Wishanger, Sleaford, Trottsford and part of Hollywater.
Current area = 4,862 acres = 1,968 hectares = 7.60 sq miles
The original parish also included Grayshott (until 1902), Lindford and a considerable portion of Bordon (until 1929). The Ecclesiastical parish of All Saints served Lindford and Bordon (but not Grayshott) until March 2002 – since when Bordon became a separate ecclesiastical parish.
This map shows the current Civil parish boundary and also the greatest extent of the parish (marked red) outside these borders. Click here for more details or on the map to enlarge it.