History of the Wheatsheaf Hotel and North Waltham
The Wheatsheaf Hotel was an 18th Century coaching inn on the Salisbury to Winchester route and - like many of England’s literary pubs – it was also a posting-house.
To the left of the Wheatsheaf Hotel, Popham Lane leads to village of Steventon where renowned romantic novelist Jane Austen was born. From her diaries we know that Jane and her sister, Cassandra, would regularly walk to the Wheatsheaf to post their letters and collect the family mail.
Of course, in the 18th Century, Popham Lane would have been little more than a rutted cart track. In bad weather, the sisters would have tied their bonnets and coats tightly and strapped on Pattens – clog-like overshoes elevated above ground level to protect their feet from the mud. Thankfully, the lanes of North Waltham are, today, a little more walker friendly!
Archaeological remains from the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age indicate continuous occupation in North Waltham from pre-historic times.
This lovely village has three sites providing evidence of the Roman occupation of Britain during the first four centuries AD, with the largest and best researched field being situated adjacent to the Wheatsheaf Hotel. Indeed, the Wheatsheaf site was an important villa that thrived and influenced the locality for four centuries.
Directions to the Wheatsheaf Hotel
You can find the Wheatsheaf Hotel on the corner of Popham Lane just off the the A30 in North Waltham, Basingstoke. Just key RG25 2BB into your satnav to find us.