Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for ALRESFORD, or New Alresford

ALRESFORD, or New Alresford, a small town, a parish, a subdistrict, and a district in Hants. The town stands along a hill, contiguous to the Arle river, with a st. on the Alton and Winchester railway, 7 miles ENE of Winchester. The tract around it was given by Kynewald, second Christian king of Wessex, to the church of Winchester; and was thenceforth much controlled by the bishops. The town seems to have been soon formed by them; and, falling into decay, was restored, in the time of King John, by Bishop Godfrey de Lucy. A. pond was then excavated adjacent to it, along the course of the Itchen, 1½ mile in length and about 200 acres in area, with the view of bringing up navigation hither from the sea; but failed eventually to serve the purpose, and is now reduced to about 60 acres. The embankment on the north side, to the extent of nearly 500 yards, is said to have been originally a Roman causeway. The town was incorporated at an early period, and is said to have sent a member to parliament in the time of Edward I.; and it had at one time a considerable cloth manufacture, and many fulling-mills; but it is now merely a marketing centre for country produce, with right to some rents and tolls. It was burned by the royalist troops in 1644; and again suffered severely from fire in 1689 and in 1736. It has a head post office,‡ two banks, a market house of 1866, a weekly market on Thursday, and fairs on Holy Thursday, the last Thursday in July, the first Thursday in Sept., 17 Oct., and the last Thursday in Nov. Miss Mitford, the author of "Our Village," was a native. Many silver coins, of the reign of William I., were found, in 1833, in a leaden box, in a neighbouring field. The Alton and Winchester railway, opened in 1865, passes close to the town, and gives ready access to London and Southampton. The parish comprises 683 acres. Real property, £5,411. Pop., 1,546. Houses, 274. The property is subdivided. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Winchester. Value, £240.* Patron, the Bishop of Winchester. The church was built in 1690, and has a square embattled tower. There are an Independent chapel, a free grammar school, with £149 a year, and other charities with nearly £40.

The subdistrict contains the parishes of New. Alres ford, Old Alresford, Ovington, Itchen-Stoke, Bighton, Swarraton, Northington, Brown-Candover, and Chilton Candover, and the extra-parochial tract of Godsfield. Acres, 16,619. Pop., 3,674. Houses, 679. The district includes also the subdistrict of Ropley, containing the parishes of Ropley, West Tisted, Bramdean, Hinton-Ampner, Kilmiston, Beanworth, Cheriton, Titchborne, and Bishops-Sutton. Acres, 39,761. Poor-rates in 1866, £5,176. Pop. in 1841, 7,094; in 1861, 7,182. Houses, 1,407. Marriages in 1866, 40; births, 221,-of which 11 were illegitimate; deaths, 118,-of which 39 were at ages under 5 years, and 8 at ages above 85. Marriages in-the ten years 1851-60,433; births, 2,107; deaths, 1,190. The places of worship in 1851 were 18 of the Church of England, with 3,973 sittings; 2 of Independents, with 290 s.; 1 of Baptists, with 40 s.; 2 of Primitive Methodists, with 130 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 70 s. The schools in 1851 were 16 public day schools, with 917 scholars; 13 private day schools, with 243 s.; 14 Sunday schools, with 780 s.; and 1 evening school for adults with 22 s. The workhouse is in Alresford.

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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a small town, a parish, a subdistrict, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Alresford Ch       New Alresford CP/Ch       Alresford SubD       Alresford RegD/PLU       Hampshire AncC
Place: New Alresford

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