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Hampshire, England

(County Southampton, Hants)

Historical Description

Hampshire, Hants, or Southamptonshire, a maritime county, bounded on the N by Berks, on the E by Surrey and, Sussex, on the S by the English Channel, on the W by Dorsetshire and Wiltshire. It includes Hayling and Portsea Islands, scarcely separated from the mainland, and the Isle of Wight, separated by the Solent. Its outline is not far from being rectangular. Its greatest length south-south-westward is 66 miles, its greatest breadth is 42 miles, its circuit is about 225 miles, and its area is 1,037,764 acres. The surface of the Isle of Wight is proverbially picturesque, and will be found sufficiently noticed in the articles on the Isle's parishes, and on all its principal localities. The surface of the mainland sections exhibits a pleasing variety of hills, valleys, undulating grounds, plains, and forest. A range of downs extends west-north-westward, from boundary to boundary, by Odiham, Basingstoke, and Kingsclere; is from 2 to 3 miles broad, and attains near its W end an altitude of about 900 feet. Another range of downs extends nearly in the same direction, about 10 miles further S, is for the most part about 4 miles broad, and has several summits about or above 900 feet high. A third range extends in a southward direction, from the vicinity of the first range between Odiham and Basingstoke, to the vicinity of the second range near Petersfield. Portsdown Hill, an isolated eminence, 7 miles long, 1 mile broad, and about 450 feet high, extends from E to W, along the N sides of Langstone and Portsmouth harbours. A high moorish tract forms most of the section northward of the N downs; a great tract of broken low tableau, variously heath, common, swell, and vale, forms most of the area westward of the southerly range of hills; a low tract, gently sloping to the shores, forms most of the area southward of the hills and of the low tableau; and the tract of New Forest, noticed in a separate article, forms a large section in the SW. The chief streams are the Enborne, the Blackwater, the Wey, the Titchfield, the Hamble, the Itchin, the Anton or Test, the Beaulieu, and the Avon. Chalk rocks occupy much the larger portion of the county, through the centre, from E to W, and rocks of newer formation than the chalks occupy nearly all the sections in the N and in the S. Fossils are very plentiful, and made large contributions to the early advances of geology. Chalk is extensively calcined for manure, and much clay is obtained for pottery.

The soils, for the most part, take their character from the chalk, but they include a large aggregate of various kinds of loams, and a considerable aggregate of peat. Agricultural practice in most parts is good, and it is one of the most fertile counties in England. Irrigated meadows, chiefly on the margins of streams, are of great extent, and generally yield from 30 to 36 cwt. of hay per acre. Honey is very extensively produced on the slopes and skirts of the downs. Alderney cattle are in great request. The sheep are chiefly Southdown, with some white-faced natives. Horses are small and hardy. Pigs are fed in the forests, and the county is well known for its bacon. Farms run mostly from 200 to 500 acres on the best lands, and from 500 to 2000 on the chalk. Estates, in general, are large.

Manufactures comprise paper, silk, sacking, linen collars, druggets, linseys, woollens, malt, and coarse pottery, but are not aggregately of great extent. There are large shipbuilding yards at Northam, and Portsmouth is a great dockyard. Many yachts are built at Cowes.

According to the census returns issued in 1893, the chief occupations of the people of the county were:—Professional, 35,835 males and 9003 females; domestic, 4123 males and 50,331 females; commercial, 27,381 males and 548 females; agricultural, 37,312 males and 750 females; fishing, 605 males and 75 females; industrial, 91,318 males and 23,096 females; and "unoccupied," including retired business men, pensioners, those living on their own means, and others not specified, 47,355 males and 183,508 females; or a total in the county of 243,929 males and 267,311 females. The number of men employed in the leading industries was as follows:—Agricultural labourers, 19,137; general labourers, 16,719 ; carpenters and joiners, 6396; seamen, 5253; and farmers, 2926. The chief occupations of women were—domestic service, with a total of 40,015; millinery and dressmaking, 11,033. There were also in the county 549 blind persons, 539 deaf, 233 deaf and dumb, and 2346 mentally deranged.

The railways belong chiefly to the London and South-Western system. A trunk line from London enters the county on the north-east at Farnborough, passing by Basingstoke and Winchester to Southampton. The South Coast line extends out of Sussex to Portsmouth. A branch of the South-Western line extends from Gosport to Salisbury, crossing the main line at Bishopstoke. The Southampton and Dorchester line throws off branches to Lymington, Christchurch, and Bournemouth. There is also a line from Redbridge to Andover, and from Basingstoke to Salisbury. One from Ash and Farnham to Winchester passes by Alton, and there is another from Southampton to Netley, and from Bishop's Waltham to Petersfield. Porchester is intersected by a line from Havant to Fareham. The direct Portsmouth railway from London runs by Guildford, Haslemere, Petersfield, and Havant. A branch from Reading to Basingstoke connects the Great Western system with the South-Western. The South-Eastern line from Guildford viâ Ash to Reading passes Farnborough and Blackwater. The Midland and South-Western Junction railway runs from Andover Junction to Swindon in Wiltshire, and thus gives communication from north to south. In the Isle of Wight there is a line from West Cowes to Newport, another from Ryde to Ventnor, a third from Newport to Ventnor, and another from Newport to Yarmouth and Freshwater.

