In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described South Hayling like this:
HAYLING, an island, two villages, and two parishes, in Havant district, Hants. The island lies between Langston harbour and Chichester harbour, directly opposite Havant; communicates with Havant, by a swing bridge; has a railway from the South Coast and Portsmouth Direct lines near Havant, opened in 1865; and has also a post-office under Havant. It is 4 miles long from N to S, and perfectly level. An ancient circular camp is on a corner of it, on the E; covers about 7 acres; is engirt, on three sides, by tidal inlets; and bears the name of Tunorbury, which possibly has some reference to the old Saxon god Thunor, or Thor. ...
A priory, a cell to Jumièges abbey in Normandy, was founded on the island before the Conquest; passed, at the suppression of alien monasteries, to the Carthusians at Sheen; went afterwards, in exchange for other lands, to Arundel college; and has left some small vestiges. The island is a resort, in winter, of numerous rare birds; and the waters adjacent to it used to abound with fish, and still have oyster beds.The two villages are North H. and South H.; they stand on the island 2 and 5 miles S of Havant; and S. H. is on the shore of the British Channel, and is a watering-place and a coast-guard and life-boat station.The two parishes also are N. H. and S. H.; and they comprise the whole island, and are jointly conterminate with it. Acres of N. H.; 1,256 of land, and 1,283 of water; of S. H., 5,379 of land, and 2,744 of water. Real property of N. H., £2,295; of S. H., £5,442. Pop., 262 and 777. Houses, 60 and 157. The property of both is much subdivided; and the manor belongs to W. F. Padwick, Esq. Both of the livings are vicarages, and they are united to form one benefice, in the diocese of Winchester. Value, £211.* Patron, W. F. Padwick, Esq. The church of N. H. is very ancient, and has a spire. The church of S. H. also is ancient; was recently restored; comprises nave, aisles, and a long chancel, with a fine pointed five-lancet window; and has a tower and spire, and a Norman font. There are an Independent chapel, and a national school.
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 South Hayling has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Havant. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering South Hayling and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of South Hayling, in Havant and Hampshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 31st January 2015
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