Parish Councils were formed under the Local Government Act 1894 to take over local oversight of social welfare and civic duties in towns and villages. Before this date a variety of groups based around ecclesiastical (church) parishes had responsibility for these matters, in a system of local government that dated back to the feudal system of the 8th century.
Today, the promotion of what is known as Local Area Management has led to an increase in the number of parish councils within urban and rural communities.
BRIEF HISTORY of MILFORD ON SEA
Milford on Sea was an established Saxon settlement (then called Melleford) by the time it was recorded in the Domesday Book. The first church was probably built of timber around 1080 and replaced by a stone building in the 12th century, remnants of which can be seen today. The village green is all that remains of the ancient common land but the manor, vicarage and mill buildings still exist although none retain their original functions.
Until early this century Milford on Sea was essentially an agricultural settlement centred on the village green and the High Street. The beginning of modern Milford is connected with the fortunes of Colonel Cornwallis-West of Newlands Manor who in 1886 tried to model the village into a fashionable resort as his friend the Duke of Devonshire was doing at Eastbourne. Unfortunately the attempt failed due to lack of capital and an outbreak of typhoid, which kept potential purchasers away.
Recent development has made the village into a local centre as well as a popular destination for day-trippers headed for the beach.
Translation of the Domesday Book entry reads:
Aelfric holds (Melleford) Milford on Sea of the king, in exchange for land in the New Forest. Saewuf held it of King Edward. It was then assessed at 1 hide; and now half a hide, because part of the church is in the forest. Land for 1 plough. In demesne is 1 plough; and 4 villans and 6 slaves with 1 plough, and a mill rendering 30d., and 2 acres of meadow. TRE it was worth 20s. ; and afterwards 10s.; now 20s.; the kings part, 10s.