East Worldham - The Hangers Way - Hartley Mauditt - Circular

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This is a very attractive walk, starting and finishing in the old hilltop village of East Worldham, south-east of Alton and not far from Selborne. The latter is very popular with walkers, but very few stray just the few miles away to walk these hills and fields, so it is invariably quiet.

The history in and around this short walk is varied. Firstly, a Roman road ran from Chichester to Silchester and there is evidence of a Roman posting station at Neatham, just north of your start point.

The name 'Worldham' derives from Anglo-Saxon Wae-hyll-ham, which translates as Waterhill Village. On top of the hill is St Mary the Virgin, a 12th-Century church constructed over Roman foundations. Entering the church, it is worth looking for medieval graffiti in the form of sword scratch-marks left by pilgrim knights. Those knights are a clue to the church's literary associations. In the south aisle's wall is a funereal effigy of Phillipa, wife of Geoffrey Chaucer. Their son Thomas was lord of the manor here from 1418 to 1434 and the church was on the Pilgrim's Way from Winchester to Canterbury.

To the south-east of the village is the isolated King John's Hill, associated by tradition with John's hunting. He had a hunting lodge here and is recorded as being here twice in the first decade of the 13th Century.

Later on, the route of the walk takes in St Leonard's Church, Hartley Mauditt, which having lost its village stands isolated beside the village pond. This was essentially a manor church, built between 1100 and 1125 by one of William the Conqueror's knights, William de Mauditt, in a clearing in the forest. The manor remained Crown property until the Stuart family bought the manor in 1614 and held it for many years. In 1798 the owner preferred to live in London, but his wife wished to remain in Hartley Mauditt, so he demolished the manor-house, thus forcing her to follow him. She is buried in the churchyard. The destruction of the manor meant loss of employment and the village was abandoned. The church was restored in 1854 and 1904, the last when the bell turret was renewed. Today the church is well-preserved and beautifully maintained.

The route also passes the church of St Nicholas, West Worldham. One of William the Conqueror's knights, Richard d'Annecy, granted a large parcel of land to the Priory of Hamble. The monks sent to manage the farm and receive the tithes built the tiny church towards the end of the 12th Century. In 1414 the church was acquired by Winchester College, together with other possessions of Hamble Priory. The manor-house nearby probably stands on the site of the Norman habitation of the monks. In 1870 the church became almost ruined by fire and the roof fell in, but it was restored in 1888 by Winchester College.

Much of the walk is within the South Downs National Park.

The team at the Three Horseshoes pub in East Worldham invite you to leave your car there and enjoy their hospitality after the walk. See Additional Info.

England - South England - Hampshire - South Downs


Birds, Church, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Public Transport
11/3/2018 - Patricia Daw

A great walk. Well directed as usual. I would concur with others who say that it is a walk to avoid after a lot of rain as I'm sure tramping through the fields would be hard going where you're walking through a sugar beet crop for instance.(WM27). We parked in the pub on a sunny Saturday in November and returned for a lovely lunch - very welcoming staff and superb food.

10/23/2017 - Neil Packham

A really lovely walk in this beautiful part of Hampshire, and one I’d happily drive miles to do again. Re: Jo’s query at WM17, the right-of-way is to be found to the right of the gate; you just have to walk up there before it becomes obvious.

6/8/2014 - Jo Walker

This was a great walk - what I did of it but I got stuck on point 17. I couldn't find the gate mentioned (I did find one but it seemed to go onto farmland and didn't look like a right of way)that took you to Wick Hill Farm and ended up walking all the way through Selbourne Hanger and onto the Long Lythe. I decided to call it a day after that. Could anyone advise me further. Thank you.

6/2/2013 - Susan Pyne

Lovely walk with lots of interest. We couldn't find the steps at waypoint 1 so backtracked and went down the lane from the church to the B3004 instead. The infamous waypoint 20/21 is now planted with rape and the path is not properly cleared - made it quite hard going across the field. Apart from that highly recommended.

3/3/2013 - Jill Stacey

A nice walk and not too muddy. The directions were excellent. At point 20 the path through the ploughed field was clear as far as the telegraph pole. The farmer then seems to steer walkers to the fence and along rather than following the same direction. The footbridge is clear and there is now no evidence of a construction site for a new road. At point 27 there is an electric fence to cross but the farmer appears to have lowered it for walkers to get over. The path can still be seen.

4/28/2010 - Chris Christodoulou

Chris Christodoulou. 25th April 2010 This is a great walk,interesting,lovely scenery, and easy parking. Very good directions, in fact one of the easiest I've had to follow, you can't go wrong here. Do visit the churches especially St Leonard's. Note: At waypoint 1 the three stiles are now new kissing gates. The Three Horseshoes pub is not open all day so plan your route and time if want to refresh yourself there.

6/14/2009 - Richard Clayton

Thanks, Doug. The missing waymarker at WP12 has been reported to Hampshire County Council. RC

6/12/2009 - Douglas Mills

12/06/09 -Doug Mills An interesting and varied walk through beautiful countryside. Good pub food at Three Horseshoes and we were allowed to leave our car in their car park. Waymark 13 appeared to be missing but we found the path by pacing out the distance from the gate at Waymark 12. The ancient pathway from Waymark 18 was partially obstructed by felled scrub/trees and there appeared to be someone living in a badger sett behind a sheet! Three churches described well worth a visit.

8/23/2008 - Julian Holt

I started this walk from Alton station which added another 2 miles to each end. This route takes you through glorious countryside, with views to boot! Had to make a (road) diversion between waypoints 20 - 21 as the field had just been ploughed and the path was invisible. For the interested, I saw a Claas combine in action at waypoint 28. A great walk, recommended!

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