Titchfield is a village in southern Hampshire, by the River Meon. The village has a history stretching back to the 6th century. During the medieval period, the village operated a small port and market. Near to the village are the ruins of Titchfield Abbey, a place with strong associations with Shakespeare, through his patron, the Earl of Southampton.
The first people mentioned as inhabiting the area were a Jutish tribe, the Meonwara The tribe were part of the Jutes originating from Denmark who founded the village during the 6th century. The story regarding the village name may not be true. However it is said that the a large field near the settlement belonged to a man with the name Ticca. With the passing of time, Ticca's fields became the village of Titchfield.
St Peter’s Church, Titchfield, was established in about 680 making it one of the oldest used churches in England. Though only a few parts of the original structure survive, the church contains a mixture of building styles, since it was expanded and redeveloped to include additional space.
The Domesday Book in 1086 mentions "Ticefelle": with a mill, a market and farms. It was a successful community, though tiny by today’s standards with a population of 160. The Doomesday book entry for Titchfield states "The King holds TICEFELLE. It is a berewick, and belongs to MENESTOCHES. King Edward held it. There are 2 hides; but they have not paid geld. (There) is land for 15 ploughs. In (the) demesne (there are) but 2 oxen (animalia), and (there are) 16 villeins and 13 borders with 9 ploughs. There are 4 serfs, and a mill worth 20 shillings. The market and toll (are worth) 40 shillings."
A further variation in the spelling may be seen in a Mediaeval legal record, where it appears as "Thechefeld".
Titchfield has long been a centre for business, with the village once having a small port. There were also tanneries (some of the buildings still exist), a market, a fair, brewers, craftsmen, traders and other business people. It is recorded that Henry V before Agincourt and Charles I before his imprisonment at Carisbrooke rested in the town.
A Market Hall was built in Titchfield Square by the 3rd Earl of Southampton in the early 17th century. This was moved behind the Queen’s Head Public House in 1810. In 1801 Titchfield had a population of almost 3,000. In 1865 a gas company provided gaslight to the village and in 1894 Titchfield was given a parish council.
In 1970, with the market hall in a derelict state, it was bought by the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. The entire hall was dismantled and moved to Singleton where it now stands restored in the centre of a new (old) village.
At the 2001 census, the population of the village was estimated at 7000.