The early history of the village is not known, although earthworks on Windmill Hill suggest the presence of ancient Britons. Certainly Augustinian monks preached the gospel in Hardington Mandeville in the 8th century, and the place is marked with a stone cross whose base can still be seen in the churchyard. King Alfred established a church near the cross, and this was subsequently replaced by a Norman church from which the tower still remains.

Hardington derives from the Saxon word Heordingstown or 'shepherd's town', whilst Mandeville records the ownership of the de Mandeville family who obtained it at the time of the Norman Conquest.


The village has developed in two main Parts - Hardington Mandeville which is situated to the south of the church, and Hardington Moor which nestles in the valley to the north-east of the church. In addition, there are the smaller communities and hamlets of Hardington Marsh, Lyatts, Hill End and Coker Hill, with the total area being part of the Portman Estate until death duties forced it to be sold off between the wars.

Little building took place until the late 1920s when St James Terrace was completed, and significant areas of orchards and allotments remained in the centres of the Moor and the Mandeville. During the 1960s land in Broadstone Lane, Bishops Lane and opposite the Mandeville Arms was developed for house building. Orchards on the south side of Moor Lane were also lost for a similar purpose.

During this period Miss Voizey's shop in Broadstone Lane was demolished, the Blacksmith's shop in the High Street closed and the Methodist Chapel was converted into a house. Mains water was not laid until the late 1930s, with residents being dependent on the many wells in the village. However, it was not until 1984 that main drainage was provided. Advances in the mechanisation of farming led to a major decrease in the number of residents working in the village and surrounding farms, with contractors playing an increasingly important role.



The figures show that the population in the Parish is growing slowly, although it is still some way below the high point of the mid-19th century. Dwellings are overwhelmingly owner-occupied, and the average number of people in each household appears to be gradually reducing.

In the 1991 census, about 23 of the population were under age 16 and in 1998 it is estimated that they still make up a similar percentage.