From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
Haslemere Road and Portsmouth Road mini-roundabout in Liphook, Hampshire, England 3.jpg
Grid reference: SU839314
Location: 51°4’35"N, 0°48’11"W
Postcode: GU30
Local Government
Council: East Hampshire
East Hampshire

Liphook is a large village in Hampshire. It is close to the meeting point of Hampshire with Surrey and Sussex, four miles west of Haslemere in Surrey, and on the Portsmouth Road (the A3).

Liphook has its own railway station, on the Portsmouth Direct Line.

The village grew as a coaching stop between London and Portsmouth during the 17th and 18th centuries. The village also served as a base during the First World War and the Second World War for Canadian soldiers stationed in the southern counties in preparation for the invasion of Europe.


Pre-coaching times

The village grew out of the hamlet of Bramshott. The first record to Liphook is in the Bramshott Manor Court Rolls to one 'Robert of Lupe' in 1281. Then follows Matilda of 'Lhupe' in 1337, William at 'Lupe' in 1365, John at 'Lepe' in 1386, and John Maunser at 'Leope' in 1423. On his death in 1428, John Maunser's tenancy at 'Lepe' between modern London Road and Headley Road is the first identifiable landmark in Liphook. Sir Edmund Pakynham inherited a tenement and land in 'Lepoke' in 1527, and John Hooke bought the manor of 'Chiltle' in 'Lippuck' in 1591. John Speed's map of 1610 shows it as Lippocke.

It seems some people escaped from the manors of Bramshott, Chiltlee and Ludshott to Liphook, an area above the marshes around the River Wey, to evade taxes of their local Lords.

The coaching age

Liphook grew further as a coach stop on the London - Portsmouth route. In Tudor times mail was sent from London to Portsmouth by way of Southampton and the route through Liphook only used in emergencies, such as the Spanish Armada of 1588. The map of 1675 by John Ogilby shows this road bypassing Bramshott and going through Lippock, however the quality of this road was very poor.

Originally travellers' needs were catered for by stalls, eventually replaced by the half-timbered houses that exist around The Square. Growth accelerated with wagons being replaced by coaches, and coaching in Liphook was firmly established by 1660. The roads were often unmaintained and unsigned - Samuel Pepys records three journeys by this road in May 1661, April 1662 and August 1668, on the latter staying in Lippock:

So to coach again, and got to Lippock, late over Hindhead, having an old man, a guide, in the coach with us; but got thither with great fear of being out of our way, it being ten at night. Here good, honest people; and after supper, to bed.

Samuel Pepys, The Diary of Samuel Pepys, 6th August 1668

A coach service from London to Portsmouth started in 1688, which coincided with growth of the Royal Anchor coaching inn, and other 17th-century buildings in The Square. The Royal Anchor itself has a fireback dated 1588 which supports the supposition that there was an earlier building on the site.

The Royal Navy considered the road from Petersfield to Portsmouth impassable in winter for heavy goods in the 17th century, but improvements were made in the 18th century to roads and coaches with the coming of the turnpike. Turnpiking between Petersfield and Portsmouth began in 1710 and between Kingston and Petersfield by way of Liphook in 1749. The Old Toll House by Radford Bridge in Liphook dates from the 18th century. But highwaymen were still a problem as 18th century notices in the Royal Anchor show. By 1784 London-Portsmouth coaches carried mail through Liphook. Turnpiking reduced the journey from London-Portsmouth from two days in the 1660s to 10 hours in 1819. Cary's New Itinerary of 1819 records seven coaches on weekdays left London for Portsmouth by way of Liphook and three during the night.

Local tradition has it that Nelson spent his last night in England in Liphook before sailing for the Battle of Trafalgar. George III and Queen Charlotte on their stay gave permission for the Blue Anchor to be renamed the Royal Anchor.

