"ALTON, a parish and market town in the hundred, division, and union of Alton, in the county of Hants, 17 miles to the N.E. of Winchester, and 47 miles from London, or 49 miles by the London and South Western railway. It is a place of great antiquity, as its name, signifying Old Town, indicates. A Roman cemetery probably existed here, as urns and other funeral relics have been lately dug up in the town. It was called by the Saxons Aweltuna, and was a royal demesne in the reign of Alfred. It is supposed by some to be the Æthelingadene, where a battle with the Danes was fought, in the year 1001. It returned a representative to one parliament of Edward I. and to one of Edward II. It was in the wood, a few miles from Alton, that Edward I., when prince, vanquished and made prisoner the outlaw, Adam de Gurdon. "
[From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]