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Petersfield, Hampshire

Historical Description

Petersfield, a town and a parish in Hants. The town stands on the E verge of the county, near the river Rother, with a station on the L. & S.W.R. 51 miles from London; there is also a branch line of railway to Midhurst. There is a post, money order, and telegraph office. Acreage of the civil parish, 237; population, 2002; of the ecclesiastical, 3222. The town claims to have been chartered by Elizabeth; is governed by an urban district council; sent a member to Parliament once in the time of Edward I. and once in that of Edward VI.; sent two from the time of Elizabeth till 1832, and one from that time till 1885, when its representation was merged in that of the county. It was a place of some note during the stage-coach days, when nearly thirty coaches passed through it daily; serves now as a good centre to tourists for exploring the surrounding country; and is a seat of petty sessions and county courts. It has a bank, two inns, a town-hall erected in 1824, a corn exchange built in 1867, a workhouse, and a cottage hospital. The Heath was inclosed in 1867, when a recreation ground was set aside for the parish. The church of St Peter is an ancient Norman structure, and has been well restored; it contains several monuments to the Joliffe family. The living is a vicarage, with that of Sheet annexed, in the diocese of Winchester; joint gross value, £480 with residence. There are Congregational and Wesleyan chapels. In the centre of the market-square is a handsome equestrian statoe of William III. on a lofty pedestal. A market is held on alternate Wednesdays, and fairs on 10 July, 6 Oct., and 11 Dec. The town publishes a weekly newspaper. There are some almshonses and small charities. Lord Hylton is lord of the manor.

Petersfield Parliamentary Division of Eastern Hants was formed under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, and returns one member to the House of Commons. Population, 47,180. The division includes the following:-Alton -Alton, Bentley, Bentworth, Binstead, Chawton, Coldrey, Dockenfield, East Tisted, East Worldham, Farringdon, Froyle, Hartley Mauditt, Headley, Holybourn, Kingsley, Lasham, Medstead. Neatham, Newton Valence, Selbome, Shalden, West Worldham, Wield; Petersfield-Blendworth, Bram-shott, Buriton, Catherington, Chalton, Clanfield, Colemore, Eastmeon, Empshott, Froxfield, Greatham, Hawkley, Idsworth, Liss, Petersfield, Prior's Dean, Privett, Sheet, Steep; Droxford-Bishop's Waltham, Corhampton, Droxford, Durley, Exton, Hambledon, Meonstoke, Soberton, Upham, Wamford, Westmeon; Winchester (the part made up of the parishes forming the Alresford Union)-Beauworth, Bighton, Bishop's Sutton, Bramdean, Brown Candover, Cheriton, Chilton Candover, Godsfield, Hinton Ampner, Itchen Stoke, Kilmiston, New Alresford, Old Alresford, Northington, Ovington, Ropley, Swarraton, Tichborne, West Tisted.

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 
Ecclesiastical parishPetersfield St. Peter 
Poor Law unionPetersfield 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Petersfield 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 Petersfield 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.

DistrictEast Hampshire
RegionSouth East
Postal districtGU32
Post TownPetersfield