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Our History

Our history

Historical Background

Pronunciation – Micheldever. The most commonly accepted view is that the name originates from the Celtic for ‘Much Water’. The river is pronounced ‘Deever.’

There was a Roman villa in Micheldever Wood; in Saxon times Micheldever was a royal estate and in 900 AD Alfred the Great’s son , Edward the Elder, granted the estate, and many others nearby, to the New Minster in Winchester which later became Hyde Abbey. Micheldever is mentioned in the Domesday Book.

The monks owned the Micheldever estate until 1538 when Henry V111 sold the abbey and its possessions to Thomas Wriothesley (pronounced ‘Risley’), one of his chief advisers who was subsequently knighted and in 1544 became the Lord Chancellor of England.  In 1547 he was created Earl of Southampton.

In about 1543 the estate was sold to Robert Stansby and then had various owners until in 1778 it was bought by the Duchess of Bedford.  The estate was to remain in the Bedford family until 1801 when Sir Francis Baring, a merchant banker and politician, bought the estate from the sixth Duke of Bedford. Sir Francis was succeeded by his son, Thomas, who was later to become Baron Northbrook and was the Viceroy of India from 1872 – 1876.

The second Earl sold the main part of the village in 1920 and many residents took this opportunity to buy their houses.  Barings bank was forced into receivership in 1995 after the Nick Leeson scandal but the Baring family still own property in the area, particularly around East Stratton.  Lord Nortbrook is the patron of this church and the Baring/Northbrook influence is still felt here and in the neighbouring villages.

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