Gosport - Graffham

A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.

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'Gosport - Graffham', in A Topographical Dictionary of England, (London, 1848) pp. 319-322. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/england/pp319-322 [accessed 19 April 2024]

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GOSPORT, a sea-port and market-town, in the parish of Alverstoke, hundred of East Meon, Fareham and S. divisions of the county of Southampton, 17½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Southampton, and 78 (S. W.) from London; containing 8862 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have been originally written God's Port, which name, it is said, was given to it by King Stephen, who landed here after having been shipwrecked: that monarch, also, granted the manor and all rights belonging thereto to his brother, Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester. It is styled a borough, in a decree of the court of exchequer, passed in the 44th of Elizabeth, by which it was decided that the inhabitants were entitled to the exclusive right of the ferry between it and Portsmouth; but this right was in a great degree abandoned in 1809, when an act was obtained for the regulation of the ferry, and for granting to proper persons licences to ply. Gosport, mentioned by Leland, in the reign of Henry VIII., as a poor village inhabited by fishermen, has risen to consequence principally during the two last centuries, owing to its situation on one side of the harbour of Portsmouth, to which town and the queen's dockyard it stands immediately opposite, occupying a projecting point of land forming the western shore of the harbour. About 50 years since, a line of regular fortifications for the protection of the town, but more especially for that of the shipping, naval arsenal, and stores, was constructed, extending from a lake on the northern side of the town (flowing out of the harbour to the village of Forton) to Oyster Pool and Alverstoke Lake, on the southern side. Within the works are the queen's brewery and cooperage, with storehouses on a very large scale for wine, malt, hops, &c. The buildings were formerly called Weovil Brewhouse; but within the last few years, far more extensive buildings and storehouses have been erected, together with mills for grinding flour, and bake-houses for preparing biscuits, the whole comprising every thing necessary for providing a large portion of the food and clothing for the navy. The whole eastern front of the establishment, which contains within its walls several handsome houses for the principal officers, is bounded by convenient and extensive quays adjoining the harbour; and the place is now named, by authority, the Royal Clarence Victualling-Yard. Vessels of considerable burthen can take in their stores here, and many small sloops, belonging to the establishment, are employed in the conveyance of articles for the use of the ships in the harbour and at Spithead.

The approach to Gosport from the sea presents a noble prospect, including the forts, storehouses, and other buildings. The principal street, which extends from the harbour to the fortifications, was formerly interrupted by the market-house, but in 1811, a handsome new edifice was erected on a vacant site on the north side, at the eastern end of the street, fronting the water; along the shore are various ranges of buildings, consisting chiefly of neat and well-built houses. In 1763, the inhabitants procured an act of parliament for paving the streets and removing nuisances, which was confirmed and enlarged by an act in 1814, whereby provision was made for watching and lighting the town. Concerts and balls occasionally take place. In 1834, an act was obtained for building a bridge over Stoke or Haslar Lake, which separates Gosport from Haslar Hospital, and for making approaches thereto; and in 1842 an act was passed for erecting a pier at Gosport. A branch from the South-Western railway at Bishop's-Stoke, called the Gosport Branch railway, has been completed to this town; the line is 15¾ miles in length: the original capital was £300,000, afterwards extended to £400,000. From the terminus here, extends a line into the Royal Clarence Yard, executed at a cost of £8000, for Her Majesty's use when visiting the Isle of Wight; it is about 600 yards in length, and was opened in September, 1845. There are several breweries, and an extensive iron-foundry for the manufacture of various articles for the use of shipping, especially anchors. The markets are on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Gosport is a distinct liberty and manor, and appoints its own constables, ale-conners, and other officers, at the court leet of the Bishop of Winchester.