The county is divided for parliamentary purposes into six divisions, including the Isle of Wight, and also includes the parliamentary boroughs of Christchurch, Portsmouth, Southampton, and Winchester.

In the administrative counties of Southampton and the Isle of Wight, there are nine municipal boroughs, exclusive of the county boroughs, one court of quarter sessions, and 14 petty sessional divisions. The boroughs of Andover, Basingstoke, Lymington, Newport, Portsmouth, Romsey, Ryde, Southampton, and Winchester, have separate commissions of the peace; and the boroughs of Andover, Portsmouth, Southampton, and Winchester have, in addition, separate courts of quarter sessions. Hampshire contains 307 entire civil parishes and parts of two others, and the Isle of Wight 32 entire civil parishes, the county borough of Portsmonth two entire civil parishes, and the county borough of Southampton six entire civil parishes and part of another. There are 396 entire ecclesiastical parishes or districts and parts of seven others, and is almost entirely in the diocese of Winchester.

The borough representation comprises Portsmouth and Southampton—two members each,and Christchurch and Winchester—one member each. The population of the county in. 1801 was 219,290, (1821) 282,891, (1841) 354,682, (1861) 481,815, (1881) 593,470, (1891) 690,097.

The chief seats include Osborne, Stratfieldsay, Avington, Beaulieu, Amport, Rosehill, Appuldurcombe, Somerley, Eaglehurst, Arlesford House, Heron Court, Highclere, Hurstbourne, Broadlands, Chissel, Bartley, Elvetham, Highcliffe, Grantham House, Hackwood, Cranbury, Walhampton, Paultons, Dogmersfield, and Cufnells, and amount altogether to about 150. The county is governed by a lord lieutenant and a county council consisting of 62 councillors and 23 aldermen. It is in the SW military district and the W judiciary circuit. By the Local Government Act of 1888, the Isle of Wight became after 1st April, 1890, an administrative county, with powers to levy its own rates for county purposes, and to maintain a separate police force.

The territory now forming Hants belonged to the ancient British Belgæ, was included by the Romans in their Britannia Prima, and formed part of the Saxon Wessex. The chief events in its subsequent history are noticed in our articles on Silchester, Basing, Winchester, Portsmouth, and Southampton. Ancient British remains are at Silchester, Beacon Hill, Winclesbury, and Arreton town. Roman stations were at Silchester, Andover, Winchester, Bittern, Porchester, and Broughton, and Roman roads went from some of these stations to others, and to Old Sarum. Roman camps, or traces of them, are in about twenty places, Saxon camps at three, and Danish camps at Danebury Hill and in the Isle of Wight. Old castles, or remains or traces of them, are in about twelve places, old abbeys at five, old priories and other monasteries at twenty-one, and interesting old churches at fourteen.


Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Archives and Libraries

Hampshire Record Office
Sussex Street,
Winchester,
Hampshire
SO23 8TH
tel 01962 846154,
fax 01962 878681
Email:email form


Church Records

We have a database containing transcripts of marriage records for some parishes in Hampshire.


Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

List of Registration Districts in Hampshire from 1837 to 1974.


Directories & Gazetteers

The Historical Directories web site have a number of directories relating to Hampshire online, including:
Kelly's, Pigot, Slater, etc.

We have transcribed the entry for Hampshire from the following:


Historical Geography

A listing of the Hundreds and Liberties in Hampshire, with the parishes contained in them.


Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Hampshire (County Southampton) is available to browse.


