Place:New Alresford, Hampshire, England

NameNew Alresford
Alt namesAllsfordsource: Wikipedia
Alresfordsource: Wikipedia
Alresfordesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 120
TypeChapelry, Civil parish
Coordinates51.083°N 1.167°W
Located inHampshire, England
See alsoAlresford Liberty, Hampshire, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Fawley Hundred, Hampshire, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Alresford Rural, Hampshire, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1932
Winchester Rural, Hampshire, Englandrural district in which it was located 1932-1974
Winchester District, Hampshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

New Alresford or simply Alresford is a small town and civil parish in the City of Winchester district of Hampshire, England. It is 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) north-east of Winchester and 20 kilometres (12 mi) southwest of the town of Alton. Alresford has a population of around 6,000.

New Alresford was founded in the 12th/13th century, the idea originally being that of Henri de Blois, the Bishop of Winchester and brother of King Stephen of England. The design of the T-shaped town (originally named Novum Forum) was followed by de Blois' successor Godfrey de Lucy. Alresford was one of the Bishop's six new towns and was his most profitable plantation—-his palace was situated in nearby Bishop's Sutton, perhaps less than a mile distant. The medieval stone bridge he built at this time is still in place. This expansion also involved the construction of the Great Weir between New Alresford and Old Alresford, creating Old Alresford Pond. This remarkable period in the town's history included the construction of one of the oldest canal systems in England, based on the River Itchen.

New Alresford quickly became established as a prosperous market town, focussed on wool, leather and the other products from sheep and cattle; in the 14th century Alresford sheep markets produced one of five highest turnovers in England. Alresford sent two members to parliament until the population was reduced by the Black Death. In the 17th century the town made news as a dangerous place to live due to the uncommonly frequent fires which razed it. In the spring of 1644, the Battle of Cheriton took place on Cheriton Down, reaching the outskirts of Alresford. Defeated Royalists set fire to houses in the town as they withdrew. Much of the medieval town was again destroyed by a fire in 1689/90 that destroyed 117 houses in the town as well as the church and Market House, another in 1710 and a 'like calamity' in 1736. Much of the town was rebuilt in the 18th century, with many of the Georgian buildings remaining today.

A turnpike or toll road was built linking London primarily to Southampton but also viable for Hamble and Portsmouth. This is now the A31). Some of this road was a Roman road, evolving into a track in variable condition maintained by each parish. This was constructed in 1753 and passed through New Alresford.

The 13th-century church was, save the mostly 14th century tower, rebuilt in 1898 by Sir Arthur Blomfield in the Norman gothic perpendicular style. The top third of the tower is of 16th century red crenalated parapet brickwork.

Research Tips

  • Victoria County History of Hampshire, volume 3, chapter on Alresford Liberty (which includes New Alresford).
  • GENUKI has a list of archive holders in Hampshire including the Hampshire Record Office, various museums in Portsmouth and Southhampton, the Isle of Wight Record Office and Archives.
  • The Hampshire Online Parish Clerk project has a large collection of transcriptions from Parish Registers across Hampshire.
  • A listing of all the Registration Districts in England and Wales since their introduction in 1837 together with tables listing the parishes that were part of each district and the time period covered, along with detailed notes on changes of parish name, mergers, etc. Do respect the copyright on this material.
  • The three-storey City Museum in Winchester covers the Iron Age and Roman periods, the Middle Ages, and the Victorian period.
  • Volumes in The Victoria County History Series are available for Hampshire through British History Online. There are three volumes and the county is covered by parishes within the old divisions of "hundreds".
A collection of maps on the A Vision of Britain through Time website illustrating the English county of Hampshire over the period 1832-1932 (the last two are expandible):
  • A group of maps of the post-1974 municipal districts or boroughs of Hampshire on Wikipedia Commons
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at New Alresford. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.