The history of Steep

This is an archive of a village in Hampshire and its history.

The History of Steep website has grown out of a desire to share a large body of information on Steep history that has been gathered over a number of years by Fran Box and members of the Steep History Group, by William Whiteman, Beryl Low and others.

The History of Steep website deals primarily with the social and settlement history of the village of Steep in East Hampshire, UK.

Steep is a remarkable village in that since 1900, it came under the influence of Bedales School, which relocated to Steep from Sussex in that year. The school was founded in 1893 by J.H. Badley as a progressive humane establishment, an alternative to the authoritarian schools of the time. Since then, it has attracted liberal thinkers, artists, architects, crafts people, musicians, actors, writers, poets and a number of other well known names to this area. Some attended the School as pupils, some came to send their children there, others may have been attracted by the liberal ethos and network of connections that it presented. This continues today. A number of famous names have been and continue to be a local presence.

Before the coming of Bedales School, Steep was a mainly agricultural community of isolated farms. However, it also attracted the presence of military and naval officers with their families and those who had made money in the colonies. Its relative proximity to Portsmouth and its position on the coach road and later the railway line to London may have been influential factors.

All of the above elements have thus combined to provide the village of Steep and its environs with a rich and interesting history which is well worth recording.

The website is a work in progress and will continue to be updated as more research is done. There is more information available than that included here; it will be added in time. We are always pleased to hear from others with additional information on the history of Steep. please get in touch with us.


Buildings and Farms

The earliest buildings were amongst a sporadic pattern of farmsteads at the foot of the Hangers scarp.

Family group with Jesse and Rhoda Knight


The small village of Steep has had an association with a number of well known names, which still continues today.

Karin Antonini (neé Barnsley) as a young woman


Residents and former residents have shared memories of their childhood days at Steep from the 1950s onwards.

WWII servicemen

WWI, WWII and other Wars

The effects of World War I and II had the greatest impact on life in the village of Steep.

Buildings, Gardens & Monuments in Steep updated 2018 book


Here is a collection of books each with information about the history of Steep.

Clicking on each individual section above will reveal a number of other topics contained within it.

History Group

The group meets at 10am on the second Tuesday of each month during the winter period between the months of October to May. There are no meetings in June, July, August or September.