Place:Havant, Hampshire, England

Alt namesHavehuntesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 123
Havant and Waterloosource: name of district 1932-1974Leigh|suburban hamlet
Leigh Parksource: suburban modern village to the north
Purbrooksource: suburb to the north
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish, Urban district
Coordinates50.85°N 0.983°W
Located inHampshire, England     (500 - )
See alsoHavant Liberty, Hampshire, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Havant Rural, Hampshire, Englandrural district absorbed in 1932
Havant District, Hampshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

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

Havant is the town in the southeast corner of Hampshire, England approximately mid-way between Portsmouth and Chichester. Its borough (population: 125,000) comprises the town and its suburbs including the resort of Hayling Island as well as Rowlands Castle (an exurb), the smaller town of Waterlooville and Langstone. Housing and population more than doubled under either definition of Havant in the 20 years following World War II, a period of major conversion of land from agriculture and woodland to housing across the region following the incendiary bombing of Portsmouth and The Blitz.

Havant has direct railways served by passenger trains to Portsmouth, London and Brighton. The major A27 road connects with the coastal village suburbs of Langstone and the southern part of Bedhampton. In the north of the borough is Leigh Park, a 20th-century housing estate. Paulsgrove is another such community in the parish of Wymering). To the east is Emsworth, a much smaller contiguous town.

The old centre of the town was a small Celtic settlement before Roman times. The town's commerce, retired and commuter population swelled after World War II so as to be usually considered economically part of the Portsmouth conurbation.

Governance History

The present Borough of Havant was formed in 1974 as part of the nationwide reorganization of local government.

The earlier history of governmental structure began in 1894 with the establishment of Havant Urban District and Havant Rural District. In 1932, the two were merged under the name Havant and Waterloo Urban District (redirected here). At the time of the merger a number of parishes immediately outside the original urban district had their boundaries redrawn and Havant and Waterloo absorbed a sizeable area from them. Some of the parishes of Havant Rural District more distant from the centre were transferred to Petersfield Rural District and to Portsmouth which also had its boundaries redrawn at this time. Havant and Waterloo Urban District absorbed further territory from its neighbours in 1952.

The areas added to Havant and Waterloo were as follows:

The urban district thus covered the semi-urban area in the southeast of Hampshire, between the city of Portsmouth and the West Sussex border. (Source: A Vision of Britain through Time)


A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Havant from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 gives a good picture of the size of the town in the 1870s:

"HAVANT, a small town, a parish, a liberty, and a [registration] district in Hants. The town stands on Langstone harbour, at the intersection of the South Coast railway with the London and Portsmonth railway, 2½ miles W of the boundary with Sussex, and 7½ N E of Portsmouth; was known at Domesday as Havehunte; consists of four streets, in cruciform arrangement, and named after the cardinal points; communicates with Hayling Island, across the Langstone channel, by a swing bridge; is a polling place; and has a head post office, a railway station with telegraph, two chief inns, a public newsroom, a church, a dissenting chapel, a Roman Catholic chapel, a national school, and a workhouse. The church contains portions of all periods from Norman to late perpendicular; is cruciforni, with a central tower; and contains an effigies of Thomas Aylward, the secretary of William of Wykeham. A weekly market is held on Saturday; and fairs are held on 22 June and 17 Oct. Tanning, malting, brewing, parchment making, and a trade in flour and coals are carried on.
"The parish contains also the hamlets of Brockhampton, Leigh, and Langstone. Acres: 3,201; of which 438 are water. Real property: £9,648; of which £100 are in gas works. Population: 2,470. Houses: 480. The manor belonged anciently to the monks of Winchester. Leigh Park is the seat of Sir W. Stone, Esq. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Winchester. Value: £489. Patron: the Bishop of Winchester. The rectory of Redhill is a separate benefice.
"The liberty is conterminate with the parish.
"The [registration] district contains the parishes of Havant, South Hayling, North Hayling, Warblington, Bedhampton, and Farlington. Acres: 24,527. Poor rates, in 1863: £4,465. Population in 1861: 7,212. Houses: 1,463. Marriages in 1862: 48; births: 216, (of which 13 were illegitimate); deaths: 142, (of which 44 were at ages under 5 years, and 5 at ages above 85). Marriages in the ten years 1851-60: 408; births: 1,957; deaths: 1,350. The places of worship, in 1851, were 9 of the Church of England, with 3,937 sittings; 4 of Independents, with 943 [sittings]; 1 of Baptists, with 200 [sittings]; 1 of Wesleyans, with 100 [sittings]; 1 of Roman Catholics, with 100 [sittings]; and 1 undefined, with 20 attendants. The schools were 10 public day schools, with 852 scholars; 24 private day schools, with 448 [scholars]; 13 Sunday schools, with 926 [scholars]; and 1 evening school for adults, with 22 [scholars]."

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Havant.

Research Tips

  • Victoria County History of Hampshire, volume 3, chapter on Havant.
  • 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 Havant. 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.