Petersfield, Hampshire: Wikis


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Coordinates: 51°00′14″N 0°56′04″W / 51.00377°N 0.93453°W / 51.00377; -0.93453

Petersfield mile plaque.jpeg
Petersfield Mile Plaque
Petersfield is located in Hampshire

 Petersfield shown within Hampshire
Population 13,303 (2001) [1]
OS grid reference SU748232
Parish Petersfield
District East Hampshire
Shire county Hampshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district GU31, GU32
Dialling code 01730
Police Hampshire
Fire Hampshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament East Hampshire
List of places: UK • England • Hampshire

Petersfield is a market town and civil parish in the East Hampshire district of Hampshire, England. It is 17 miles (27 km) north of Portsmouth, on the A3 road.

Petersfield has its own railway station, on the Portsmouth Direct Line.

The town is situated on the northern slopes of the South Downs. It is unique in that it is wholly within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, soon to be part of the proposed South Downs National Park.[2]

The town is on the crossroads of well used north-south (today the A3 road) and east-west routes (today the A272 road) and it grew as a coach stop on the Portsmouth to London route.

The town station is on the mainline rail link between Portsmouth and London, via Guildford.

Petersfield is twinned with Barentin in France, and Warendorf in Germany.



The town was founded during the 12th century by William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester, later chartered by his widow, Hawise de Beaumont, and confirmed by charter in 1198[citation needed] from "John, Count of Mortain" (later to be King John).

The town grew in prosperity due to its position on frequently travelled routes, local sheep farming, and cottage level manufacturing industry of leather and cloth. The town had markets for sheep, horse and cattle trading and 3 annual fairs.

The artist Flora Twort, the musician Sir William Henry Harris, the agriculturalist John Worlidge, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Algernon Willis, the footballer George Best, The Day of the Triffids author John Wyndham, author and naval historian Geoffrey Bennett, Royal physician Thomas Horder, 1st Baron Horder, actor Alec Guinness and the Hambledon cricketer John Small all lived in Petersfield at some point. Small was a Petersfield cobbler in the late eighteenth-century, whose shop sign read:

Here lives John Small
Makes bat and ball
Pitch a wicket, play at cricket
With any man in England.

Fairs and markets

Residents and businesses are encouraged to contribute to the creation of the Petersfield Town Design Statementwhich will help improve future development in the town, and assist in improving town facilities for all age groups. This will be completed in 2009.

Over August Bank Holiday the town throws a party known as the Petersfield Festivities, which this year will also feature the London Olympics handover celebration.

On October 6 every year is The Taro Fair, the reminder of cattle fairs which were held annually until the 1950s (now a fun fair). ["Tarw" was the Welsh language shout by the herders for "Bull" and is where the word "Taro" was derived].

Farmers' Markets are still held on the 1st Sunday every month in the town square.




Petersfield has two museums both run by the Petersfield Museum Trust. The Flora Twort Gallery, based in her old studio, displays the Bedales Historic costume collection which consists of over 1000 pieces dating from 1720. The gallery exhibits a small part of this collection which is changed annually along with examples of art by Flora Twort. Petersfield Museum, exhibits social history collections made up from maps, photographs, archives, oral history and artefacts which is concerned with the history of the town and is situated in the town's old Courthouse. Exhibitions are sometimes also held at The Festival Hall, St. Peter's Church, and The Physic Garden.

Petersfield was once home to the world's first Teddy Bear Museum, which opened in 1984. It closed at the end of 2006, and is now a residential address.

The Statue of King William III marks the centre of Petersfield


Petersfield's market square holds regular markets throughout the week, and there are also monthly Farmers' markets. On top of this, stallholders and farmers from Petersfield's French twin town Barentin visit Petersfield and hold a French market, selling items they sell on a typical French market.

The town's market square has a statue of King William III (of Orange) by Henry Cheere. The king is carved sitting astride his horse, and the statue is raised up on an engraved plinth. This is one of only three statues of William in the United Kingdom outside Northern Ireland (the others being Hull and Bristol) and, as such, attracts bands of marching Orangemen in mid-July, anxious to commemorate William's victory at the Battle of the Boyne.


The town is named after the Anglican parish church, St Peter's, a Norman church in the town centre, The Square. Other churches include: The Methodist church - Station Road; The Catholic church, St Laurence's - Station Road; The United Reformed Church - College Street; The Evangelical fellowship which meets at the Herne Farm Leisure Centre on the eponymous estate; The Religious Society of Friends - Voluntary Centre, the High Street; The Salvation Army - Swan Street; Life Church Petersfield, formerly Petersfield Christian Fellowship currently meet at Petersfield Social Club.

In the Catherine Tate Show episode featuring the drunk bride, the camera zooms out from an invitation referring to St Mark's Chapel, Petersfield: a completely fictional institution.


In the High Street is the Physic Garden, which is a recreation of a 17th century herb garden. It is open to the public nearly every day of the year.


Petersfield's Festival Hall shows many plays and concerts during the year.

Petersfield Youth Theatre was formed in 1990 and performs annually at the Festival Hall as well as delivering projects throughout the year.

Pubs and bars

The George is a pub in The Square in the middle of Petersfield.

Petersfield offers a good range of public houses and bars to suit all tastes, 14 pubs in all, from historic coach stops to trendy modern bars and coffee houses.

Petersfield also had one nightclub, Vertigo (originally known as Oscars when it first opened in the early 1990s). This was housed in the old Savoy cinema, a 1930s building used as a cinema until its closure in 1985. In May 2007, Vertigo nightclub was closed for good and sold to a developer to make way for a restaurant/bar with 14 flats above. The Savoy building was demolished in 2008, but the site remains empty as of December 2009.

