Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Village History Group

Members of the History Group research aspects of the history of the parish. We are essentially a working group in which members select a project and beaver away at it until there is sufficient data to publish a report. Information for the reports is principally derived from our own village archives (which contain hundreds of historic photographs), the national archives and four county record offices.   Files are available on loan.

Contact: Margaret Smith on 01491 824667,

  • Transcription from the Latin of medieval pipe rolls which are held in the Hampshire Record Office. These rolls are records of the farming events of the land in Brightwell that was controlled by the Bishop of Winchester - who at that time was Lord of the Manor.

  • Archiving and preparing a CD of the 750 or so photographs of villagers and village events going back to the beginnings of photography
  • An analysis of the effects on the village and villagers of the 1811 Parliamentary Enclosure Act. This was the time at which the Anglo- Saxon field system was abandoned and the land in the parish enclosed by fences, hedges and ditches
  • A study of the charters of Brightwell and Sotwell parishes in Anglo- Saxon times. It is found that today’s parish boundary differs little from that given in these charters
  • The transcription and interpretation of wills made by prominent villagers from past times. These documents are able to tell us a lot about the property and the way of village life at the time. Illustrated here is the preamble to the will of the Revd. Michael Woodward.
  • Collection and archiving of present- day parish events for the study and enjoyment of future generations.
  • Cataloguing artefacts found in gardens and fields over the years, from Palaeolithic hand axes through Roman coins to Medieval seals. Also reporting on the several formal archaeological excavations in the parish.
  • Reports are planned on :-
    • Brightwell Charities
    • The Brookers of Brightwell

    • Maps of Brightwell

    • The Parish in 1860

    • The Stones of Brightwell

    • Artists of the Parish

    • Harry Watts ‘History of Brightwell’The Evolution of the Village Hall