The ecclesiastical parishes of Owslebury and Morestead were combined many years ago to form the civil Parish of Owslebury, which encompasses the hamlets of Baybridge and Marwell and part of Hensting. It covers an area of approximately 12 square miles with over sixty bridleways and footpaths in the glorious countryside. The Ship Inn sits in the centre of the village and St Andrew’s Church has stood sentinel for over 700 years. Owslebury also has a high performing primary school, and an active community association (OMCA) which keeps our community spirit alive and well. The Glebe Field is the centre of many community events, and the children’s playground is well stocked with modern equipment. The Village Green is used by the local cricket and football clubs. There is an excellent village newsletter which has been printed for over fifty years. Our village life today is precious to us all. We have wonderful public access to the countryside and some stunning views. Owslebury is a lovely place in which to live, and we hope you will agree.
Owslebury – or in the days of King Edward the Peaceful – OSELBYRIG.
A tongue twisting name for our village! Folk today pronounce it Osselbury, but if you are fortunate enough to talk to – rare these days – a ‘native’, they will tell you ‘it ain’t OSSELBURY – it should be UZZLEBURY, and sounds as it should, purest Hampshire.
Whether it takes its name from Shakespeares’ OUSEL cock, or from the Anglo Saxon gentleman by the name of OSLA, is still unsolved.
The ring Ousel – an April to October visitor – is similar to a blackbird with a white crescent breast. Owslebury, high on the hills and surrounded by ancient woodland, with an old barrow (ancient burial site) just across the hill, is an ideal habitat.
A letter from the English Place Name Society dated 1961 has told us that Owslebury is from OSLE – Old English – and OUZEL, a blackbird.