Stokes Bay, to the south-west of Gosport, is justly celebrated for the excellence of its anchorage, affording security to an unlimited number of vessels. On the shore forming this bay, and immediately opposite the fashionable town of Ryde, in the Isle of Wight, many good and handsome houses, besides an hotel, readingrooms, and baths, have been erected within the last few years, and denominated Anglesey Ville. Near Forton Lake, about a mile north of Gosport, is the new barrack, belonging to the garrison of Portsmouth, and consisting of four ranges of building connected by an arcade, with offices, &c. Upon the north side of the lake, near its entrance, on a spot called Priddys Hard, is the magazine, in which, and in a smaller building dependent on it, a considerable portion of the powder for the service of the port is stored: the larger stores of powder are on a peninsular point of land, called Tipners Hard, on the opposite side of the harbour. Near Priddys Hard, on what is an island at high water, are the ruins of a castle, built in the reign of Charles I. or II., and called James' Fort, to co-operate with another, the ruins of which may be seen on the north side of Gosport Beach, known as Charles' Fort. The Royal Hospital at Haslar, for the reception of sick and wounded seamen of the Royal Navy, built in 1762 through the influence of the Earl of Sandwich, is a very extensive edifice, situated near the extremity of the point of land which bounds the west side of the entrance to Portsmouth harbour. In 1818, the principal wing of the building was appropriated to seamen and marines labouring under lunacy, who had been previously placed in an asylum at Hoxton. The number of persons within the walls at present is about 400; the annual expenses of the establishment, during the time of war, amount to upwards of £5000. About threequarters of a mile south-west of the hospital is Fort Monkton, a modern and regular fortification, exceedingly strong, on which are mounted 32 pieces of heavy ordnance: to the west, ranges a strong redoubt, which, together with the fort, secures this part of the coast. On the shore eastward, a high and massive stone wall has been erected, to preserve the land from the encroachments of the sea. Still further to the east, and near the extremity of the neck of land which bounds the entrance to the harbour on this side, is the Blockhouse, a very strong fort with a battery.

The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rector of Alverstoke; and is endowed with a freehold farm, comprising about 70 acres, rather more than four miles from Gosport, and which was purchased in 1743 for £940. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and situated on the south side of the town, was built by contributions, on a piece of waste ground granted by the bishop as lord of the manor, and was consecrated on September 27th, 1696. In consequence of the growth of the town, the length of the building was increased in 1745, and galleries were erected; and in 1830, owing to the dangerous state of the roof, the owners of pews determined to raise the side walls, put on a new roof, bring forward the galleries, and add 300 free sittings; which, with other improvements, were effected at an expense amounting to between £3000 and £4000. It is now a spacious, and, particularly as regards its internal appearance, a chaste and handsome edifice of the Ionic order, calculated to accommodate 3000 persons, and including upwards of 400 free sittings, besides seats for charity children. In this church is an organ which was formerly in the chapel of the magnificent mansion of Canons, belonging to the Duke of Chandos. In 1796, the incumbent having obtained from the bishop a site between Alverstoke Lake and the south side of the church, erected a large house and out-buildings for the use of himself and his successors, which cost above £6000, and are now rented by the board of ordnance: the present residence of the incumbent was built in 1806. The district parish of St. Matthew was constituted in Sept. 1845, under the act 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37, and the church was consecrated in May, 1846: the edifice is in the early English style, and contains 840 sittings, all free; the cost of its erection, exceeding £4000, was defrayed chiefly by the exertions of Bishop Wilberforce. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the alternate patronage of the Bishop of Winchester and the Rector of Alverstoke; net income, £200. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics; and several charity schools.


GOSPORT, a tything, in the parish of Bosham, union of West Bourne, hundred of Bosham, rape of Chichester, W. division of Sussex; containing 74 inhabitants.


GOSWICK, a township, in the parish of HolyIsland, union of Berwick, Islandshire, N. division of Northumberland; adjoining Berwick, and containing 172 inhabitants. This place, which is about 5 miles north-by-west from Holy-Island, lies contiguous to a small bay of the North Sea, and occupies the entrance to the fordable sands between the main land and Holy-Island, on which account it is supposed to have become connected with the parish. It comprises 1348 acres, of which 81 are waste land or common.

Gothan (St. Lawrence)

GOTHAN (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Basford, S. division of the wapentake of Rushcliffe and of the county of Nottingham, 7½ miles (S. S. W.) from Nottingham; containing 747 inhabitants. The parish comprises about 2200 acres: the surface is varied with hill and dale; the soil in the valleys is a rich loam, well adapted for wheat. Limestone is quarried in the hills; and alabaster is found in considerable quantity, and, when burnt and reduced to powder, is formed into excellent plaster for flooring. The village is bounded on the west by the lofty hills of the Wold, and on the east by an extensive tract of marsh land, which is subject to frequent inundation. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £19. 8. 6½., and in the gift of the Duke of Portland, Earl Howe, Lord St. John, and George Savile Foljambe, Esq., in rotation: the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1804, when 427a. 3r. 11p. were allotted, in addition to 43 acres of Keyworth common allotted in the 38th of George III. The church has been repewed, and 477 free sittings provided. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; and a national school, and an infants' school, have been each endowed with £30 per annum by Countess Howe.


