Kingsclere formed part of the ancient property of the Crown and is mentioned in the Saxon charters. In 1107 Henry I granted it to the Canons of the Church of St. Mary of Ruen. They remained in possession until the end of the reign of Edward II, when it became Crown property because of the war with France and was committed to the custody of Peter de Galicien in 1324. Although the Dean and Chapter of St. Mary of Ruen, regained possession in 1335 the King granted a licence for it to be alienated to William de Melton, Archbishop of York. The Manor belonged to the Melton family until it was sold to Sir William Paulet, Lord St. John in 1544. It remained with his successors, Marquesses of Winchester and Dukes of Bolton, until the death of Harry, sixth Duke of Bolton in 1794. It then passed to Thomas Orde, husband of his natural daughter, who assumed the additional surname and arms of Paulet, and was elevated to the peerage of Lord Bolton.
The Kings of England from an early date owned a large estate in the Parish, called Freemantle. King John stayed here thirty seven times during his reign, probably for hunting. Henry III, Edward I and Edward II made frequent presents of deer taken in the park. In the seventeenth century it ceased to be crown property.
Kingsclere held a market, originally on Sundays, but in 1218 the King ordered it should be held on Saturdays. By the mid eighteenth Century it was on Tuesdays and well used. It probably ceased altogether about 1850.
Further information on attractions to discover in the area and other interesting villages to visit is available. For information on public services for Kingsclere please take a look at the Basingstoke local pages.