History of Odiham and North Warnborough
Odiham has a rich and long history. This site just touches on a few of the things Odiham is famous for.
As Odiham was half way between Winchester and Windsor it was a frequent stopping point for Norman kings. King John built the castle here about 1200 on the site of an earlier residence. In the twelfth century a large deer park was created to cater for the royal love of hunting. The park stretched from the northern boundary of Odiham High Street to the line of the M3 and its western boundary still defines the eastern limit of North Warnborough. Although the deer park has been used for agriculture for at least 400 years its outline is still of vital importance in influencing the layout of settlement today.
During the medieval period Odiham became a market town serving the surrounding villages. The wide High Street, with narrow burgage plots facing the road, was created as the market centre about 1200, taking the focus away from the Bury. A map of 1739 shows a market hall in the centre of the High Street near the junction with King Street.
All the medieval houses were timber framed structures and many have been tree-ring dated. The oldest is Monk’s Cottage, 111 High Street, dating from 1300. Odiham was sufficiently important to be invited to send men to parliament but the offer was declined. This was often the prelude to gaining borough status and so Odiham remained as an unincorporated small market town.