The earliest mention of Hook so far found in historical documents was in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 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.