Petersfield is a quiet and stunning market town located in the centre of South Downs national park with a population of approximately 15,000 people. The town owes its name to the surrounding field of the 12th century Anglican St Peter’s church on which the initial village was built. The church may have been founded by Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, who owned the Manor of Mapledurham as Petersfield was part of this manor.
Early trading in Petersfield centred from the wool of the sheep raised in the countryside around the town and leather tanned from fresh water-soaked tree bark which produced tannin used for the dye. Today the town has a quiet country feel, fantastic for families seeking quiet countryside living seeing much of the property as large detached family homes which are fantastic for the addition of shutters.
Petersfield has recently set out its expansion plans for the town to accommodate a rising population and demand for housing, however key objectives have been set out as part of this expansion. Driving themes are keeping the towns ‘compact’ feel of close access to both the town centre and surrounding area and also ensuring that the character of the area and spectacular views are not severely blocked by these buildings. If you are looking to move into the Petersfield area as part of this expansion, be sure to book in for your measure appointment to see samples, design options and obtain a cost for some stunning made to measure shutters.
Visitors interested in Petersfield’s history might like to stop in at the only museum situated in the town which holds pieces from the towns past. Collections include a Bedales Historic Costume collection with over 1,000 items of clothing dating from 1720 and a social-history collection which holds maps, photographs and archives retrieved to give allow visualisation of the town’s history.
Petersfield holds the arts in great importance and there are numerous ways to enjoy what is on offer in the town. The Festival hall plays host to numerous plays and musical concerts throughout the year, used particularly by the Petersfield Youth Theatre – a group founded in 1990. The Festival Hall is also the location of the annual Petersfield Musical Festival which is approaching its 120th anniversary.
Residents or visitors to the town may entertain themselves down at the Taro Centre, a leisure centre with a swimming pool, squash courts, gymnasium along with other sporting facilities. Petersfield also has tennis courts, a golf course and an open-air swimming pool run by a board of volunteer trustees. Petersfield lake is a fantastic day out with visitors to the area able to enjoy the play area, refreshments kiosk, a circular walk around the lake and activities on the water including fishing and boating in the summer months.
A highlight of the town is the Physic Garden which was gifted to Petersfield in 1988 by Major John Bowen. The garden is used a place for quiet sanctuary for all who enjoy it for walks around the orchard, herb beds, topiary and knot garden.
Petersfield is a short drive away from Queen Elizabeth Country Park and Buster Hill Nature reserve where there are plenty of routes to enjoy walks, cycling and mountain biking. Refreshments can be enjoyed in Beechwood Kitchen whilst children enjoy the outdoor area or attend the ‘Little Squirrels Nature Club’.
There is a selection of local pubs and restaurants to be enjoyed after long days of walking and enjoying the surrounding countryside as well as hotels to stay in for those looking to stay in the town for a few days.