National Gazetteer (1868) - Emsworth


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"EMSWORTH, a parish and town in the hundred of Bosmere, county Hants, 2 miles S.E. of Havant. This was formerly a chapelry of Warblington parish, but by a recent Act of Parliament has been made a separate parish It is a post town and railway station on the London, Brighton, and South Coast line. It is situated on the N. shore of Hayling harbour, along the great road from Southampton and Portsmouth to Brighton vide Chichester, and on the Sussex border, opposite to Thorney Island, at the head of Emsworth Channel, which is navigable along Hayling Island to the English Channel for vessels of 200 tons.

At the commencement of the present century, it was only a small fishing village, but from its favourable situation has risen to the importance of a prosperous trading town, having many vessels engaged in the conveyance of goods coastwise, and a number of small craft employed in the oyster fishery. Ship-building, sail-cloth manufacture, rope and brick making, and the breweries, afford employment to a large proportion of the inhabitants. Coal is brought here by sea, and the exports are chiefly flour and timber, for which two good quays have been constructed. The town contains many well-built houses, and hot and cold sea-water baths have been erected. Communication with Thorney Island is obtained by a causeway, over which carriages pass at low water, and the environs of the town are studded with pleasant villas.

The living is a rectory in the diocese of Winchester, value £180, in the patronage of the Rector of Warblington. The church is a modern structure, built in the form of a cross, with two towers at the W. end, and surmounted with octangular turrets, terminating in low spires, between which is the entrance porch. It is dedicated to St. James, and was erected in 1840, at an expense of £1,200. It has since been enlarged by the erection of N. and S. aisles, and has seat-room for upwards of 800 persons. The Independents and Baptists have each a chapel. Large and handsome National and infant schools have been recently (in 1863) erected at the expense of the present rector. An Act of Parliament has been obtained for reclaiming large portions of the mud-lands in the harbour, the works for which are already commenced. Fairs are held at Easter, the 15th April, and 18th July, for hardware, toys, &c."

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