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.
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 Romsey has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Test Valley. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Romsey and units named after it.
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: 26th October 2014
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