Settled since Saxon times, and reputedly the birthplace of Aethel-flead, the wife of King Edmund, the picturesque village of Damerham straddles the Allen River to the north-west of Fordingbridge, on the Hampshire-Dorset border. Part of the estates of Glastonbury Abbey prior to the Reformation, Damerham Manor was given to Catherine Parr as a wedding present by Henry VIII, and reverted to the Crown on her death in 1547.

In 1863, a fire destroyed half the village, but it still has groups of pretty houses, a riverside mill and its Grade I-listed Norman church of St George. According to local agents Woolley & Wallis, the village is popular with doctors working in equally accessible Salisbury or Southampton, who appreciate the ‘facilities mourned by similar settlements: a pub frequented by locals, a garage, a school, and a well-used hall and community centre’.

Property prices range from £275,000 to £400,000 for a cottage; from £450,000 to £750,000 for a four-bedroom family house; and from £850,000 to £1.1 million for a large period house.

Woolley & Wallis (01425 655536) are asking £675,000 for Court Lodge at Damerham (above), a four-bedroom thatched house built in 1815 as the lodge to the West Park Estate, whose land it adjoins.

They are also offering Parson’s Meadow, a five-bedroom family house built in 1977, at a guide price of £695,000, and Woodview, a charming, three-bedroom, cottage backing onto the cricket green, at £385,000.