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How Oakley evolved

Church Oakley, Malshanger (which lies just north of Oakley) and Deane are listed in the Doomsday Book. The name ‘Oakley’ derives from the Old English ‘Achleach’ or Oak Wood. The oak woods on Manydown (in the neighbouring village of Wootton St Lawrence) are remnants of ‘Singet’s Wood’ which once extended from Oakley to Basingstoke. Ninety-one cart-loads of oak timber were sent from there to Bishop William of Wykeham in 1392 to build the roof of the nave of Winchester Cathedral. 

William Warham later the Archbishop of Canterbury, who crowned Henry VIII and who opposed his divorce from Catherine of Aragon, lived at the original Tudor manor house in Malshanger.

There are seventeen listed buildings in the Church Oakley Conservation Area, (see Conservation Areas section of the website for more details), and many other buildings in the village are on the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's List of Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest. Virtually the whole of the village of Deane is within a Conservation Area (more details in the Conservation Areas section) with four listed buildings on the Statutory List. The grounds of Oakley Hall, lying between the villages of Oakley and Deane have been identified as an English Heritage Countryside Heritage Site. In the farmland around the built up area there are numerous archaeological sites, including bowl-barrows and crop and soil marks.

Deane, Malshanger, Church Oakley, East Oakley (the area around the village pond) and Newfound were once separate communities with small populations. Groups of outlying cottages, farms and smallholdings occupied the land between these communities. Early ribbon development occurred in the 1930's together with smallholdings along Hill Road, Oakley Lane, Pardown, and the Andover Road (B3400).

This was followed by the rapid expansion of Oakley after World War II which continued well into the 1980’s, fuelled by the new job opportunities resulting from the expansion of Basingstoke from 1961 to 1977 under the Town Development Act 1952.  During this period  many of the smallholdings were swallowed up by housing estates and Church Oakley, East Oakley and Newfound merged to become the village of Oakley with a population of just less than six thousand.

The villages of Oakley, Newfound, Malshanger and Deane now have a population of around 5,600 living in about 2,250 households. 

Much of the history of the area can be found in Oakley - the last 100 Years, published in 1994 to celebrate the Parish Council's centenary.  Please contact the Parish Clerk for details of where a copy can be obtained.