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National Gazetteer (1868) - Alverstoke

"ALVERSTOKE, a parish co-extensive with the liberties of Alverstoke and Gosport, in the Fareham division of the county of Southampton, on the western side of Portsmouth harbour. It comprises the town and port of Gosport, a suburb of Portsmouth, and the chapelries and hamlets of Gosport, Forton, Anglesey, Hardway, and Elson. It is situated on the coast of Stoke Bay, 2 miles from the Gosport terminus of the South Western railway. Part of the new works for the defence of the harbour of Portsmouth are in this parish. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Winchester, value, with the curacy of Anglesey, £1,087, in the patronage of the Bishop of Winchester. The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is very ancient, having been founded by Bishop Henry de Blois in the year 1130, on occasion of his deliverance from shipwreck.

In this church is the tomb of "gallant Kempenfelt," who perished with his "twice four hundred men," on the sinking of the Royal George, in August, 1782. A new chapel, dedicated to St. Matthew, at Gosport, has been erected by the commissioners under the act of parliament for such purposes, the living of which is a curacy, value £200, in the patronage of the bishop and the rector, alternately. There are also three chapels of ease-Trinity, at Gosport; St. John's, Forton; and St. Thomas, Elson. They are all perpetual curacies* in the patronage of the rector. There is a schoolhouse which was built by the present Bishop of Oxford, and a national school, of large dimensions, erected in 1842. Haslar hospital is in this parish. It is a spacious brick building near the entrance to Portsmouth harbour, extending in front about 570 feet, and having two wings about 550 feet in length. It is capable of receiving 2,000 patients. It contains besides apartments for the governor, officers, and nurses, a chapel and a museum. The grounds belonging to it extend nearly a mile. It was erected on the suggestion of Earl Sandwich, about the middle of the 18th century. Soldiers form a large class of the population of Alverstoke. The town was within the jurisdiction of the Cheyney Court at Winchester. See Gosport. "ANGLESEY, (or Anglesey Ville), a village and watering place in the parish of Alverstoke, in the liberties of Alverstoke and Gosport, Portsdown division of the county of Southampton, 2 miles to the S.W. of Gosport railway station. It is a beautiful village, of modern construction, commanding extensive views, and is situated on the coast opposite to Spithead and the Isle of Wight. The living is a perpetual curacy united with the rectory of Alverstoke. A chapel of ease, in the Elizabethan style of architecture, was opened here in 1844. It is dedicated to St. Mark. There is a large hotel, reading-room, baths, and public gardens. This place owes its origin to the Marquis of Anglesey, who founded it about thirty-six years ago. "ELSON, a township and ecclesiastical district in the parish of Alverstoke, county Hants, 1½ mile N.W. of Gosport, its post town and nearest railway station. It contains the hamlet of Hardway. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Winchester, value £90, in the patronage of the Vicar of Alverstoke. The church is dedicated to St. Thomas. The Wesleyans have a chapel, and there is a National school for boys and girls. "FORTON, a parochial chapelry in the parish of Alverstoke, liberty of Alverstoke and Gosport, county Hants, 1 mile W. of Gosport, its post town and railway station on the South-Western line. It is situated to the W. of Portsmouth Harbour, and includes the hamlet of Brockhurst. There are barracks for the Royal Marines, a military prison, and a powder magazine. An old fortification known as King Stephen's "borough" is in the vicinity of the latter. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Winchester, value £200, in the patronage of the Vicar of Alverstoke. The church is an edifice of the present century, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. It has a fine organ, said to have been the property of Handel. There is also a chapel attached to the barracks. The Baptists have a chapel, and there is a National school.

"GOSPORT, a parish chapelry, seaport, market, and post town, in the parish and liberty of Alverstoke, county Hants, 23 miles S.E. of Winchester, and 77 from London by the turnpike road, or 96 by the South-Western railway, which has a branch line to this place. It is situated on the western side of the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour, on a point of land facing the town of Portsmouth, from which it is distant, at one part, only half a mile, and with which there is constant intercourse by means of a steam ferry, and a floating bridge conveying passengers, carriages, horses, and all kinds of merchandise. Gosport is, comparatively, a modern town, deriving its importance, chiefly, from its proximity to Portsmouth.

It appears that King Stephen succeeded in landing here, after being driven about in a storm, and called it God's Port. He afterwards bestowed it upon his brother, the Bishop of Blois, who granted it a charter. The town is well built, and, especially from the water, has a handsome appearance. It is governed in matters relating to its sanitary and social condition by a body of trustees appointed under a local Act of Parliament, who make and levy all rates for paving, lighting, &c. There are also two officers, called constables, chosen under the ancient charter.

The town contains a market-house, theatre, commercial and savings banks, house of correction, foundries, breweries, and extensive works connected with the government establishments, affording employment to a large number of people. Here are situated the Royal Clarence victualling-yard for supplying her Majesty's navy, extensive powder magazines, the Forton marine barracks, and the Haslar hospital, capable of accommodating 2,000 inmates. Within a short distance of the above hospital are the two powerful batteries known as the Block House and Monckton forts; other defences are in process of construction. The coastguard and police services have stations here. It is a polling-place for the county, and petty sessions are held fortnightly.

The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Winchester, value £220, with good parsonage house, in the patronage of the Rector of Alverstoke. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was originally erected in 1696, and has been subsequently much enlarged. It was entirely repaired in 1830 at the cost of £4,000. Its internal appearance is very handsome. There is also the district church of St. Matthew, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £200, in the gift of the bishop and rector alternately. The Independents have two chapels, and the Wesleyans and Roman Catholics one each. There are five National schools, and two free schools, one in connection with Trinity church, and one a Roman Catholic school. The Bishop of Winchester is lord of the manor. Tuesdays and Saturdays are the market days. "HASLAR HOSPITAL, in the parish of Alverstoke, on Haslar Creek, near Gosport, county Hants. It is situated at the mouth of Portsmouth harbour, and has wards for 2,000 patients, with quarters for governor and officers, also a chapel and museum. It consists of a front 567 feet long, with two wings of 552 feet each, and is built of brick. "MONKTON FORT, at the opening into Spithead, in the parish of Alverstoke, county Hants, 1 mile S. of Gosport. It is in a line with Kickergill Tower."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]