The Name
The village name is known in the Domesday Book as Locherlega, 1086; Lokerlay, 1194; Lockerleye, 1271.  Coates in 1989 suggested the name probably contains the Old English ancestor of Middle English lokere=looker possibly derived from the anglo saxon (with possible roman influence) of loca meaning enclosure.  Lokere means keeper or shepherd and leah (from the Old English meaning a ley or open place in a forest) thus maybe indicates a shepherd's clearing or wood.

map 1645 tn The village is possibly the conflation of three villages which may have existed as entities 1000 years ago.   Lockerley, as it is presently known, is the main village and is centred around Butts Green.  A second village called Lockerley Green seems to have existed at some period in the middle ages.
lgreen05 tnLockerley Green is adjacent to a hamlet known as Holbury.  Lockerley Green still exists by that name though it is now just one of Lockerley's four principal greens and is part of the overall Lockerley parish.  Holbury was, at times past, considered part of East Tytherley.  East Dean parish might have included the area on the west side of Lockerley Green and it still includes habitations on the southside of the railway line which are reached from Lockerley's Top Green.

top green 01tnThis confusion seems to have persisted until quite recent times until it was decided to place the west side of Lockerley Green within Lockerley parish. East Dean parish boundary was moved a small distance and now no longer bisects a house on the corner of the green and East Dean road. It includes some property on either side of the railway line which would otherwise be considered as being on the Top Green of Lockerley but, technically is in East Dean.
This goes some way - only - to explaining why the church - the original building of which was established ca 958 AD - is so far from the population centre of either major parts of the village and explains why Lockerley village is possibly one of the largest village parish in Hampshire in terms of the area covered.

The Greens of Lockerley
coat of arms lockerley lockshield01 tnbarn01 tn These days the village is based around four main greens which are dedicated as common land.  The topic of common land dates back well before the Norman Conquest as William, by all accounts, was not the most generous of men descended as he was from Norse stock (hence norman or norse-man) and he would not have been given to acceding access to land such as the New Forest to commoners unless the right had been well established before his arrival.  There is a passage in the laws of King Ine dating in the eara 688 to 694 AD which suggests that open fields (incidentally the origin of the name of Sherfield and of Shirley in Southampton) were common meadows and pastures in Wessex. 

Common Land and Greens
The book The Common Lands of England and Wales by L Dudley Stamp and W G Hoskins (Collins, 1963)  is based on a review of common land, including village greens, carried out by Dr Tavener for the UK government in 1957 (published 1958).  It provides a detailed review of common lands and the law relating to it.  Common land is land which, though owned, provides the right of free access and prevents the owner from erecting any structure, fence or building. 
The four greens identified in the reference are Lockerly [sic] Green (approx 6.5Ha), Butts Green (1.54Ha), Top Green (4.5Ha) and Critchalls [sic] Green (3Ha) and,  in the reference, are noted in Tavener's review as "controlled for use by residents of the parish".  Lockerley Green is owned by the Parish Council,  Butts Green has been gifted to the Parish Council, Top Green is owned by a local farming family, Critchells Green is owned by the same familiy but has been leased long term in order enable the management of access which should inhibit its use as a summer camp and waste ground for travelling persons.

oval road green ovalrd 01 tnThe original four greens have been joined by the declaration of the green in Oval road as a green space - common land - following satisfactory negotiations between Aster and the parish council to whom will fall the responsibility of its management.  One curious space - it is a quite small area perhaps not more than 2500 sqm or 0.25Ha - is known (very) locally as Tote (Hill) Green.  It is located on the border of the current Lockerley parish at the junction of Tote Hill and the road to Sherfield English and it may also be known as North common.  Pendle Green is not a common land area despite its name.

The people and population
buttsgreen01 tngreens08 tnThe village has some 324 dwellings which are home for around 827 people (2001 census). Butts Green owes its name to the period following 1536 - the period of the dissolution of the monasteries, when a royal decree required each able bodied man to spend an hour each Sunday at archery practice. The archery target is known as the butt from the old french “but” and this is meaning of a target is one which the modern french word retains. The law is still in force though few observe it;  indeed, one doubts that current Health and Safety regulations would permit it and the carrying of arms in  a public place - such be life. The green has hosted the annual village fete though, in recent years the fete has been hosted on the Glebe Field. The Glebe Field is leased to the Parish Council as a facility which is in essence a sort of managed common lland.  It can be used by scouts and guides who may use the scout hut and its resources particularly in summer months when the field is used for camping and, for that reason, if no other, walking dogs on it is forbidden in any season.