"NEW ALRESFORD, (commonly called ALSFORD), a parish and market town in the Alton division of the county of Hants, 7 miles to the N.E. of Winchester railway station, and 57 miles from London by road, or 75 miles by the South Western railway. It is a neat and well-built union and market town, situated near the head of the river Itchen. Its name imports that there was a ford, overshadowed by alder trees, on the spot; but, by a mistake, the river here is often called the Alre. Cenwalch, King of Wessex, after his baptism, gave the manor to the Bishop of Winchester. The market, which in the early part of the 13th century had been discontinued, was restored about the year 1220, by Godfrey de Lucy, Bishop of Winchester. "
[From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]