Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for ODIHAM

ODIHAM, a small town, a parish, a sub-district, a hundred, and a division, in Hants. The town stands on the side of a chalk hill, in a gently undulating country, among remains of an ancient wood or forest, 1 mile S of the Basingstoke canal, 3 S W of Winchfield r. station, and 23 N E of Winchester; took its name, originallywritten Woodham, from the ancient wood around it; dates from the Saxon times, and had then a royal villa of the kings of Wessex; became a place of considerableimportance soon after the Norman conquest, with a castle about a mile to the N W; was held, from an early period, in part or in whole, by the bishops of Winchester, and had a residence of theirs, some remains of which are at a farm-house adjoining it, and still called the Palace; was summoned to send members to parliament in the times of Edward I. and Edward II., but made no returns; is now a seat of petty sessions and a polling place; and has a post-office‡ under Winchfield, a banking office, a good inn, a church, an Independent chapel, a chapel of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, a mechanics' institute, a grammar school, national and British schools, three suites of alms-houses, and other charities £129. The church is a spacious structure, interesting internally, but much patched with brick and stucco externally; includes decorated and later English portions; was partially restored in 1851; and contains a curious pillar piscina, and a brass of 1470. The grammar school was founded in 1694, by Robert May; has £78 a year from endowment; and numbers among its pupils Bishop Huntingford of Hereford, and Bishop Burgess of Salisbury. More's alms-houses have £82 a year from endowment; and Wyeth's and Mapleton's alms-houses have £20. A weekly market is heldon Tuesday; fairs are held on the third Saturday in Lent and 31 July; and some small manufactures are carriedon. Bishop Burgess and the grammarian William Lillywere natives.

The parish contains also the tythings of Hillside, Rye, Stapely, Murrell, and North Warnborough. Acres, 7, 287. Real property, £13, 832; of which £90 are in gas-works. Pop., 2, 833. Houses, 595. The manor belongs to the Bishop of Winchester. Odiham Castlestood at North Warnborough; sustained a siege of 15days, in 1216, by Louis of France; passed afterwards to Simon de Montfort; was the retreat of his wife, the Countess of Gloucester, for some months during the contest between Henry III. and the barons; was given, by Edward I., to his second wife, Margaret of France; formed, in the time of Henry VI., part of the dower of Margaret of Anjou; was, for eleven years, the prison of David king of Scotland; was repeatedly visited, duringher progresses, by Queen Elizabeth; was given, by James I., to Lord Zouch; passed, by sale, to the Mildmays; and is now represented by only an octagonal tower. The living is a vicarage, united with the p. curacy of Grewell, in the diocese of Winchester. Value, £560.* Patron, the Bishop of Winchester.—The sub-district contains also four other parishes, and is in Hartley-Wintney district. Acres, 22,058. Pop., 6, 515. Houses, 1, 351. The hundred contains eight parishes, and part of another; and is cut into lower half, middle half, and town. Acres, 7, 529, 6, 700, and 7, 287. Pop. in 1851, 2, 557, 1, 338, and 2, 811. Houses, 506, 256, and 554. The division contains also Holdshott-upper-half hundred, Crondall-lower-half and upper-half hundred, and Bentley liberty. Acres, 62, 994. Pop. in 1851, 15, 822. Houses, 3, 109.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a small town, a parish, a sub-district, a hundred, and a division"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Odiham AP/CP       Odiham Hundred       Odiham SubD       Hampshire AncC
Place: Odiham

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.