GOTHERINGTON, a hamlet, in the parish and hundred of Bishop's-Cleeve, union of Winchcomb, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 4 miles (W. by N.) from Winchcomb; containing 381 inhabitants. The tithes were commuted for land in 1806.

Goudhurst (St. Mary)

GOUDHURST (St. Mary), a parish, in the union, and partly in the hundred, of Cranbrooke, but chiefly in the hundred of Marden, Lower division of the lathe of Scray, W. division of Kent, 4 miles (E. N. E.) from Lamberhurst; containing 2711 inhabitants. This parish is intersected by the road from Lamberhurst to Cranbrooke, and comprises 9722a. 2r. 18p. The surface is principally hilly, and the soil of a sandy quality; the scenery is diversified by woods, chiefly of oak, and covering 2008 acres, and there are some hop plantations. The village had formerly a market on Wednesday, and a considerable business in the manufacture of cloth, both of which have now entirely ceased, but there is a fair for horses and for toys on August 26th and 27th, and for Welsh cattle on November 5th. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £26. 19. 2.; net income, £400; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Rochester. The church is a handsome structure, situated on the declivity of a lofty hill, commanding a fine view over the counties of Kent, Surrey, and Sussex; its tower was formerly surmounted by a spire, which was destroyed by lightning in 1637. Christchurch, on Kilndown, now a district church, was erected in 1839, at a cost of £2500; it is in the later English style, with a tower and spire, and contains 413 sittings, of which 313 are free. The altar-piece, of stone, richly carved, was the gift of A. B. Hope, Esq.; a fine-toned organ was presented by Lady Beresford, and the communion-plate, which is a splendid service, by Viscount Beresford, of Bedgebury Park. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £213 per annum, and in the gift of his Lordship. There are two places of worship for Wesleyans. John Horsmonden, in 1670, bequeathed a rent-charge of £35, for the instruction of children; and Thomas Bathurst, in 1718, gave another of £6.

Goulsby, or Golceby (All Saints)

GOULSBY, or Golceby (All Saints), a parish; in the union of Horncastle, N. division of the wapentake of Gartree, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 6¾ miles (S. W.) from Louth; containing 347 inhabitants. The parish comprises by estimation 1132 acres of land, chiefly the property of Matthew Bancroft Lister, Esq., lord of the manor: the village, which is of considerable size, is situated in a narrow dale, on one of the tributary streams of the Bain, and extends into Asterby parish. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 0. 2., and in the gift of Mr. Lister, the impropriator, and incumbency of the Rev. Joseph Martin Lister, whose net income is £136. The tithes have been commuted for land; the glebe comprises 117a. 2r. 22p. The church is a neat modern structure. There are places of worship for Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists.


GOWDALL, a township, in the parish of Snaith, union of Goole, Lower division of the wapentake of Osgoldcross, W. riding of York, 1½ mile (W.) from Snaith; containing 237 inhabitants. The township comprises by admeasurement 1151a. 2r. 5p., of which the greater part was in open fields, and waste, until inclosed in 1772. The river Aire passes on the north of the village. Here is a place of worship for Wesleyans.


GOWTHORPE, a chapelry, in the parish of Swardeston, union of Henstead, hundred of Humbleyard, E. division of the county of Norfolk. The curacy is consolidated with the rectory of Intwood: the chapel is dedicated to St. James the Apostle.

Gowthorpe, York.—See Youlthorpe.

GOWTHORPE, York.—See Youlthorpe.

Goxhill (All Saints)

GOXHILL (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Glandford-Brigg, N. division of the wapentake of Yarborough, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 3 miles (E. S. E.) from Barrow-on-Humber; containing 892 inhabitants, and comprising 6000 acres. This place was distinguished for a priory, founded by William de Alta Ripa, for Cistercian nuns, about the year 1185, and the remains of which, called the Chapel, form the kitchen, dairy, &c., of a farmhouse. A pleasure-fair is held in May. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £14. 18. 4., and in the patronage of the Crown, with a net income of £116: the tithes were commuted for land in 1773. The church is a large handsome structure, on an eminence. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A fund of £12 per annum, arising from an allotment of land, is distributed among the necessitous poor.

Goxhill (St. Giles)

GOXHILL (St. Giles), a parish, in the union of Skirlaugh, N. division of the wapentake of Holderness, E. riding of York, 2½ miles (S. S. W.) from Hornsea; containing 64 inhabitants. This place at an early period gave name to a family, whose estate here passed by marriage to the Despensers; the Lellies afterwards possessed the property, and in the 15th century it came to the Constables, by marriage of Marmaduke Constable with the daughter and heiress of Robert Stokes, Esq. The parish comprises 812a. 3r. 7p., the property of the Rev. Charles Constable; about one-third of the land is pasture, and the remainder, with the exception of 10 acres of wood, is arable. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £8, and in the gift of the Rev. C. Constable: the tithes have been commuted for £175, and the glebe comprises 39 acres. The church, situated upon an eminence amidst lofty trees, has been rebuilt by the patron, at an expense of several hundred pounds, and is now a handsome structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower.

