Houghton, Hampshire, is a small, rural, mainly linear village that broadly follows the chalk-stream River Test flowing north-south. Its nearest town is Stockbridge, just under 2 miles north-east. Communities have existed in Houghton for over 2,000 years. At the south end of the village lies Bossington. The manor of Bossington is mentionied in the Domesday Book and had possibly existed prior to the Norman Conquest.
Houghton has two large agricultural/sporting estates: the Busk/Houghton Lodge estate of round 1,200 acres to the north; the Bossington 1,100 acre estate to the south. Each owns a small number of properties in the village. The majority of the village is within a Conservation Area, originally designated in 1990. Houghton has developed is own Village Design Statement and is currently developing its own Neighbourhood Development Plan.
Two major footpaths - the Test Way (also a cycle way) and the Clarendon Way - intersect in Houghton, with the latter crossing the River Test by three footbridges, the main one being Sheepbridge.
The River Test is internationally renowned for its fly fishing and most of the banks in and around the village are owned by either of the above estates or the Houghton Fishing Club, established in 1822, making it the oldest fishing club in England.
Houghton Village Hall, in the centre of the village, is used for a wide variety of both social (village coffee mornings, WI meetings, the annual Harvest Supper) and sports (table tennis, pilates, circuit training) activities.
The annual Houghton Trail event, usually the last Sunday in April, is also run from the Hall. There is a recreation ground behind the Hall, where there is a children's playground. Houghton Parish Council meetings are also held in the Village Hall
The village church is All Saints, in Church Lane which, apart from holding regular Sunday services is also popular for weddings. A War Memorial stands at the bottom of Church Lane, opposite The Boot Inn.
Houghton Lodge House and Gardens is a Grade II Listed C18th Cottage Orne; there are tearoom and holiday accommodation available.
The Boot Inn is a long-established free-house pub and restaurant with gardens down to the banks of the River Test .
The John O' Gaunt is a small free-house pub/restaurant at the other end of the village, at Horsebridge, on the Test Way.
Village e-mail group: if you live in the village, you may like to subscribe to this e-group which is used for reminders about village events, short-term queries and questions - such as 'would anyone like some muscari bulbs?' or 'has anyone lost a beautiful grey cat/dog?' ' can anyone recommend a reliable taxi service?' It's easy to subscribe - just email [email protected] and ask to join. Your email address is not revealed to the group.... unless you post a message yourself, of course!
Houghton Oil Syndicate: members of this village syndicate use their bulk-purchasing power to get the lowest price for domestic heating oil and the more households in the Syndicate (currently over 60), the greater savings achieved...around 5p/litre. Run by Benjie Goss, he sources the best deal from local oil companies and orders your oil requirements, including, where required, the 'additive' needed for some cookers, eg Aga, Raeburn. Contact Benjie at [email protected] for further information.
Neighbour Care: Getting to a doctor/hospital/dental/optician or other medical appointment need not be a problem. Call 0845 094 3713 and a friendly voice will organise transport for you to and from you appointment, courtesy of one the the Volunteer Drivers. Houghton is part of the Stockbridge/Leckford group which runs this essential service in our area. There is no charge if you are over 60 or have a Bus Pass or are a Blue Badge holder.