Heckfield (St. Michael)

HECKFIELD (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Hartley-Wintney, hundred of Holdshott, Odiham and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 4 miles (N. W. by W.) from Hartford-Bridge; containing, with the tythings of Hazeley-Heath and Holdshott, and the chapelry of Mattingley, 1325 inhabitants, of whom 666 are in the township of Heckfield. This parish, which is on the road from Reading to Odiham and Alton, comprises by admeasurement 5697 acres, whereof about 2400 are arable, 1500 pasture, 810 wood, and 987 common, heath, and roads. The soil on the higher grounds is chiefly a gravelly sand; and on the lower a stiff wettish clay, alternated with gravel and sandy loam. The higher lands command extensive and richly diversified prospects, and the lower are enlivened with the windings of the Whitewater, which flows into the Loddon at the western boundary of the parish, which is skirted on the north-west by the river Blackwater. Nearly one-half of Strathfieldsaye Park, the seat of His Grace the Duke of Wellington, is within the limits of the parish; where is also Heckfield Place, the seat of the Right Hon. Charles Shaw Lefevre, speaker of the house of commons, a handsome mansion beautifully situated in a finely planted demesne. A pleasure-fair is held in the village on the Friday in Easter-week. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £16. 12. 11.; patrons and impropriators, the Warden and Fellows of New College, Oxford. The great tithes have been commuted for £698. 17., and the vicarial for £398. 3.; the impropriate glebe comprises 96 acres, and the vicarial 5 acres. The church is a very ancient structure, with a massive tower; an aisle was added to it in 1500, and in 1830 it was thoroughly repaired and repewed: it contains several brasses, and a handsome font. There is a chapel of ease at Mattingley. Ambrose Serle, author of the Christian Remembrancer, resided here.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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