Goytrey (St. Peter)

GOYTREY (St. Peter), a parish, in the union and division of Pont-y-Pool, hundred of Abergavenny, county of Monmouth, 4 miles (N. E.) from Pont-yPool; containing 567 inhabitants. The parish is bounded on the north-east by the river Usk, and comprises 3332a. 1r. 4p., of which about one-third is uncultivated; of the remaining two-thirds, 750 acres are underwood, and the rest is divided into arable, pasture, meadow, and water. The surface is considerably undulated; the soil in general is a sandy gravel. There are quarries of limestone and building-stone, and flagstones and pipe-clay are procured. The Brecon and Monmouth canal passes through the parish, which is also traversed by the road from Pont-y-Pool to Abergavenny and Monmouth. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £4. 7. 6., and in the gift of the Earl of Abergavenny: the tithes have been commuted for £295, and the glebe comprises 3 acres. The church is an ancient edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, and has a font of Saxon construction. There are places of worship for Welsh Baptists and Calvinists.


GRABY, a hamlet, in the parish of Aslackby, union of Bourne, wapentake of Aveland, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 4 miles (S. E. by S.) from the town of Falkingham; containing 18 inhabitants.

Grace-Dieu.—See Belton.

GRACE-DIEU.—See Belton.

Grace-Dieu Park

GRACE-DIEU PARK, an extra-parochial liberty, in the Lower division of the hundred of Raglan, union and county of Monmouth, 4½ miles (W. by S.) from Monmouth; containing 11 inhabitants. An abbey of the Cistercian order was founded here, in 1226, by John of Monmouth, Knt., in honour of the Blessed Virgin: at the Dissolution it contained two monks, whose revenue was £26. 1. 4.

Grade (Holy Cross)

GRADE (Holy Cross), a parish, in the union of Helston, W. division of the hundred of Kerrier and of the county of Cornwall, 10 miles (S. S. E.) from Helston; containing 333 inhabitants. The parish is bounded on the east by Cadgith Cove, and the coast is defended by a lofty and interesting range of cliffs, rising in the form of an amphitheatre, to the height of 200 feet, and indented with some curious caverns. The number of acres is 1946, of which 246 are waste land or common: the soil is principally rock and clay marl; the surface is partly hilly and partly flat, the whole having a considerable elevation above the sea. Stone is found, chiefly of the serpentine formation, and susceptible of a high polish. The living is a rectory, with that of Ruan Minor, valued in the king's books at £11. 1. 5½., and in the gift of the Rev. Canon Rogers, and P. V. Robinson, Esq.: the tithes of Grade have been commuted for £295, and the glebe comprises four acres. The church contains some ancient monuments to the family of Erisey. About half a mile from it is a well, arched over, called St. Grade's Well.

Graffham (All Saints)

GRAFFHAM (All Saints), a parish, in the union of St. Neot's, hundred of Leightonstone, county of Huntingdon, 4¾ miles (E. by N.) from Kimbolton; containing, with East Perry, 307 inhabitants, and comprising about 1800 acres. A pleasure-fair is held at Midsummer. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16. 14. 4½., and in the gift of Lady O. B. Sparrow, with a net income of £199: the tithes were commuted for 330 acres of land, at the inclosure of the parish, in 1780. The church is ancient.

Graffham (St. Giles)

GRAFFHAM (St. Giles), a parish, in the union of West Hampnett, hundred of Easebourne, rape of Chichester, W. division of Sussex, 4 miles (S. W.) from Petworth; containing 390 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the northern acclivity of the Downs, which are here beautifully ornamented with shrubs and underwood; the views over the Weald abound with variety. It comprises 1658a. 23p., of which 513 acres are arable, 470 meadow and pasture, 427 woodland, and 233 furze and open common. A pleasure-fair is held on the 16th of June. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 10. 5., and in the patronage of Bishop Wilberforce: the tithes have been commuted for £183, and the glebe consists of 10 acres. The church, partly in the early and partly in the decorated English style, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a spire, was nearly rebuilt in 1838, at the expense of the Rev. H. E. Manning, the rector.