Empshott: about the village


Empshott is a village of about 90 inhabitants situated two miles south of Selborne in the hangers of East Hampshire. The village has been included in the civil parish of Hawkley since 1932. The village is spread out from the B3006 to the mill on the river Rother, which forms the old boundary with Hawkley, to the base of Noar Hill towards Selborne to a winding boundary near the former Le Court Cheshire Home, now demolished and replaced by prestige housing. The village centres around the village church next to "The Grange" and "The Empshott Hut" an early 20th century wooden village hall that is the venue for most of the village activities, such as Scottish Reels nights, Harvest Supper, some meetings for the Empshott & Hawkley Horticutural Society, occasional Parish and Parochial Church Council meetings and quiz nights.


This tiny Parish was distinguished in a survey of 1428 as one of the Hampshire Parishes in which there were fewer than ten inhabitants holding houses, in 1931 the population had risen to 171. The manor of Empshott belonged to Edward the Confessor but was leased to Bundi and Saxi; at the time of the Domesday Survey it was held by Geoffrey de Venuz, a marshall to William the Conqueror. The manor remained in the Venuz family during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries but by the reign of Edward II it had passed to Aymer de Valence. Grange Farm was originally the manor house, and the manor courts were always held there.


The village no longer has any shops, the Village Stores & Post Office closed in the 1970's and became virtually derelict until it was extensively refurbished in 2013. The nearest pubs are in Hawkley, Selborne and Greatham all approximately 2 miles away. The B3006 running through the village was, until the early 80's, a winding country lane which was then widened to accommodate the transportation of cruise missiles for deployment at nearby Longmoor military ranges. The introduction of a 30mph speed limit some years later did help to improve levels of safety and noise although traffic volumes continue to increase over time.