Hampshire's local pages

Steventon

At the time of the Domesday Survey there were two estates at "Stivetune" but they merged soon afterwards and, following some dispute about the ownership, the land became the property of the des Roches family in 1260. In 1337 the manor passed by marriage into the Brocas family with whom it remained until sold to one Thomas Coteel in 1625. The Brocas family bought it back in 1635, but it later changed hands several times and was at one stage owned by Richard, the younger brother of John Evelyn the diarist. In 1794 it was left to Edward Austen, elder brother of Jane Austen who changed his name to Knight in 1814. In 1855 the manor was bought by the second Duke of Wellington.

Steventon is perhaps best known for being the birth-place of Jane Austen, who lived here from 1775 to 1800. Her father was Rector of Steventon for more than forty years, although nothing now remains of the rectory in which the family lived. While at Steventon Jane Austen wrote both "Pride and Prejudice" (1796-7) and "Northanger Abbey" (1798). Celebrations in honour of Jane Austen's bi-centenary were held in July 1975; festivities included an exhibition in the village hall, a masked ball at Oakley Hall, a country fair and a flower festival in St. Nicholas' Church.

The thirteenth century Church of St. Nicholas remains essentially unaltered by Victorian restoration, and is still much the same as when Jane Austen knew it. An ancient yew tree in the churchyard has a tremendous girth, although the trunk is hollow. A Saxon cross-shaft was discovered at the old Steventon Manor House, and there is the site of a deserted mediaeval village in the parish.

Further information on attractions to discover in the area and other interesting villages to visit is available.  For information on public services for Steventon please take a look at the Basingstoke local pages.