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Goodworth Clatford

Located less than three miles from the market town of Andover, the Village of Goodworth Clatford. It has a population of less than 1000 and is served by a 13th century Church, a Primary School, Village Club, Shop with Post Office, 2 pubs (The Royal Oak and The Clatford Arms) and a Garage. The village surroundings, its thriving replacement school, church, village shop and two public houses, the Village Club and proximity to larger centres have led to it being described as a 'most desirable village in which to live. A short drive away from the historic centres of Salisbury and Winchester, Goodworth Clatford is a thriving community with an award-winning village shop, church, state of the art primary school, nursery school and two pubs. The village also has the Eagle public house, with the Poplar Farm Inn, in the neighbouring hamlet of Little Ann.


The original Saxon pagan settlement by the river was known as 'Goda's Enclosure'.  In the Domesday Survey of 1086 the area is recorded as Godorde and by 1538 the church register is Goodworth Clatford. For centuries the village was a self-contained farming community with its water meadows, good grazing land and arable fields sheltered by a gentle rolling landscape. Up until the 1939-45 war the general character and shape of the village changed little. To the east was Church Lane with St Peter's dating from the 12th century, a large rectory with its Glebe Farm running to the Anton, and Manor Farm.  The narrow western lane to Barrow Hill serviced the farm and farm cottages. The village street and cross roads formed the hub of the community and the lives of most villagers were shaped by the needs of the land and the trades which supported it.  With horses used for work and transport the forge was an important landmark in the street.  Two shops were kept busy, the Post Office did its own sorting and delivery, two builders provided a variety of trades for men and boys (leaving school at 14 until 1934) and the larger village houses employed young women as domestic staff.


A great feature of village life is the sound of church bells summoning the community to church.  The eight bells in the tower are regularly rung and their framed details are on the south wall to the left of the porch door. The oldest bell No.6 was cast by John Wallis in 1622 and is inscribed ‘Give Thanks to God', whilst No.7 cast by John Danton in 1627 is inscribed ‘Love God'. Two light-weight bells were added to the existing six in 1986, the No.2 being recast from a bell given by The Royal Air Force Guild of Bellringers. The Treble, inscribed ‘Holiness Unto The Lord', was paid for from monies collected in and around the parish, adding to a bell fund started in memory of Ernest Dowling, a past churchwarden whose name was commemorated on No.4 in 1937; this continues the long links of the Dowling family with St Peter's Church and reminds us that St. Peter's has been, and still is, central to the life of its community.

Socially it was a self-contained environment.  Cricket was played on Glebe land down by the river, the Village Club built in 1923 by Sir Alfred Yarrow offered dancing, a reading room, billiard room and tennis courts. In 1935 Mr Lloyd of Flint House gave land for the Recreation Ground to celebrate the Jubilee of King George V. Rural life changed irrevocably with the outbreak of war in 1939. Young men went away, land girls worked on the farms, women made shells and a U.S. HQ was set up at Red Rice. Tragedy struck when a flying bomb demolished the Royal Oak, the school, the old forge and neighbouring cottages; less dramatic but important were the changed circumstances of the post-war era.


Following the end of war, housing was needed and the first major change was additional local authority building at The Crescent on land compulsorily purchased from Yew Tree Farm. Andover became a London overspill town and with newcomers needing homes, building took place on the surrounding farm land. The end of petrol rationing and increase in car ownership made longer range commuting possible and 'live in a village and work in a town' became a new way of life. The closure of the 'Sprat and Winkle' railway line in 1964 also increased village dependency on the motor car.


The larger developments of St Anne's Close, Burdock Close and Cottage Green were built in the l960s and 1970s in the south west quarter of the village. These, together with the bungalow developments along Church Lane and Barrow Hill changed the structural style of the village. Despite the changes to the rural character of the village and the loss of its farms and associated trades, the peaceful river and water meadows remain at its heart and, together with most of the Village Street, arc protected within the Goodworth Clatford Conservation Area.

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