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Alresford or New Alresford, Hampshire

Historical Description

Alresford or New Alresford, a small town and a parish in Hants. The town stands along a hill, contiguous to the Arle river, with a station on the L. & S.W.R., 57 miles from London, and 7 ENE of Winchester. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office. 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 25 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., but this privilege has long since been lost. The corporation was abolished in 1886. It had at one time a considerable cloth manufacture and many fulling-mills, but it is now merely a market centre for country produce. It was burned by the Royalist troops in 1644, and again suffered severely from fire in 1689 and in 1736. A weekly market is held 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 parish comprises 692 acres; population, 1464. the living is a rectory in the diocese of Winchester; value, £231. Patron, the Bishop of Winchester. The church was built in 1690, and has a square embattled tower. There are Congregational and Primitive Methodist chapels, a fire brigade and engine-house, two branch banks, a savings bank, and a brewery.

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 unionAlresford 

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

Church Records

The register dates from 1724 for baptisms, 1740 for marriages and 1698 for burials.


Church of England

St. John the Baptist (parish church)

The church of St. John the Baptist is a building of stone and rubble, consisting of chancel with aisle, nave, aisles and an embattled western tower containing 8 bells, rehung in 1897, and a clock: the stained east window and the reredos of opus sectile work were presented in 1900 by H. H. Walford esq.; there is another stained window in a side chapel erected by Captain George Marx to his parents, and in this chapel is also a carved oak reredos erected by Mrs. Marx to her husband, Captain Marx. The church was successively Norman, Early English and Perpendicular and traces of these styles are still to be seen in the church as restored in 1898, under the direction of the late Sir A. W. Bromfield A.R.A. at a cost of upwards of £7,000: it affords 500 sittings.

Civil Registration

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Alresford or New Alresford 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 Alresford or New Alresford 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:

Poor Law

Alresford was the head of a Poor Law Union, formed on 31st March 1835, which initially comprised the following parishes: Alresford (New), Alresford (Old), Beauworth, Bighton, Bishop's Sutton, Bramdean, Brown Candover, Cheriton, Chilton Candover, Hinton Ampner, Itchen Stoke, Kilmeston, Northington, Ovington, Ropley, Swarraton, Tichborne and West Tisted. Godfield, formerly extra-parochial, became a parish and joined the Union at a later date. The population of the union in 1911 was 7,531; area, 42,316 acres.

Visitations Heraldic

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

RegionSouth East
Postal districtSO24
Post TownAlresford