Blackmoor is described in East Hampshire District Council’s Conservation Area report (1991) as “a textbook example of a Victorian estate village”. The first Earl of Selborne purchased the estate’s land in 1865-6 and commissioned the architect Alfred Waterhouse to design the parish church of St Matthew, a vicarage, a school, a reading room, several cottages and finally Blackmoor House.
These were all built between 1868 and 1870. The school’s roof was destroyed by fire in 1930 and when a new school was opened in Drift Road, in 1964, Blackmoor Estate donated the old building to the Village Hall trustees who completed its restoration in 1997 and extended it in 1999.
A Grade 2 listed building, it is spacious and well-equipped. Blackmoor Estate Ltd still owns and manages the land; it is best known for its fruit, its orchards and its specialist retail and trade fruit nursery.
St Matthew’s Church
St Matthew’s Church is in the heart of the village and also serves the town of Whitehill. It is built of local stone quarried near Selborne, the font and pulpit being of Purbeck marble. There are memorials of the Palmer family, including a delicately carved reredos which was installed in 1897 to mark the Diamond Jubilee. The original reredos was transferred to the Church of St Mary Magdalene at Oakhanger. The church has six bells and the bell tower with its spiral tower is a unique feature. The church is open during daylight hours.
Blackmoor Village Hall
The Victorian village hall, originally the school, is a Grade 2 listed building. Recently restored and improved with support from the Heritage and Charity Lottery Boards, local authorities and other organizations, it boasts one of the most spacious and well-equipped halls in the area, with disabled access and facilities, large kitchen and an enclosed grassed garden. Regular users include Blackmoor Badgers Nursery School, Blackmoor Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, and MD Dance Academy. For information on hire of the hall, contact the Booking Secretary (01420 473102).
Blackmooor Estate is now a large farming company, directed by Sir Roundell Palmer’s descendants. For further details click here.
Part of Blackmoor Estate, Blackmoor Nurseries www.blackmoor.co.uk are one of the largest specialist fruit nurseries in England, offering a wide selection of fruit trees, bushes and soft fruit to retail customers for home delivery.
St Matthew’s School
Officially opened 1962 St Matthew’s is a Church of England voluntary aided primary school with over 150 pupils. It has strong links with the parish church with the whole school participating in nine services over the course of a year.
Blackmoor Apple Tasting
The annual Blackmoor apple tasting day has been a hugely popular free family event for over fifty years. It is an opportunity to taste and learn about a wide range of varieties of English apples grown in Blackmoor Estate’s orchards. In addition to apple tasting, apple displays and apple identification the attractions include: a craft fair, country craft demonstrations and local produce and charity fundraising stalls. The event is held on the second Sunday in October . For further details click here.
For further information see Blackmoor and its People: a Celebration of the Millennium published by the Blackmoor Archive Society.
Contact for more information on Blackmoor: The Estate Office, Blackmoor, Liss, Hampshire, GU33 6BS. Tel: (01420) 476 003.