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The Parish of King's Somborne Situated in the Borough of Test Valley, in the County of Hampshire, the Parish is bounded by the River Test on the west and lies between Romsey and Andover. Its proximity to the royal city of Winchester and the lushness of its countryside was the making of much of its earlier history. The Parish has at its heart the village of King's Somborne, but its 6700 acres also encompass the communities of Brook, Compton, Furzedown, Horsebridge and Up Somborne.

Just outside the Parish boundaries are the hamlets of Ashley and Little Somborne and the whole makes up what are called The Sombornes. King's Somborne was included in the Domesday survey in 1086 when it was owned by the King in lordship and known as "Sunburne". The population included 25 villagers, 8 smallholders, 2 slaves and 7 freedmen. Three mills and two churches are also noted in the survey together with land for 10 ploughs and areas of meadow land and pasture. The present church of St Peter and St Paul, part of which dates to the early 13th century, probably occupies the site of one of the original churches.

Today, the church is just one of 100 listed buildings and structures that include the Lutyens designed Marsh Court, Compton Manor, thatched cottages, 18th century buildings such as the Old Vicarage and 19th century brick built cottages roofed in slate. Together with the more modern properties there are now 719 households and 1702 inhabitants. Employment, once dominated by agriculture, is now diverse and service based with many parishioners commuting to work centres outside the Parish. Transport has also changed much with both the canal and railway disappearing to be replaced by the car.

(click the image for an description of the tapestry's sections)

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