Unchanged rural life in the wooden huts of claen feld

Thatched cottages in the picturesque centre of Clanfield

Thatched cottages in the picturesque centre of Clanfield

A magnificent photograph looking south over Portsbridge with the Hilsea arches in the background. 		                   Picture: Barry Cox Collection

Where there’s a wheel there’s a way – straight down Portsmouth tramlines

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Clanfield began as a small settlement in the Middle Ages. Its name was claen feld.

The Saxon word feld did not mean field in the modern sense, just an area of open land. The word claen meant cleared.

The pond at Clanfield

The pond at Clanfield

For centuries Clanfield people lived in simple wooden huts and farmed the surrounding land.

It remained a tiny settlement for centuries eventually overlooked – just – by the windmill on top of Windmill Hill at Chalton. In the village’s surrounding fields and those at nearby Catherington the toil of agricultural life went on.

At the time of the first census in 1801, only 153 people lived in Clanfield. A century later it was 213.

During the Second World War, when Portsmouth was bombed, some people built shacks there to shelter at night. From that point the village grew rapidly, but has still managed to keep its charm.

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