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Kingsclere

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Kingsclere is a large village and civil parish in Hampshire, England.GeographyKingsclere is approximately equidistant from the towns of Basingstoke and Newbury on the A339 road.HistoryKingsclere can trace back its history to a place identified as belonging to King Alfred in his will between 872 and 888, the 'clere' possibly meaning 'bright' or 'clearing'. Kingsclere formed part of the ancient demesne of the Crown. King Alfred by will left Kingsclere for life to his second daughter Ethelgiva, Abbess of Shaftesbury, and there are other mentions of it in Saxon charters. In 931 King Athelstan at a Witenagemot at Colchester granted 10 hides of land at Clere to Abbot Aelfric, and in 943 King Edmund bestowed 15 hides of land at Clere on the 'religious woman Aelfswith'. While sixteen years later King Edgar gave his thegn Aelfwine 10 hides of land at West Clere.Local legend asserts that King John was troubled by a bedbug during a night in a Kingsclere inn, when prevented by fog from reaching his lodge on Cottington's hill. He ordained that the church should erect and evermore maintain upon its tower a representation of the creature which disturbed his sleep.FairsIn 1218, the king ordered that the market which had been held in Kingsclere on Sundays should in the future be held on Saturdays. Warner, writing in the 18th century, mentions a well-frequented market on Tuesdays, and fairs the first Tuesday in April and the first Tuesday after 10 October. In 1848 the market was still held on Tuesdays, but had fallen very much into disuse, only a few farmers meeting at the Swan Inn with samples, and it probably ceased altogether about 1850. The fairs continued (c. 1911) to be held—on Whit Tuesday for pleasure on Ashford Hill and the Tuesday after Old Michaelmas Day for hiring servants and pleasure in the market place.
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