What's on offer in the village of Buriton
PUBLISHED: 16:01 29 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:01 29 February 2016
This South Downs village has a wonderful community spirit. With two pubs and a plethora of events through the year, there's always something for residents to look forward to says Claire Pitcher
Making the headlines
Back in 2012, the Lord Lieutentant of Hampshire formerly recognised the local Chalk Pits Nature Reserve with a prestigious award. At one point, in 2007, the site was threatened with closure to the public but, thanks to a joint initiative, funds were raised to save the special area.
Buriton Manor is home to a ghost or two. Rumour says that in 1957, Colonel Bonham-Carter successfully applied for a reduction in the rateable value of his manor because of its ghosts. One is supposed to be an elderly nanny in 18th century uniform - another is a maid who runs silently across the courtyard before vanishing at a brick wall.
Villagers and guests at The Village Inn will soon be able to experience the pub’s new Mucky Duck Spa. The new management at the pub are keeping the details close to their chests, but keep an eye on their website to find updates.
Buriton has two lovely village pubs. First there’s the Five Bells, with a simple menu of pub classics at good value. Try the flavoursome stew or soup to warm you up. Call 01730 263584 or see www.fivebells-buriton.co.uk. There is also The Village Inn, which is perfectly placed for walkers and cyclists exploring the South Downs. Take a look at the menu and book online at www.villageinnburiton.co.uk.
Just two miles south of Petersfield, Buriton is easily accessible off the A3. There’s no railway station in the village. The closest is in Petersfield, where you can get to London in just an hour. There are few local buses too, going to Havant, Petersfield and Waterlooville. Set your Satnav to GU31 5RX.
Tim Concannon bought his 15th century thatched cottage in Buriton from his mother in the early eighties. Being a solicitor, and naturally curious, Tim was able to do some research into the building. “It is one of five medieval yeomans’ houses in and around the village and was built before 1420 when it was occupied by one Thomas atte Welle. There were many Thomas’ then, including Thomas atte Burgh (in the High Street) atte Wode (probably in South Lane) and atte Sonde (unknown). Because there were no surnames, they were distinguished by where they lived. Since there is a large well in front of this house, it is not difficult to isolate this Thomas.”
Over the years, Tim has played many roles in the village. He is the voice of the Village Show in the summer, the village fireworks in the winter and the school fair in June. He even writes the occasional article for the village magazine.
“In the late summer I overcame a lifetime’s dislike for committees and their ilk and volunteered to be co-opted onto the Parish Council,” Tim says. “It is time to give something back to the Community in which I have lived for 40 years.”
For Tim, Buriton “combines the joy of living in a rural community with excellent communications.”
Tim’s work takes him all over the western circuit.
“London is an hour away from Petersfield station. I can reach anywhere from Hastings to Weymouth in a couple of hours. If I have to go further afield Southampton airport makes Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle a day trip.”
Being in such a stressful vocation, Tim looks forward to arriving back in Buriton at the end of the day.
“There is something healing about coming home to trees and cows. Following a tractor into the village is an object lesson in the unchanging nature of rural life. Far from finding it frustrating I love it as a wake-up call.
“In a phrase, living in Buriton gives one a sense of balance. All the local farmers sell their produce direct to the village, which means, for example that the furthest any animal has to travel is to the slaughterhouse. Being surrounded by nature is a reminder of what it means to be human.”
Tim’s also been involved in Butser Ancient Farm for more than 30 years and was a close personal friend of the late Peter Reynolds. “I designed the Roman Villa and have spoken at many academic gatherings about the milieu of the Bronze and Iron ages. I have even written a book about the Traditional History of Western Europe. In addition to that, being born and schooled in Portsmouth I have a lifelong interest in Naval history and speak and write on that subject.
“I also visit archaeological sites. I am currently engaged in a piece of research into landscape use in prehistory under the auspices of the South Downs National Park High Woods Project.”
• What’s on offer in the village of Titchfield - Claire Pitcher heads to the village of Titchfield to get to know its vibrant community
• Town or County - Southampton and surrounding villages - If you work in Southampton you can live in the lively thick of it all or escape to surrounding villages, as Emma Caulton finds out.