HISTORY 

The village that comprises Hastingleigh was in existence prior to the Domesday Book and, considering its geographical position atop the North Downs, is quite likely to have been on the travellers' route from the continent and the high ground from what is now Dover.For well over a thousand years all the evidence points to the community being small and, although the number of dwellings has grown today to comprise some 96 houses, demographic changes have ensured a relatively stable total population and it remains one of the less densely populated rural Parishes in the area.  In earlier times land ownership was in the hands of a few landlords, notably St. Thomas' Hospital in London, resulting in many villagers living in tenanted houses.  In contrast today farms, holdings and houses are almost exclusively owner-occupied.

LOCATION AND LANDSCAPE

The small parish of Hastingleigh sits atop the North Downs, covering an area of approximately 4.5km by 1.5 km.  Much of the land area is given over to agriculture: principally pasture and arable forage crops for sheep, cattle and, increasingly, horses; but also with some barley, wheat, oats, maize, linseed, beans and oilseed rape.  With no permanent streams within its boundaries, Hastingleigh valleys are characteristically dry, and their vegetation rain-fed.


PEOPLE
 
The parish of Hastingleigh has a current population of about 200 distributed among 96 households, the population is not much different from a hundred years ago, save that the proportion of children is much lower these days.  Some people commute to work elsewhere on a daily basis, there is a fair sprinkling of retired people, but there is a surprisingly large number of people who work within the parish boundary.


INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE

Farming is no longer a major source of employment in the village.  The garage and pub (all run and staffed by local residents) Hastingleigh has a surprisingly large number of other commercial activities, many of them one-man enterprises run from the family home.  They include a riding school, music school, wood and stone carving and Bed and Breakfast accommodation.


FACILITIES

Hastingleigh is one of the few villages in the area that still have a very active Public House, The Bowl Inn.  In addition to this, Hastingleigh also has a Village Garage, Sports Field, Cricket Field and a shared Village Hall, a mobile library and St. Mary the Virgin Church of England parish church.
The sense of community is evident in the number of clubs and societies in Hastingleigh, Art Group, Women's Institute, Evington Players (Amateur Dramatics), Cricket Club, Footpath Group to name a few.