1575 tn   1645 tn

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.

People and Population
Lockerley's Greens


The village is possibly the conflation of three populations which may have existed as identifiably separate 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.

Lockerley 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.

This 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.  Go to Top

The people and population

The 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 land. 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. If you are responsible for a dog please take its output home with you for safe disposal.  Such stuff does not belong hanging in plastic bags on twigs or kicked to the undergrowth.  

This may go some way - only - to explaining why the Lockerley 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.  Go to Top

The Greens of Lockerley

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. For some current information relating to greens and rights search for Defra-guidance-on-protection-and-management of village greens.pdf using DuckDuckGo search engine.  Go to Top