In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Romsey like this:
Romsey, mun. bor., market town, and par. with ry. sta., Hants, on river Test, or Anton, 8½ miles NW. of Southampton - par., 10,216 ac., pop. 5579; mun. bor., 490 ac., pop. 4204; P.O., T.O., 2 Banks, 2 news-papers. Market-day, Thursday. The par. comprises the 2 townships of Romsey Extra and Romsey Infra - Romsey Extra, 9861 ac., pop. ...
3549; Romsey Infra, 355 ac., pop. 2030. Romsey grew to importance under the shadow of its abbey, which is supposed to have been founded about 910 by Edward the Elder, for a convent of nuns. The church, which is said to present the outline and general aspect of a Norman conventual church more completely than any building of equal size in England, is now the parish church. Romsey was chartered by James I., and was for some time a seat of considerable manufacture, but its trade is now almost entirely local and agricultural, the chief industry being confined to a few tanyards, breweries, and corn and paper mills. Sir William Petty (1623-1687), one of the founders of the Royal Society, and the ancestor of the Lansdowne family, was the son of a Romsey clothier.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Romsey, in Test Valley and Hampshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 27th April 2017
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