Place:Widley, Hampshire, England

Alt namesCoshamsource: village in parish
Wallesworthsource: very ancient parish abolished in 1426
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates50.857°N 1.048°W
Located inHampshire, England
See alsoPortsdown Hundred, Hampshire, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Fareham Rural, Hampshire, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1974
Southwick and Widley, Hampshire, Englandcivil parish into which part was transferred in 1932
Havant District, Hampshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering part of the area since 1974
Portsmouth District, Hampshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering part of the area since 1974
Winchester District, Hampshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering part of the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Widley is an area of the Greater Portsmouth conurbation in the southeast of England near Waterlooville and Purbrook. It is on the dip slope of the South Downs just north of the ridge called Portsdown Hill.

The original village of Widley stood approximately 1 mile to the west of the current centre, around the site of the present Widley Farm. The settlement moved to be sited on the then newly built Cosham to Horndean turnpike road at the time of the building (circa 1860) of the Portsdown forts adjacent to Portsdown Hill. The local Christ Church was built as a place of worship for soldiers based in the forts. Remains of the village's former chapel can be found close to Widley Farm; members of the family of Charles Dickens are buried in the graveyard.

Politically, the majority of Widley is part of Purbrook Ward of Havant Borough Council. However, a small strip to the south is part of the City of Portsmouth unitary authority and the most western parts (including Widley Farm) are in the Southwick and Widley parish of Winchester City Council.


Cosham was a village in Widley parish and was the location of the local railway station. A Vision of Britain through Time states that Cosham was the preferred name for Widley parish from 1894 until 1921. On the Ordnance Survey Map of Hampshire of 1900 the parish is labelled Corsham.

Research Tips

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