The King's Arms is the local youth club for the young people of the town as it is situated near the town centre


Petersfield has a number of clubs and teams for most sports. Several players have gone on to lead successful professional sporting careers, such as footballer Maik Taylor and the rugby player Tim Rodber.

There are various sports venues, such as the Taro Centre, a leisure centre containing swimming pools, squash courts, a gymnasium and other facilities. The town also has tennis courts (both public and members only), an open air pool, and many playing fields and local golf courses.

Petersfield Town F.C., who play in the Wessex League, is the town's football club.


The East Hampshire District Council offices are in Petersfield.

Petersfield is part of the parliamentary constituency of East Hampshire. Its Member of Parliament is Michael Mates, a member of the Conservative Party, though he is standing down at the next general election.

The County Councillors are Samantha Payne and Michael Cartwright.

EHDC has supported the formation of the South Downs National Park, which includes Petersfield.


Petersfield is twinned with Barentin, FranceFrance and Warendorf, GermanyGermany.[3]


The town's railway station connects directly to London and Portsmouth

Petersfield is located on the mainline rail link (the Portsmouth Direct Line) between Portsmouth and London. It is served by Petersfield railway station. Additionally, there was at one time a branch to Midhurst, which closed in 1955. The main station buildings date back to the opening of the line in 1859 and are of a "town" type.

The main road (the A3) link between Portsmouth and London used to pass through Petersfield, before the bypass was built round the north side of the town. Another major road, the A272, now also by-passes the town via the A3 and a link road to Sheet on its route between Winchester, Hampshire's county town, and Heathfield, East Sussex.


State schools

The local state secondary school is The Petersfield School, usually referred to as 'TPS'. Primary schools in the area include Petersfield Infant School, Sheet Primary School and Herne Junior School. There are also a number of schools in the surrounding areas of Petersfield, which feed into the Petersfield secondary schools. These schools include Langrish Primary school, East Meon Primary School, West Meon Primary School, Steep Primary School and Buriton Primary School.

Public schools

The town and the surrounding villages are home to several renowned independent schools. Public school Churcher's College is located in Petersfield, and counts Tim Rodber and Tiny Rowland amongst its alumni. Ditcham Park School is situated just outside the town, and Bedales School is located in the neighbouring village of Steep. Former Bedales pupils include the Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day Lewis, actress Minnie Driver and pop singer Lily Allen.

Formerly, Morton House School was located in the town centre. In 1993 it was purchased by Churcher's College to become the Churcher's College Junior School, however, the school's success meant it soon outgrew these premises and has since relocated to Liphook. The old Moreton House school site has since been converted to housing.

Local media

Petersfield has three weekly newspapers,The Petersfield Messenger, Petersfield Post Petersfield Herald. There is a popular monthly community magazine, Life in Petersfield. Delta FM is the local radio station and has been transmitting to Petersfield since 2003 after many years of campaigning. There is also a spoof news website at [1]

Commerce, business, industry

Main employment is in shops and offices in the town centre and farms in nearby villages, while there are many commuters to London and Portsmouth. Light industry tends to be concentrated in the Bedford Road estate on the west side of Petersfield, which is still expanding each year. Whitman Laboratories (part of Estee' Lauder) is based near town. In 2007, the Norwegian owned oil-supply giant Aibel Ltd added an engineering office in addition to their UK head office in Petersfield.


Petersfield is situated in the valley of the Western Rother, on the Lower Greensand at the northern edge of the South Downs. The town lies at the western end of the Greensand Ridge, a sandstone ridge running through Hampshire, Surrey and Kent.

The town is surrounded on all sides by farmed countryside, with the South Downs south of the town, the Hampshire Downs to the west, and forested hills (Durford Wood) to the north east.

Close to the town and situated on the South Downs is Queen Elizabeth Country Park, which incorporates Butser Hill (the highest point on the downs), and has a wide variety of scenery from chalk hills to pine forest. The Hangers Way footpath runs from the country park, through Petersfield and on to Alton.

On the south east side of the town is Petersfield Heath, 95 acres (380,000 m2) of heathland including woodland, grassland, a pond, and a picnic and recreation area suitable for children.[4] Petersfield Heath is registered as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (a SINC). It also contains 21 Bronze Age barrows which together provide the site with Scheduled Ancient Monument status.

Heathland is very rare throughout Europe and the Petersfield Heath is a typical heathland mosaic of many micro habitats. Across the site are sandy heath and acid heath areas, grassland and scrub which gives the area many diverse zones for insects, reptiles, birds and small mammals.

As a prime location for habitation the heath (and Petersfield area in general) has always been occupied with frequent finds of flint axe and tool remnants from the Mesolithic period (up to 10,000 years ago). The burial mounds may be up to 4,000 years old, their distribution is mainly to the east and south east of the heath. These are considered to be one of the most important lowland barrow groups in this country. The barrows indicate that the area of the Heath was occupied by people who may have come to regard this area as sacred to their religion. As yet no trace has been confirmed for the dwellings of these people as the structures would have been wooden.[5]

Petersfield Heath is one end and starting point of "The Serpent Trail", a 65-mile (105 km) walk though heath and downland of Hampshire and West Sussex to Haslemere.[6]

Weather and climate

There are an average of 200 days of sunshine each year in Petersfield.

The temperature range is similar to most of southern England.

The wind direction is prevailing south westerly although local variations are frequent due to the hills.

Being situated in a dip, with the South Downs to the south and The Hangers to the north, the weather in Petersfield can be quite different from the weather across the South Downs on the coast. In particular, there tends to be more fog than on the south (coastal) side of the South Downs hills.


External links

Simple English

Petersfield is a town in Hampshire, England, UK. It is close to the border with West Sussex. Petersfield is a historic market town in the south downs. It is a lovely place to live. :D


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