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Gosport, Hampshire

Historical Description

GOSPORT, included within the parish of Alverstoke, is entirely dependent for its importance upon its close proximity to Portsmouth. At some points the harbour separating the towns is not more than three quarters of a mile in breadth. In early times the name is supposed to have been "God's Port," originated by Bishop Henry de Blois in 1158 by reason of the shelter afforded to King Stephen during a storm in 1144. The town was formerly incorporated with Portsmouth, but was excluded after the Revolution of 1688. It has always been styled " the ancient town and borough of Gosport," notwithstanding its non-possession of a charter of incorporation. Communication with Portsmouth is maintained by means of a floating bridge, founded in 1840, and steam launches, which since 1871 have plied between the two shores. The chief thoroughfare is High Street, leading from The Hard through the whole length of the town, and traversed by a tramway connecting the outlying districts of Forton, Brockhurst, &c.

Gosport has extensive coasting trade, and is famed for yacht and sail making. Its chief feature is the Royal Clarence Victualling Yard-the food depot of the Royal Navy. Here are capacious storehouses for all kinds of rations, including granaries capable of containing 6000 quarters of wheat, while other objects of interest are the biscuit bakery and steam corn-mills. The number of men victualled from the yard on ordinary occasions is about 10,000 per week, A private railway station is provided for Her Majesty, and situated on an island just beyond the yard is Priddy's Hard, a depot for the storage of ammunition and explosives for issue to the ships of the Royal Navy and to the troops in the garrison. Haslar Hospital, erected between 1746 and 1762 in the Queen Anne style of architecture, is one of the largest brick edifices in the kingdom, and provides accommodation for 2000 patients. This hospital, founded to meet the requirements of the navy, contains upwards of 120 wards, is four storeys high, and is nearly 600 feet in length. A bridge connects Haslar with Gosport, and is the property of a private company, the shareholders in which are compensated by means of a toll levied on persons passing to and fro. Situated in the High Street is the Thorngate Memorial Hall, erected in 1885 by the trustees under the will of the late William Thorngate, a merchant and philanthropist of the town. The building, which is erected in Flemish-Gothic style, presents a handsome exterior, and contains the offices of the local board, overseers and board of guardians, free public library and reading-room. The district is strongly fortified by Browndown battery. Forts Gomer, Rowner, Elson, Brockhurst, Grange, &c., while Blockhouse fort serves as one of the important defences of Portsmouth Harbour. St Matthew's Church, dating from 1846, and the Congregational chapel, founded in 1663, are the most important places of worship in the vicinity. The L. & S.W.R. has a station in the town, and from Stokes Bay, not far distant, passengers may travel direct to the Isle of Wight.

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

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyHampshire 
Civil parishAlverstoke 
HundredEast Meon 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Gosport from the following:


Land and Property

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


Maps

Online maps of Gosport are available from a number of sites:


Newspapers and Periodicals

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


Villages, Hamlets, &c

Stoke Road

Visitations Heraldic

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

DistrictGosport
CountyHampshire
RegionSouth East
CountryEngland
Postal districtPO12
Post TownGosport

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