Peasemore History – taken from the 2004 Parish Plan

The first reference to what became Peasemore Parish was in 951AD in King Edred’s Charter when the boundaries of the Parish were defined and described as part of the Chieveley Parish. The village is first recorded in the Domesday book, in 1086, as Praxemere, and again in 1166 as Pesemere,

meaning the ‘pond by which peas grow’, from the Old English ‘pise’ – peas, and ‘mere’ – pond1. Peasemore is first recorded on a map, drawn by Rocque in 1761, and again on a copy by Willis in 1768. The road network has not much changed since and a circular enclosure, which may be evidence of an Iron Age settlement is clearly visible on successive maps.

A Neolithic stone axe head was discovered at Prince’s farm in the 1950’s [now at The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford]  and a number of flint tools have been found at Warren Down. These have been authenticated by Newbury  museum and suggest that the area has been occupied for at least five thousand years. Christianity was established in the village during Saxon times and probably centred around the Saxon Church on the site of the present Victorian, Gothic Church. Between 1078 and 1097 Richard of Peasemore built a chapel and cemetery here and this became the parish church in 1104, and was rebuilt in Victorian style in 18422. Rubble from the Norman Church was used as road foundations through the village!

In 1809 the first Primitive Methodist Chapel was built near the site of what is now Walnut Tree cottage. This was replaced in 1831 by ‘Ebenezer’ at West View and the third Chapel was erected in 1923 on the site of what is now ‘Furlongs’. All three Chapels in succession have been demolished but they reflect the strong Methodist community that existed on the Downlands in the 19th century. They continued to hold regular open air ‘camp’ meetings and services well into the 20th century on what is known as Mell Green.

A great fire broke out in Peasemore on 27th July 1736 when the whole of the centre of the village including barns and ricks were destroyed. It started in the area of Drakes and was declared a national with over £1500 of damage done.

Peasemore has, to date; eleven Grade II listed buildings. Priors, Widows and Princes’ Farmsteads are recorded and described in the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, Farmsteads survey, 1994. The Iron Age Enclosure is recorded  as an ancient monument on WBC: Historic Buildings, Sites and Monuments Record 1/5/028. The present village hall was built in 1900 and prior to this social gatherings were held in the reading rooms; a single storey thatched cottage on the site of what is now the house called Las Vegas.

Old Peasemore map