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Baughurst .... a history

 Baughurst - a history

 In this section of the website we are trying to gain insight into how and why Baughurst has developed into the thriving community that it now is.

 In 2013 Stan Terrett (a long serving councillor of Baughurst Parish Council) published his book “Baughurst..a history” which provided some fascinating insights into Baughurst and the people who lived here up until around the1940s. 

We wanted to pay tribute to this fine work and the earlier “Memories of Baughurst” – a collection of reminiscences – by extracting stories about places and people of Baughurst for you to enjoy. 

We hope that you can relate to the places and scenes in these stories, and can share them particularly with our younger readers to provide an insight on where they live and why things are as they are. By visiting the past, we hope to learn lessons for the future – recognising that some parts of our history may seem inappropriate using current thinking, but we should suspend judgement to learn more. 

Up to the twelfth century, the Old English spelling of the name Baughurst ranged from Bogust and Bagganhyrst to Bagehurst (in 1451) and then to Baggehurste and then Baggehirste. This was because very few people could write, and when they did, they spelt the name how it sounded.  The new spelling of Baughurst arose because in the early 1800s more people were able to read and write and therefore for clarification it was necessary to standardise.  Letters from the Duke of Wellington at the time of rioting in 1830 used the modern spelling, as did the new Rector, John Johnstone, in 1842 in his first entry in the parish register. 

There is also some dispute regarding the origin of the name. There is little argument regarding the second half as “hurst” has always meant a wood, a wooded hill or land covered in brushwood or thickets.  However, the first part could be derived from a Saxon called Baggan, the word “back” (behind the wood), “bog” (as there were many wet areas in the village) or a corruption of “bagger” (an animal which still abounds in the district).  Whichever is the correct derivation, “Badgers’ Wood” has caught the imagination of the villagers and has been adopted as the true meaning and as the village symbol.     

There are many more insights to come as we delve over time into Baughurst..a history.