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.
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: 26th March 2017
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