Havant (St. Faith)

HAVANT (St. Faith), a market-town, parish, and liberty, and the head of a union, in the Fareham and S. divisions of the county of Southampton, 21¼ miles (E. by S.) from Southampton, and 64 (S. W.) from London; containing, with the tythings of Brockhampton and Leigh, 2101 inhabitants. This town, which is situated on the road from Southampton and Fareham to Chichester, is neatly built, and consists principally of one long street, intersected by another at right angles; it is partially paved, and well supplied with water. There are a subscription newsroom and a book club. The manufacture of parchment is carried on to some extent. In 1824 a swing-bridge was erected, at an expense of nearly £12,000, across the channel which connects Langston harbour with that of Chichester, thus affording a communication with Hayling Island, which lies about a mile to the south of Havant; and in 1840, a new quay was constructed on the Portsmouth side of the bridge, which has tended much to the increase of the trade in coal and timber. Vessels of 200 tons' burthen enter Langston harbour with coal, oysters, &c. There is direct railway communication, on the west, with Portsmouth and with Fareham, and on the east with Chichester. The market, granted by King John, and held on Saturday, having become inconsiderable, was made a pitched corn-market in Jan. 1832, since which time it has increased: there are fairs on June 22nd and Oct. 17th. The parish comprises 2742 acres, of which 1000 are waste or common. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £24. 6. 0½., and in the gift of the Bishop of Winchester: the tithes have been commuted for £670, the glebe contains 8 acres. The church is a cruciform structure with a tower rising from the intersection, in the early English style, and was repaired in 1832, at an expense of £900, towards defraying which the bishop contributed £50, and the Incorporated Society £220; the chancel has a handsome groined ceiling, and at the east end a painted window has been put up, the gift of Sir G. T. Staunton: the church contains a brass to one of the rectors, who died in 1413. At Redhill is a district incumbency, in the gift of the Rectors of Havant and Warblington, alternately. There are places of worship for Independents, and a Roman Catholic chapel. The poor law union comprises 6 parishes or places, and, according to the census of 1841, contains 6642 inhabitants.

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

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