The centre of the village, The Street, contains many old houses, and St Mary’s Church. The River Loddon, whose source is nearby, flows through the village, which is perhaps best known for the ruins of Basing House which was built between 1532 and 1561 on the site of a Norman castle.
Basing House was a major English Tudor palace and castle that once rivalled Hampton Court Palace. The house consists of two parts; the Old House replaced the keep of an older mottle-and-bailey castle and so was situated within a defensive ring of earthworks and walls, the slightly larger New House was located outside the defensive ring and the two houses were joined by a bridge and gateway. The house had 360 rooms on five storeys. Today the house is in ruins which are Grade II listed and a Schedules Ancient monument. The house reopened in August 2010 after restoration of the Great Barn, including an exhibition, and now features a new visitor’s centre and gift shop, education/meeting room, interpretive panels and museum. Open to the public in the summer months, the spot is great for picnics and exploring and as an educational site for school. Reenactments of the siege and battle for Basing House in the civil war (1640s) are organised from time to time and draw people from across the UK.
Old Basing has an infant school and St. Mary’s C of E Junior School for education up to 11. The original local football club, Basing Rovers, was founded in 1886 and reinvented in 2009 as Old Basing F.C, an adult league team. The Recreation Ground has rugby union and football pitches, a cricket ground, an archery area, a lawn bowls green and five tennis courts so is equipped to host a variety of sports as well as the Old Basing Carnival. The local chip shop ‘Oliver’s’ is rumoured to have been once voted the best fish and chip shop in the world.
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