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The Somborne & District Society

A History of Up Somborne and Rookley

In October 2016, the first comprehensive history of Up Somborne and Rookley will be published.



The History of a Small, Rural Community

By Gordon Pearson


Gordon Pearson, a retired Historic Building Consultant, has traced the history of the historic settlement of Up Somborne and Rookley from the Iron Age to the present day. The result of four years of research, Gordon has pieced together ta detailed history from diverse sources, using records from local libraries, old photograph albums, speaking to families who or have lived in the area as well as numerous other sources. He explains the important factors involved in creating this community, including:

  • Archaeology and the chalk downland

  • Flooding

  • The manorial estates

  • Civil unrest and social welfare and public services

  • Census analysis

  • The listed buildings

He explores the development of the village from a social history perspective examining the importance of:

  • The reading room

  • Clothing and coal clubs

  • The church and chapels

  • Beer houses and the village pub

  • The Great Fire of Rookley Manor

He also looks in depth at the history of the farms and of village life seen through the many fascinating personalities that have been associated with Up Somborne and Rookley over the years. We meet the village families past and present, plus local traders WW2 evacuees and find out about the life of a 19th Century village pauper.

With over 40 photographs, 30 drawings and maps Gordon Pearson has written a lively and informative history, which will be of great interest to residents past and present of Up Somborne and Rookley. This valuable exploration of a small, vibrant Hampshire community will also appeal to anyone with an interest in English rural history.

About the author: Gordon Pearson is a retired Chartered Surveyor, Historic Buildings Consultant and keen historian. His previous book, ‘The Conservation of Clay and Chalk Buildings’ was published by Donhead in 1992 and is considered the pre-eminent book on the subject.

Up Somborne and Rookley: The History of a Small, Rural Hampshire Community

By Gordon Pearson


Price: £16.00 (plus £4.50 p+p if required) / ISBN 978-0-9515110-9-1

Paperback / 220 pages / 40 photographs + 30 drawings and maps / A4

Publication Date: £6th October 2016

For further information, or to purchase copies, please contact Gordon Pearson on


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