In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Hursley like this:
HURSLEY, a village, a parish, and a sub-district in Winchester district, Hants. The village stands 5 miles SW by S of Winchester r. station, and has a post office under Winchester. The parish contains also the places called Crampmoor, Pit, Pucknall, Ratlake, Chandlers, Ford, and Ramally; and it includes all the chapelry of Ampfield, and part of that of Braishfield. Acres, 10, 493. Real property, £14, 778. Pop., 1, 540. Houses, 294. Merdon manor, which included Hursley, belonged to the Saxon kings; was given, by Kynegils, to the bishops of Winchester; passed, in the time of Edward VI., to the Crown; went, toward the middle of the 17th century, to Richard Cromwell, son of the Protector; was sold, at the death of Cromwell's daughters, to Sir William Heathcote; and belongs now to Sir William's descendant of his own name. ...
A castellated palace, called Merdon Castle, was built on it by Bishop Henry de Blois; and is now represented by only a portion of a flinty tower, and two wide trenches. A mansion, on another site, not far from the castle, was built by Richard Cromwell; was taken down, in resentment of Cromwell's politics, by Sir William Heathcote; and was then found to have, in one of its walls, the seal of the Commonwealth, supposed to have been identically that which Oliver Cromwell took from the Parliament. Hursley House, the seat of the present Sir William Heathcote, Bart., occupies the site of Cromwell's mansion; is an edifice of red brick, with stone basement Cromwells, or objects associated with them; and stands in a large well wooded park. The living is a vicarage, united with the rectory of Otterbourne, in the diocese of Winchester. Value, £440.* Patron, Sir W. Heathcote, Bart. The church was recently rebuilt; has fine stained glass windows; and contains the grave of Richard Cromwell, and monuments of him and his relatives. The Rev. John Keble, author of the " Christian Year, , , was vicar from 1836 till 1866, and lies buried in the SW corner of the churchyard. The vicarage of Ampfield is a separate benefice. A workhouse is here; and, at the census of 1861, had 40 inmates.The sub-district contains also three other parishes. Acres, 16, 338. Pop., 2, 550. Houses, 498.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Hursley has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Winchester. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Hursley and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Hursley, in Winchester and Hampshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 22nd May 2013
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