Laverstoke and Freefolk Community Site
Welcome to the Community Web Site for the village of Laverstoke and Freefolk. Here the Parish Council aims to keep you informed of the latest activities and news.
Laverstoke and Freefolk is one of 51 parishes that make up the borough of Basingstoke and Deane in the county of Hampshire. The villages are set in wonderful Test Valley countryside. Freefolk Priors marks the easterly edge and is home to our lovely Public House The Watership Down Inn, or more colloquially “The Jerry”. Freefolk, in the centre, includes our two churches St Mary’s and the historic, but officially redundant, St Nicholas. This latter is a quaint 13th-century church built on the site of an 11th-century building. Freefolk also boasts the longest residential run of thatch in the country – 18 grade II listed cottages. Surprisingly, it was built as recently as 1939 by Portals Paper Mill as homes for mill workers. Laverstoke, towards the west, is a model village in the historic sense. It mainly comprises a run of semi-detached and terraced homes that were built from 1755 to 1955. With the sports facilities over the road, it was run in a paternalistic way by Portals. Much of the village is classified as a Conservation area. Laverstoke is now also the new Home of the Bombay Sapphire distillery, set in the stunningly refurbished old paper mill and attracting visitors from all over the world. The southern parish boundary is marked by the Roundwood Estate with its ancient woodland.
Other sports facilities in the parish include our rugby club which is based up at Laverstoke Park in the north of the parish (Overton Rugby Club). There is also a Clay pigeon shooting school at Roundwood For those that enjoy walking there is a lovely test walk through part of the parish See: http://www.hants.gov.uk/rh/walking/mill-trail.pdf
The parish has seven local parish councillors and, as part of the Whitchurch, Overton and Laverstoke ward of Basingstoke and Deane, it is represented by three borough councillors: Cllr Colin Phillimore, Cllr Chloe Ashfield and Cllr Karen Watts. It is also in the Candovers division of Hampshire County Council and is represented by Cllr Juliet Henderson.
The Parish Council acts as a link between the villages and other bodies such as the Millennium Green. It owns a car park in Laverstoke Lane and land in Freefolk beside Manor Cottages, for the benefit of local residents. In 2010 it took out a 25-year lease on land in Laverstoke that had previously been the Portals Sports and Social Club. This encompassed a bowling green, disused tennis courts and a football pitch as well as a large clubhouse building. The area has been refurbished and the aim is to make the site self-funding. To this end, two tennis courts were re-laid to LTA standards and are now run by Whitchurch Tennis Club. Overton Black Arrows Archery Club now use the old bowling green and the building has been divided into Kingfisher Day Care Centre for the Elderly and Lady Rose Hall, a beautiful community building.