Welcome to Overton Parish Council’s website
Overton Parish Council would like to recognise the work undertaken by Tony Morris with regard to Overton Pictures. Over many years Tony has been collecting, scanning and enhancing old pictures of the village for inclusion on the website www.overtonpictures.com as well as adding many recent photos of his own. Overton Pictures is a fantastic archive for the village which can be used and accessed by all free of charge. The website will now be taken over by Janice Stott.
Overton Parish Council was formed under the Local Government Act of 1894 which created institutions which created the civil parish distinct from the church parishes and was governed by the parish council and parish meeting. A plaque on the side of the public lavatories in Winchester Street commemorates the formation of the parish council. Overton Parish Council has twelve councillors who carry out a number of duties. The business of the council is carried out at monthly meetings, at which all members of the public are welcome.
Overton is in the Borough of Basingstoke and Deane in the county of Hampshire. It is a large village in the upper Test Valley with a population of about 4,315 (Census 2011 figure) people. The built-up area straddles the Test River and lies within the confines of the valley slopes. The village lies in the centre of the civil parish with the small settlements of Ashe, Ashe Warren, South Litchfield, Coxford Down, Polhampton, Southington, Quidhampton and Northington spread in the outlying countryside.
See here for a brief history of Overton
The civil parish of Overton covers 3,471 hectares – an area about six miles north to south (from Polhampton to the A303) and two and a half miles east to west (Ashe Park Lodge to Southington Lodge at Laverstoke Park). Most of this is entirely rural, and the north of the parish is in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The River Test, a chalk stream world-famous for its trout fishing, rises about a mile east of Overton at Ashe during normal rainfall conditions. It meanders southwards through Hampshire, eventually reaching the sea at Southampton.
… and geology
The underlying geology – primarily chalk, with alluvial deposits adjacent to the river – results in typical chalk rolling countryside. The lowest parts of the village are about 250 feet above sea level, but the northern and southern extremities of the parish rise to between 500 and 600 feet, offering extensive views of the surrounding area.
Earning a living
Much of the parish land is used for arable crops, although livestock-rearing has increased in the recent past. But Overton is also an industrial village, with the former Portal’s paper mill – now owned by De La Rue – just north of the railway station. The mill is famous for making watermarked currency paper for many countries around the world. For many decades this mill employed a large proportion of the local population, and has provided jobs for local families for generations. With the rapid expansion of local towns, employment opportunities diversified in the 1960s and 70s and today a considerable number of people who live elsewhere come to work in Overton.
A modern, thriving community
Overton is fortunate to have a wide variety of shops and facilities that many other small communities have lost. This has led to pressure to develop land for housing at a pace that concerns many residents. Some see this as a threat to the strong community spirit for which Overton has been locally renowned.
Although some properties in new developments will be taken up by local residents, many will go to newcomers to the village. Hopefully they will quickly integrate into the community, supporting and contributing to its many economic, social, sporting and cultural activities, taking advantage of its services and facilities so that Overton will continue to thrive.