The Parish of St. Mary Bourne includes the larger village of that name (population c. 1000), the smaller village of Stoke (population c.170) and the hamlets of Binley, Dunley, Egbury, Upper, Middle and Lower-Wyke (pronounced "Wick" or "Week") and Wadwick. The old hamlet of Swampton has now been incorporated into St. Mary Bourne, as has the area known as Link, which stretches from the main village south to the viaduct. In the past, our parent church was Hurstbourne Priors (21/4 miles south and mentioned in the Domesday Book). St Peter's was built as its chapel of ease - for the convenience of inhabitants of St Mary Bourne. Now this parish is joined with that of Woodcott, some 4 miles in the direction of Newbury, and back again with Hurstbourne Priors and its southern neighbour, Longparish. There are rival theories why St Mary Bourne is so called: its main feature is the seasonal stream, the Bourne Rivulet (a tributary of the River Test), and under the old calendar it may well have risen on St Mary's Day (2nd February). Another theory is that the church was originally dedicated to St Mary - but why, then was it changed to St Peter?


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