Bourne, West (St. John the Baptist)

BOURNE, WEST (St. John the Baptist), a parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Westbourne and Singleton, rape of Chichester, W. division of Sussex, 7¾ miles (W. N. W.) from Chichester; containing, with the tythings of Aldsworth, Hermitage, Nutbourne, Prinsted, and Woodmancot, 2093 inhabitants. It comprises 3714 acres, whereof 220 are common or waste. The village, which was formerly a trading town of some importance, is pleasantly situated on a small stream, which is crossed by a bridge uniting Hermitage (through which passes the road from Chichester to Portsmouth) with the small brisk sea-port of Emsworth, in the county of Southampton. On the south is Thorney Channel, passable at low water for carriages to and from Thorney Island. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10. 10. 5., and in the gift of the Rector, with a net income of £280: the rectory is a sinecure, valued at £24. 13. 4.; net income, £870; patrons, the family of Newland. The church is a neat commodious structure in the later English style, with a well-proportioned spire of oak: the principal entrance is approached by an avenue of eight yew-trees, remarkable for their size; and on the arch of the doorway are carved the heraldic bearings of Lord Maltravers, with an inscription almost illegible, of about the time of Edward IV. Henry Smith bequeathed land in 1642, now producing £60 per annum, for the apprenticing of children, and for the poor. The union of West Bourne comprises 12 parishes, and contains a population of 6668.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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