Manor Farm, at the northern end of the Manor Farm Country Park, is probably best known through the BBCʼs Wartime Farm series in which presenters Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn relived the experiences of the farming community during Word War II.
This has left the place feeling slightly confused. Partly an open air museum, with a collection of farm buildings and implements from around the county, partly a Victorian working farm with costumed characters, and partly the remnants of the set of the Wartime Farm, which was grafted somewhat uncomfortably on to the older buildings.
The park, formerly the site of a Royal Navy shore establishment named HMS Cricket was first opened in 1979. The Manor Farm Museum, as it was then known, opened in 1984.
For opening times, admission prices, etc. please see the official site detailed below.
St Bartholemew's Church
After the long drive through the country park it is difficult to believe that the museum site was once the heart of the village of Botley.
Both the ancient duck pond and St Batholomewʼs Church are mentioned in the Domesday book.
Most of the church was destroyed when a large poplar tree fell onto the nave. Only the chancel now remains.
The village itself had by then migrated away from the church, and had grown up around a ford over the River Hamble. Here a mill was established, and an inn built for travellers to stay when the tide was in.