St Mary Bourne
St. Mary Bourne used to comprise five manors; Binley, Egbury, Week, Stoke and St. Mary Bourne, all of which were included in the Manor of Hurstbourne Priors. In 1565 Sir Robert Oxenbridge, owner of Hurstbourne Priors, was ordered to prove by what title he held the five manors; a law suit was begun to determine whether or not they were manors in their own right. It was finally judged that from time immemorial they had been hamlets of Hurstbourne Priors, and Sir Robert therefore obtained a recognition of his title to them. A local tradition maintains that Queen Elizabeth I stayed at Valley Farm, Stoke.
The Church of St. Peter dates from about 1157 and contains one of the rarest ecclesiastical treasures in Hampshire, a black marble font at least 800 years old, brought from Tournai in Belgium. This font is one of only four in Hampshire and is regarded as one of the finest in the country. Recessed into the south wall of the church is the fourteenth century effigy of a crusader knight, thought to be one of the Oxenbridges.
St. Mary Bourne used to be considered such a healthy place to live that it was said "those born in the village would live as long as they liked". Certainly the burial register for the last century shows a large proportion of people living to well over ninety, and in one case to a hundred years. The "Bourne Revel" was a celebrated festival in the eighteenth century, wherein young men tried their skill at wrestling, single-stick and back sword, which resulted in bruised shins and crowns.
Further information on attractions to discover in the area and other interesting villages to visit is available. For information on public services for St Mary Bourne please take a look at the Andover local pages.