Place:Abbots Ann, Hampshire, England

NameAbbots Ann
Alt namesAbbotts Annsource: spelling variation (Wikipedia)
Anna Valleysource: village in parish
Little Annsource: manor in parish
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.183°N 1.533°W
Located inHampshire, England
See alsoWherwell Hundred, Hampshire, Englandancient county division in which it was first located
Andover Hundred, Hampshire, Englandancient county division in which it was later located
Andover Rural, Hampshire, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1974
Test Valley District, Hampshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Abbots Ann is a parish which includes a village of the same name, approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of Andover, Hampshire, England.

The village name "Ann" was derived from the Celtic river name ‘Anne’ meaning "Ash Tree Stream" (now known as the Pillhill Brook). The first settlements in the area can be traced back to 50BC when the Atrebates cleared the forests and cultivated the land. During Roman rule the village prospered, and at the end of Dunkirt Lane a large Roman Villa was built.

First mentioned as Anna when reportedly granted to the New Minster of Winchester by King Edward the Elder (son of Alfred the Great), it was later recorded in the Domesday Book as an area containing 8 hides and 3 mills. The long, narrow and roughly rectangular boundary is characteristic of West Hampshire chalk land parishes. Defined in Saxon times, or possibly earlier, this shape ensured that Abbots Ann had its share of river, downland and richer waterside meadows. Before the Norman invasion the land was granted to the Abbey of Hyde and became known as Ann Abbatis (the ‘Estate on the River Anne belonging to the Abbot’). Little Ann was granted to the Abbey of Wherwell. After the dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s the estates passed back into secular hands.

In 1806, Robert Tasker settled in Abbots Ann and later took over the blacksmith’s business. Tasker and his brother developed the first iron plough, which become so popular that they set up the Waterloo Ironworks in Anna Valley (another village in the parish) to cope with the demand. In 1831, Robert Tasker built the school on its present site in the village, and leased it to the Revd. Samuel Best, the Rector of Abbots Ann. Built 39 years before education became compulsory, the school was one of the first in England to take children of all denominations.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Abbots Ann from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"ABBOTS-ANN, a parish in Andover district, Hants; on the river Ann or Anton, adjacent to the Basingstoke and Salisbury railway, 2½ miles SW by W of Andover. It has a post office under Andover. Acres: 3,351. Real property: £3,932. Population: 640. Houses: 140. The property is all in one estate. Red Rice House, an ancient mansion, is the place where George IV. was married to Mrs. Fitzherbert. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Winchester. Value: £645. Patrons: the heirs of Sir J. Burrough. The ancient church belonged to the Abbey of Cornelies, in Normandy. The present church is a deformed structure of last century. There is an Independent chapel."

The Gazetteer describes the parish almost before its industrialization, although the industrialization was well underway before its publication.

Research Tips

  • Victoria County History of Hampshire, volume 4, chapter on Abbotts Ann.
  • GENUKI has a list of archive holders in Hampshire including the Hampshire Record Office, various museums in Portsmouth and Southhampton, the Isle of Wight Record Office and Archives.
  • The Hampshire Online Parish Clerk project has a large collection of transcriptions from Parish Registers across Hampshire.
  • A listing of all the Registration Districts in England and Wales since their introduction in 1837 together with tables listing the parishes that were part of each district and the time period covered, along with detailed notes on changes of parish name, mergers, etc. Do respect the copyright on this material.
  • The three-storey City Museum in Winchester covers the Iron Age and Roman periods, the Middle Ages, and the Victorian period.
  • Volumes in The Victoria County History Series are available for Hampshire through British History Online. There are three volumes and the county is covered by parishes within the old divisions of "hundreds".
A collection of maps on the A Vision of Britain through Time website illustrating the English county of Hampshire over the period 1832-1932 (the last two are expandible):
  • A group of maps of the post-1974 municipal districts or boroughs of Hampshire on Wikipedia Commons
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Abbotts Ann. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.