"CHRISTCHURCH, a parish, market town, parliamentary borough, and seaport, in the Ringwood division of the hundred of Christchurch and liberty of Westover, in the county of Hants, 24 miles S.W. of Southampton, and 101 from London byroad. The Southampton and Dorchester branch of the South-Western railway has a station at Christchurch Road, about 72 miles from the town. Christchurch was called by the Saxons Twyneham, Twyn-ambozerne and Tweon-ea, in consequence of its situation between the rivers Avon and Stour, whose streams meet a little below the town, and fall into the sea at Christ-church Bay, forming a harbour which is accessible only to small ships, and that at high water, which, however, occurs twice every tide. It is a sub-port to Southampton, and was at an early period a place of considerable importance in respect of its situation with regard to the Isle of Wight and the coast of France. "
[From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]