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History of Hook


The earliest mention of Hook so far found in historical documents was in relation to a land dispute in the thirteenth century. The village of Hook did not, at that date, exist, but there were a few scattered houses and farms alongside the main road to the south-west of England. That main road grew in importance over the centuries until it became the main stage coach route from London to Exeter.

By the eighteenth century, a number of inns had appeared, to serve the travelling public, and small hamlets had grown up around them. In the late eighteenth century a turnpike road was constructed to aid the navigation of the steep Scures Hill, to the west of the village. This was one of a series of turnpikes throughout the country, which enabled stagecoach travel to become faster and more regular. Travelling became more commonplace as a result, and the inns which catered for the travellers prospered.

The White Hart, Hook

The White Hart, Hook 

The Crooked Billet, Hook

The Crooked Billet, Hook

 

In the 1830s, a railway was built, which passed through Hook on its way from London to Basingstoke, but there was no station built here. A number of local landowners campaigned for a station between Winchfield and Basingstoke, so that timber and crops grown in the area could be sent away for sale. In 1883, their campaign was successful and Hook railway station was opened amidst general public rejoicing.

The opening of the railway station signalled the birth of the modern village of Hook. Houses were built for the railway workers, and for the workers in the businesses that sprang up around the station. Some workers began commuting to Basingstoke, and later to far-away London.

 

By 1932, the village of Hook was big enough to be formed into its own civil parish, created by carving away parts of the parishes of Odiham, Newnham and Nately Scures. This was followed a few years later by the building of Hook's own church, St. John's, so that the inhabitants no longer had to walk to services in Newnham.

After the Second World War, Hook was considered by the then London County Council as a possible site for one of their overspill New Towns, but they ultimately decided to develop at Basingstoke instead.

Hook became the target for some housing development in the 1960s, and this intensified after the building of the M3 motorway in the early 1970s. Between 1981 and 1985, new house building doubled the size of the village, and further development took place in the late 1980s, bringing the village to a population of around 6000 people.

There have been a number of plans for major new housing developments in and around the village in recent years, most notably by Charles Church Developments in 1988 and again in 1991, but both these schemes were defeated on appeal after a lengthy public protest campaign.

The most recent expansion has been the building of the Holt Park development in the first few years of the twenty first century.


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