The market town of Petersfield lies on the edge of the beautiful South Downs, and it has much to thank its idyllic location for. From medieval origins it grew prosperous based on the rural economy of sheep farming, hop growing and cottage industries. It was also an important stage stop on the route from London to Portsmouth. But otherwise it remained peaceful and was barely touched by the violence and upheaval of the Civil War. Like many small towns, it was transformed by the railway, which arrived in 1859 and brought trade, industry and a surge in both people and buildings. Building expansion in the Victorian era included the Corn Exchange, schools, a courthouse, churches and a cottage hospital. Growth and change has since continued unabated, as Petersfield adapts to the modern world - and this magnificent collection of images captures it in vibrant detail.
Since retiring as a Modern Languages lecturer, David Jeffery has published three books on Petersfield. He has also co-produced six DVDs for Angerton Video Productions, including a tribute to the poet Edward Thomas for the Edward Thomas Fellowship and an account of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Steep and Petersfield, sponsored by Bedales School. David is a local author who lives in Petersfield, Hampshire.