Maps

Old map of Hampshire circa 1848 (Samuel Lewis)

Old map of Hampshire circa 1895 (Gazetteer of England and Wales)


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Hampshire newspapers online:


Parishes & places

Abbots Ann
Abbotston
Aldershot
Alresford or New Alresford
Alton
Alum Green
Alverstoke
Amberwood
Ampfield
Amport
Andover
Andwell
Appleshaw
Ashe
Ashford Hill
Ashley
Ashley Lodge
Ashley Wallt
Ashmansworth
Avington
Barton Stacey
Basing
Basingstoke
Basingstoke Canal
Baughurst
Beaulieu
Beauworth
Bedhampton
Bentley
Bentworth
Bere Forest
Bickton
Bighton
Bingham Town
Binley
Binstead
Bishops Sparkford
Bishops Sutton
Bishops Waltham
Bishopstoke
Bistern and Crow
Bitterne
Black Down
Blackmoor
Blackwater
Blackwater (Yateley)
Blechynden
Blendworth
Blockhouse Fort
Boarhunt
Boldre
Bordean
Boscombe
Bossington
Botley
Bourne St Mary
Bournemouth
Boyatt
Bradley
Braishfield or Brashfield
Bramdean
Bramley
Bramshaw
Bramshott
Bransbury
Bransgore
Breamore or Breamer
Brickleton
Broadlands
Brockenhurst
Brockhampton
Broom
Broomy Walk
Broughton
Brown Candover
Buckland Rings
Bucklershard
Bullington
Bure
Burgate, Middle, North, and South
Burghclere
Buriton
Burley
Bursledon
Burton
Butser Hill
Cadenham
Calshot Castle
Canterton
Castle Malwood
Catherington
Chalton
Chandlers Ford
Charlcott
Chawton
Cheriton
Chewton
Chichester Harbour
Chidden and Glidden
Chilbolton
Chilcomb
Chilland
Chilton Candover
Chilworth
Chineham
Christchurch
Christon
Church Oakley
Clanfield
Clerewoodcott
Cliddesden
Colbury
Cold Henley
Colden Common
Colebury
Colemore or Colmer
College Mill
College Wharf
Combe
Compton
Coombe
Corhampton
Cosham
Cove
Cranbury Park
Crawley
Crofton
Crondall
Crookham
Crown Farm
Crux Easton
Cuffnells
Culverley
Cumberland Fort
Cupernham
Curdridge
Danebmy
Dean Sand
Deane
Denmead
Dibden
Dippenhall
Dockenfield
Dogmersfield
Dolphin Bank
Downton
Drayton
Droxford
Dummer
Dunbridge (Station)
Dunwood
Durley
Durley (Eling)
Eaglehurst
East and West Buckholt
East Cholderton
East Dean
East Meon
East Stratton
East Tisted
East Tytherley
East Wellow
East Woodhay
East Worldham
Eastleigh
Easton
Eastrop
Edmondstrip
Efford
Egbury
Eling
Ellingham
Ellisfield
Ellisfield or Illsfield
Elson
Elvetham
Embley
Emery Down
Empshot
Emsworth
Eversley
Ewhurst
Ewshot
Exbury
Eyeworth Lodge
Eyeworth Walk
Faccombe
Fairoak
Fairthorn
Fareham
Farleigh Wallop
Farley Chamberlayne
Farlington
Farnborough
Fawley
Fleet
Fleetpond
Fordingbridge
Forest, New
Forton (Alverstoke)
Forton (Longparish)
Foxcott
Freefolk
Freefolk Priors
Freemantle (Kingsclere)
Freemantle (Milbrook)
Frenchmoor
Fritham (Minstead)
Frobury
Froxfield
Froyle
Fullerton
Funtley
Fyfield
Goodworth
Gosport
Grange
Grateley
Great and Little Bramshill
Greatham
Greywell or Grewell
Guildable
Hackwood Park
Ham
Hamble le Rice
Hambledon
Hannington
Hannington Lances
Harbridge
Hardway
Hartley Mauditt
Hartley Westpall
Hartley Wintney
Havant
Hawkley
Hawley
Hayling
Hazley Heath
Headbourne Worthy
Headless Cross
Headley
Heckfield
Hedge End
Hempage Wood
Herne
Heron or West Herne
Herriard
Highclere
Highcliffe
Highfield
Hill (Droxford)
Hillside
Hinton Admiral
Hinton Ampner
Hoddington
Hoe, East
Hoe, West
Holdenhurst
Holmesley Walk
Holt
Holterworth
Holybourne
Hook
Hook with Warsash
Hordle
Horndean
Horsebridge
Houghton
Houghton Drayton
Hound
Hounsdown
Hunton
Hurn
Hursley
Hurstbourne
Hurstbourne Priors
Hurstbourne Tarrant
Hyde or Hyde Common
Hythe
Ibsley
Idsworth
Iford or Iver
Inhurst
Ipersbridge
Issington
Itchin Abbas or lichen Abbas
Itchin or lichen
Itchin Stoke or Itchen Stoke
Itchingswell or Ecchinswell
Kempshot
Keyhaven
Kilmeston
Kimpton
Kings Somborne
Kingsclere
