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Lymington, Hampshire

Historical Description

Lymington, a market-town, a municipal borough, and a parish in Hants. The town stands on the W bank of the Lymington river, contiguous to the Solent, with two stations on the L. & S.W.R., one being called Lymington Pier, 96 miles from London, and 16 miles SW by S of Southampton. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office. The borough and parish boundaries are conterminous. Acreage, 1515 of land and 750 of water; population, 4551. It was known at Domesday as Lentune. The manor belonged then to Eoger de Ivry, passed to the De Eedvers and to Isabella de Fortibus, and went afterwards to the Courtenays, whose three golden bezants still figure in the town's arms. A large ancient earthwork, called the Buckland Eings, in the form of an irregular circle, surrounded by a deep trench and a double vallum, and defended on two sides by outworks, is about a mile to the N, and so many as about 200 Ibs. of Roman coins were found in 1744. Salt works, at the mouth of the creek, probably date as far back as the ancient British times, adjoin large heaps of wood ashes, which are supposed to have been the refuse of workings by the ancient Britons, were of so much importance in the time of Henry I. as to give the town then a good export trade in salt, continued till the latter part of the 18th century to he carried on in so many as forty salterns, and to yield a very large amount of duty, fell gradually off till they employed no more than two or three salterns, and finally entirely disappeared. The town was also aoted for the production of Epsom salts or sulphate of magnesia. An import trade in French wines was considerable in the time of Henry I., and so important was the port in the time of Edward III. that it then fitted out and manned nine ships for the defence of the coast, while Portsmouth fitted out and manned only four. Guidott the physician was a native of the town, and the Earl of Portsmouth takes from it the title of Viscount.

The town consists chiefly of one long street, intersected at right angles by several smaller ones; has, of late years, undergone very considerable improvement, and contains many neat and commodious houses. The part near the shore commands very fine views, the beach affords good facilities for salt-water bathing, the environs are studded with handsome villas and mansions, the neighbourhood is highly beautiful and gives ample scope for pleasant excursions; and a neck of land four miles to the S terminates in the attractions of Hurst Castle, which was built by Henry VIII. to defend the Golent Straits. Charles I. was confined for a short time in the castle previous to his removal to Carisbrook. The chief public buildings are a town-hall, assembly rooms, a literary institute, a church, two dissenting chapels, an endowed school, and a workhouse. The church is a brick and stone structureof different periods, altered from its original character, has a fine E window erected in 1887 to the memory of Sir George Sartorius, senior Admiral of the Fleet, and which consists of five parts, all connected with the history of our Lord and his disciples on the Sea of Galilee-the central subject being the figure of our Lord standing on the sea as Master of the great waters. The church has also an embattled tower, and contains a monumental bust of C. Colbourne by Rysbrack, and a monument to Captain Rogers by Bacon. It was restored in 1874. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Winchester; value, £300. Patron, the Bishop of Winchester. The town has two banks and two chief inns, is a seat of petty sessions, a sub-port to Southampton and a coastguard station, and publishes a weekly newspaper. A Cottage Convalescent Home was erected in 1876. Lands at Pennington were purchased and laid out for a cemetery in 1889. A weekly market is held on Saturday, fairs are held on 12 and 13 May, and 2 and 3 Oct., and yacht-building and a coasting trade are carried on. The harbour has a commodious quay and store-rooms, admits vessels of 300 tons, and prior to 1731, when damage was done to it by the construction of a dam to the N of the town, admitted vessels of 500 tons. The entrance of the creek has good and facile anchorage in from 4 to 6 fathoms, and is a favourite shelter for vessels belonging to the Royal Yacht squadron. The town is a borough by prescription, sent two members to Parliament till 1867, afterwards only one, and by the Redistribution of Seats Act in 1885 its representation was merged'in that of the county. It is governed by a corporation consisting of a mayor, 4 alderman, and 12 councillors.

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


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

Ancient CountyHampshire 
Poor Law unionLymington 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Lymington from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Lymington 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


Visitations Heraldic

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

DistrictNew Forest
RegionSouth East
Postal districtSO41
Post TownLymington