Houses in Freefolk
|Council:||Basingstoke and Deane|
|North West Hampshire|
Freefolk is a small but very pretty village in Hampshire, on the north bank of the River Test upstream of Whitchurch. It stands almost opposite Laverstoke, which is just to the east and on the south bank of the Test.
The pub in the village is named the "Watership Down", though known locally as "the jerry". Built in 1840, it was called the Freefolk Arms but was renamed in honour of local author Richard Adams and his book Watership Down; a novel about rabbits, which in turn took its name from the hill named Watership Down, about five miles north of the village.
The village has two churches, both of the Church of England: St Nicholas, which is no longer used, and St Mary, which serves as the parish church for Laverstock but is in fact in Freefolk, north of the river.
St Nicholas' Church in Freefolk is a small church which formerly served as the village church. However in the nineteenth century when St Mary's was built it was superseded: it has now been declared redundant and is now under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.
The presence of a church on the site was recorded in the Domesday Book, but the present church dates from the 13th century, with windows and chancel screen added in the 15th century, and its interior remodelled in 1703. In 1896 a new, larger church was built to the north, on the other side of the road, for the new Parish which united Freefolk with Laverstoke. St Nicholas' was declared redundant on 11 December 1974.
In the media
The village was brought to public attention by the "Forever Freefolk" garden at the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show, sponsored by Brewin Dolphin and designed by Rosy Hardy of local nursery Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants. The garden highlighted the fragility of England's chalk streams, and won a silver medal.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
- St Nicholas' Church, Freefolk, Hampshire, Churches Conservation Trust, http://www.visitchurches.org.uk/Ourchurches/Completelistofchurches/St-Nicholas-Church-Freefolk-Hampshire/, retrieved 19 April 2011
- National Heritage List England no. 1092725: Church of St Nicholas, Laverstoke (Historic England)
- Laverstoke – A History of the County of Hampshire – Victoria County History
- (PDF) Diocese of Winchester: All Schemes, Church Commissioners/Statistics, Church of England, 2010, p. 2, http://live.churchofengland.org/media/56490/winchester.pdf, retrieved 19 April 2011
- Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants
- The Brewin Dolphin Garden – Forever Freefolk - Royal Horticultural Society