Sandleheath, or Sandhill Heath as it used to be called, has a long history of brick making and clay working. The village is built on a seam of blue clay, in places over 50 feet thick, topped by fine brick earth and sand, giving the village its name. Workings dating from approximately 100 A.D. have recently been discovered in one of the old brickyards, and box flues and tiles found on excavating Rockbourne Roman Villa, some two miles away, would appear to have been made from this local Sandhill Heath clay.
The brickyards, which are believed to have been in continuous production for nearly 2,000 years, closed down in the 1960s and have now become partially overgrown with copse as natural afforestation has been allowed to take over. However, a recent controversial decision to allow small-scale light industrial development to start on one of the yards will bring new life and, no doubt, new problems to what is still mainly a rural and residential area.
The Manor of Sandhill dates back to Domesday. Records show that it was held in 1274 by Thomas Baldwin and has been in many different ownerships over the centuries. An Elizabethan house still forms the main part of the building but it has had many additions and alterations and is now owned by Sandle Manor Preparatory School.
In 1979 the village elected to "cede" from Fordingbridge and become an independent Parish. Although there are only about 500 people living in the village it is a thriving community with an accent on youth activities. There is a well-supported Youth Group, Tennis Club and Brass Band, a Methodist Community Church, and a Chapel-of-ease attached to Fordingbridge Parish Church. The village Post Office and Stores acts as a focal point for displaying notices, exchanging information and as a Mobile Library standpoint.
Further information on attractions to discover in the area and other interesting villages to visit is available. For information on public services for Sandleheath please take a look at the Fordingbridge local pages.