At the time of the Domesday Survey, Upton, or Aoltone as it was then called, was held by Hugh de Port. The descendants of the de Port family remained the overlords of Upton for two centuries. The name Grey derives from the de Grey family who were lords of the manor in the thirteenth century. The property changed hands many times and Opie, Skinner and Beaujoy were among the names associated with it. In 1902 the manor was bought by Charles Holme, editor of "The Studio".
The Manor House at Upton Grey has a garden designed by Gertude Jekyll. She was at the height of her gardening career. Charles Holme, the important Arts and Crafts figure and founder of the movement's leading publication, 'The Studio', asked her to design his garden at Upton Grey. Ernest Newton was the architect and between them they built this small monument to the Arts and Crafts movement.
The manor of Hoddington was also associated with the parish of Upton Grey, and was for many years the seat of the Dukes of Basing. Most of the houses in the village are listed as being of special architectural or historical interest, and part of the village is designated as a conservation area.
The Church of St. Mary dates, in parts, back to the early twelfth century, but much of the fabric of the church dates from the eighteenth century; the central tower contains five bells, the oldest of which is mediaeval.
A custom peculiar to Upton Grey used to be observed every Royal Oak Day (29th May). After the church bells had been rung at 6 a.m. the bell-ringers placed a large branch of oak over the church porch, and another over the lynch gate. Smaller branches were positioned in the gateway of every house to ensure good luck for the rest of the year.
Further information on attractions to discover in the area and other interesting villages to visit is available. For information on public services for Upton Grey please take a look at the Basingstoke local pages.