Kingsley
Kingsworthy
Knights Enham
Lainston
Langley (Eling)
Langrish
Langstone Harbour
Lasham
Laverstoke
Leap
Leckford
Lee
Linford
Linkenholt
Linwood
Liphook
Liss
Litchfield
Little London
Little Sombourn
Littleton
Lockerley
London and Hampshire Canal
Long Sutton
Longparish
Longstock
Lopperwood
Lower and Upper Shoddesden
Lower Clatford
Lymington
Lyndhurst
Lyndhurst Road
Magdalen Hill
Mainstone
Malshanger
Malwood
Mapledurwell
Marchwood
Martyr Worthy
Marwell Hall
Mattingley
Mean
Medstead
Mengham
Micheldever
Middleton
Milford
Milland
Millbrook
Milton
Milton (Portsea Island)
Mincingfield
Minley
Minstead
Mitchelmersh
Monkton Fort
Monxton
Moordown
Morestead
Mortimer West End
Mottisfont
Mount Pleasant
Mount Pleasant (mound)
Mount Royal
Moyles Court
Muccleshell
Muddiford or Mudeford
Nately Scures
Neatham
Nether Wallop
Netherton
Netley
Netley Marsh
New Coppice Inclosure
Newnham
Newton Valence
Newtown near Newbury
North and South Brook
North Baddesley
North Camp
North Charford
North Houghton
North Oakley
North Stoneham
North Waltham
Northam
Northington
Nursling or Nutshalling
Nutley
Odiham
Old Alresford
Old Turnpike
Otterbourne
Over Wallop
Overton
Ovington
Ower
Owres Green or Owers Green
Owslebury
Packham
Palmers Ford
Pamber
Park Farm
Pennington
Penton Mewsey
Petersfield
Pilcott
Pilley with Warborne
Pokesdown
Poolhampton
Popham
Porchester or Portchester
Portsdown
Portsea
Portsmouth
Portswood
Preston Candover
Priors Dean
Privett
Purbrook
Quarley
Queenwood
Ramsdale or Ramsdell
Redbridge
Redburn, Green
Redhill
Ringwood
River Bourne
Rockbourne
Rockford
Romsey
Ropley
Rosehill or Longside Park
Rotherwick
Rowner
Rownhams
Salt Way
Sarisbury, Swanwick, and Curbridge
Sarson
Selborne
Set Thorns
Shalden
Sheepwash
Sheet
Sherborne Monk or West
Sherborne St John
Sherfield English
Sherfield upon Loddon
Shipton Bellinger
Shirley (Sopley)
Sholing
Sidmonton or Sydmonton
Sidwell
Silchester
Slackstead
Soberton
Sombourn, Up
Somerley
Sopley
South Baddesley
South Charford
South Stoneham
South Tidworth
South Warnborough
Southampton
Southwick
Sowley
Sparsholt
Spithead
Spurshot
St Cross
St Denys
St Faith
St Mary Extra
Stanbridge
Stapeley
Steep
Steventon
Stockbridge
Stoke Charity
Stoke Meon
Stokes Bay
Stratfield Turgis
Stratfieldsaye
Swarraton
Sway
Tadley
Tangley
Tatchbury
The Anton
The Arle
The Avon
The Exe
The Hamble
The Itchen
The Loddon
The Lymington
The Nine Mile Water
The Rother
The Shingles
The Solent
The Titchfield
Throop
Thruxton
Timsbury
Titchborne or Tichborne
Titchfield
Toothill
Totfold
Totton
Tufton or Tuckington
Tunworth
Twyford
Up Nately
Upham
Upper Clatford
Upper Eldon
Upton Gray
Vernham Dean
Warblington
Warnford
Waterlooville
Weeke or Wyke
West Green
West Meon
West Stratton
West Tisted
West Tytherley
West Worldham
Westend
Westend (Chidden)
Weston
Weston Corbett
Weston Patrick
Weyhill
Wherwell
Whitchurch
Whitsbury or Whitchbury
Wickham
Widley
Wield
Winchester
Winchfield
Winkton
Winnall
Winslade
Wolverton
Wonston or Wonsington
Woodcott or Woodcutt
Woodmancote
Woolmer Forest
Woolsner
Wootton St Lawrence
Worting
Wymering
Yateley

Population

The population of Hampshire was, in 1801, 219,290; 1811, 246,514; 1821, 282,897; 1831, 313,976; 1841, 354,682; 1851, 245,370; 1861, 481,815; 1871, 524,836; 1881, 575,409; 1891, 611,425; and in 1901, 717,164. The population of the county in 1911 was 862,485, viz.:- County, 433,604; Bournemouth County Borough, 78,677; Portsmouth County Borough, 231,165; Southampton County Borough, 119,039.


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Hampshire, 1530, 1575, & 1622-34 is available to view on the Heraldry page.

Map of Hampshire