The railway era

The London and South Western Railway came to Liphook in 1859. The Portsmouth Direct Line was built after the 1840s 'railway mania'. Originally the LSWR route from London to Portsmouth was via a branch from Southampton to Gosport, where passengers then went on the chain ferry across Portsmouth harbour. This lasted until the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway extended their London-Brighton line to Portchester. Initially the LSWR constructed a branch from Woking to Guildford in 1845 then Godalming in 1849, but were reluctant to extend it to Havant. Thomas Brassey, a railway contractor, was granted Act of Parliament to construct a single track in 1853 (doubling was completed on 1 March 1878 {Mitchell & Smith 1985, p. ii}). The first train arrived in Liphook on 24 January 1859, but a dispute between the LSWR and the LBSCR meant full service was not initiated until 8 May.

Railways caused the long-distance coaching trade to reduce in the village. The railway station became the hub of short-distance horse-drawn transport, with the blacksmiths shop in The Square flourishing until at least 1918.

The railway was originally planned to bypass Liphook, but the Liphook Deviation amendment of the Act of Parliament altered it to its present course. In doing so it bisected the estate of Chiltlee Manor, a split that exists to this day. The northern part remained as fields and the village cricket pitch, until its requisition to become the British Army's Ordnance Supply Unit in 1939. After decommissioning it was sold to Sainsbury's to form the site of their shop, the Millennium Centre and several other housing developments. The southern part was sold to Mary Ann Robb in 1869, who built the house of Chiltlee Place and the surrounding arboretum in 1880. In the 1960s the site was sold to the Berg firm of builders for construction of their housing estate.

Liphook's population grew modestly, from 1,367 in 1861 to 1,614 in 1891. The railway did not cause a more substantial increase, since many could not afford to pay the fare for more than an occasional excursion. The Kelly's Directory of 1895 shows far more shopkeepers in Liphook than Bramshott: Liphook had become the predominant centre of the Parish of Bramshott. A few wealthy people however saw the potential of commuter travel, notably Mary Ann Robb and London solicitor William Thomas Longbourn, who bought Foley Manor in 1859. He later sold it to William Barrington Tristram, a former member of the Bombay Council who built the house's Victorian extension.

20th Century

From 1916-1928 author and poet Flora Thompson lived in Liphook where her husband was postmaster.[1] Her most well-known works include the trilogy Lark Rise, Over to Candleford and Candleford Green, memoirs of her childhood in 1880s Oxfordshire. Her first work, Bog-Myrtle and Peat, was published in 1921 when she lived in Liphook. The roads 'Lark Rise' and 'Candleford Gate' are named after two of the works in the Lark Rise to Candleford trilogy. In early 2008, the trilogy was the subject of the series televised by the BBC.

During both First World War and Second World War, Liphook was the base for many Canadian soldiers. Many recent roads in Liphook have been given Canadian place names to commemorate the armed forces of that country that trained in this area during the First and Second World Wars and the cemetery of St Mary's church in Bramshott has a section of Canadian graves, war dead including many victims of the influenza outbreak of 1918.

About the village

Local attractions include the Forest Mere health spa and Hollycombe Steam Collection. On 'the night the clocks go back' (usually the last Saturday in October) the village plays host to the Liphook Carnival, a procession of floats through the village followed by a bonfire which has taken place since 1903.[2]

During the hot summer of 1983, Liphook hit the headlines as the hottest spot in the United Kingdom.

Churcher's College

At Liphook is a public school, Churcher's College Junior school, (the Senior school being in nearby Petersfield). The site previously housed Littlefield school, which was bought by Churcher's and converted.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Liphook)


  1. Flora Thompson (from John Owen Smith
  2. [1]


  • Finney, Joan; Wilson, Alan. "The Origin and Growth of Liphook: 1. Before the Coaching Age". Liphook Community Magazine Summer 2005: 16–17. 
  • Wilson, Alan; Finney, Joan. "The Origin and Growth of Liphook: 2. Liphook in the Coaching Age". Liphook Community Magazine Autumn 2005: 16–17. 
  • Wilson, Alan. "The Origin and Growth of Liphook: 3. The Coming of the Railway". Liphook Community Magazine Summer 2006: 26–27. 
  • Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (1985). Southern Main Lines: Woking to Portsmouth. Midhurst, Sussex: Middleton Press. ISBN 0-906520-25-8.