Little London, Tadley, Hampshire

Little London, Tadley, Hampshire

Little London is situated between the North Hampshire Downs and the gravel plains of the Kennet valley, 7 miles north of Basingstoke and 15 miles south of Reading. It is situated within Pamber civil parish and backs on to Pamber Forest, a 500 acre SSSI and remnant of the much larger ancient Royal Forest of Pamber. It is recorded as having been established for at least 400 years.

Until the mid 19th century the village was a local centre for brick-making, the local clays being recognised as particularly good since the Roman period. Examples of clay roof tiles produced in this area for the nearby Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum (near modern Silchester) can be seen at Reading Museum.

A major part of the village was confiscated from the Engelfield family and given to the Benyon family during the late Tudor period. Other parts were gifted in payment to The Queen's College, Oxford. It is assumed that this was in return for education, although it may not have been. This legacy can be seen by the names of farms, pubs and houses in the area.

The village has grown organically from a few houses, being effectively one street with no social centre. Current local planning policy has successfully prevented any inappropriate development of additional housing in the area. Current population is of only a few hundred. It is a desirable location, resulting in upper quartile house prices typical of rural Hampshire. The village has one Pub, The Plough, which maintains a very traditional 'English Pub' environment.

'Little London' is a common village name in England, assumed by some to have its origins in the quantity of seasonal Londoners who would camp for the harvest season. However in common with many 'Little Londons' approximately 50 miles or so from London, it has also been claimed that the name was given by settlers escaping the Great Plague of London of 1665. Alternatively, it could have been corrupted from 'Little Loddon', the name of a stream that marks the Southern extent of the village. Nobody really knows!

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