The liberty of Alresford

A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.

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'The liberty of Alresford', A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3, (London, 1908), pp. 348-354. British History Online [accessed 14 June 2024].

. "The liberty of Alresford", in A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3, (London, 1908) 348-354. British History Online, accessed June 14, 2024,

. "The liberty of Alresford", A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3, (London, 1908). 348-354. British History Online. Web. 14 June 2024,

In this section


Kinewald, king of the West Saxons, on his conversion to Christianity about the middle of the seventh century, granted forty mansae at Alresford, afterwards forming the LIBERTY of ALRESFORD, to the church at Winchester free from all secular service except the trinoda necessitas. (fn. 1)

This grant was confirmed by King Ine in 701, (fn. 2) and again by King Egbert between 825 and 831. (fn. 3) Towards the end of the ninth century Bishop Denewulf leased the forty hides at Alresford to his kinsman Alfred for life. (fn. 4) However, a charter of 909 shows that Alfred during his tenure was indicted for crime, and the estate was therefore forfeited and only redeemed by Denewulf at the cost of a valuable offering. (fn. 5) Further, to prevent the recurrence of such a scandal King Edward decreed that no layman should be granted a lease of church property. However in 956 King Edwy was prevailed upon by Ælfric son of Alfred to restore to him the forty hides at Alresford; (fn. 6) but this grant was annulled in 964 by King Edgar, who restored to the church of Winchester 'with most humble devotion land seized from the said church by money-lovers.' (fn. 7) After this the bishop remained in quiet possession of his liberty, and was holding it in 1086, as forty-two hides, of which seventeen were leased to various tenants. (fn. 8) The boundaries of the liberty, as given in early charters, are somewhat difficult to trace, (fn. 9) but the entry in Domesday Book shows quite well that it comprised the modern parishes of New Alresford, Old Alresford, and Medsted, and perhaps that of Wield, for no less than three churches are included in the extent representing the churches of New and Old Alresford and Medsted, and leading to the inference that New Alresford and Medsted were settled villages with separate churches.

A statement in a book of customs of the hundred of Bishop's Sutton of the time of Henry III to the effect that Alresford great pond belonged not to the hundred of Bishop's Sutton but to the hundred of Alresford (fn. 10) furnishes an additional proof that Old Alresford was in Alresford Liberty, for the pond was parcel of the manor of Old Alresford. (fn. 11) The bishop held hundred courts twice a year at Martinmas and Hocktide for both New Alresford borough and Old Alresford manor, (fn. 12) including the tithings of Old Alresford, Medsted, and Wield, (fn. 13) and the latter likewise paid tithing-pence or cert-money at the hundred court. (fn. 14) Owing to some confusion, however, Old Alresford sometimes sent a tithing-man to Fawley hundred court, (fn. 15) and Old Alresford, Medsted, and Wield were usually assessed with the parishes of Fawley Hundred for the payment of taxes. (fn. 16) Hence it followed that when the bishop ceased to hold his Alresford hundred courts, Old Alresford, Medsted, and Wield were included in Fawley Hundred, as in the population returns for 1831, while Alresford Liberty and New Alresford borough came to be looked upon as interchangeable terms.

The liberty remained in the possession of the bishops of Winchester until 1551, when it was among the possessions of the bishopric which were surrendered by John Poynet to the crown on his accession to the see. (fn. 17) In the same year Edward VI granted it to Sir John Gate, (fn. 18) but it was restored with the other episcopal property in 1557, (fn. 19) and remained in the possession of the see of Winchester until, under the Root and Branch Bill, it was sold in 1648 to Thomas Hussey for £2,683 9s. 1¼d. (fn. 20) Alresford came back to the bishopric at the Restoration, and remained part of its possessions until 1869, when the lands of the see of Winchester were taken over by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who are the owners at the present day.

The modern parish of NEW ALRESFORD comprises about 693 acres of arable and pasture land, sloping gradually north and south to the valley of the River Alre, which becomes the southern boundary line between New and Old Alresford. The town is in the extreme north-east of the parish on high ground, the streets sloping gradually up to the Market House, which stands almost in the centre of the parish, where West Street, East Street, and Broad Street meet.

The road from Southampton to London cuts through the parish, forming the main street of the town, approaching it from the west through a long avenue of fine old trees. (fn. 21) At the end of the avenue the road dips downhill, where it is called Pound Hill, since the pound originally stood here on the north side of the road, and again sharply uphill into the town, taking the name of West Street as far as the market-place. Here it starts downhill again, and is known as East Street, becoming narrower and bearing to the south as it leaves the town and goes towards Bishop's Sutton. Branching north from West Street by the market-place is Broad Street, a wide short stretch of road which sweeps gently down towards the river. At the lower end of Broad Street two smaller roads branch off to the north, the more easterly one leading to Old Alresford across a small bridge, probably identical with the stone bridge mentioned by Leland in his Itinerary. It has now been widened on the south side, but on the north its original pointed arch, which dates from the latter part of the fourteenth century, can be seen from the garden of the house near by, and is in perfect condition. The span is barely six feet, the stream which it crosses being a small one, dammed up just below the bridge to work a mill.

West Street itself, with its numerous inns—the 'Running Horse,' the 'White Horse,' the 'Dolphin,' the Swan Hotel, and the Bell Inn—combines memories of old coaching days with the modern days of the motor-car. It has all the quiet picturesqueness of a market town of the old days, yet its peacefulness is continually disturbed by the noise of motor-cars on their way from London.

Although the plan of the modern town is almost identical with that of the original town as it was rebuilt by Bishop Godfrey de Lucy in the thirteenth century, the houses only date back for the most part to the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, since the town suffered from fire both in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. However, just to the north of the place where the most disastrous fire began in 1689, at the lower end of Broad Street, are several older houses, one containing some early seventeenth-century panelling and chimney-pieces, of rather rough and simple workmanship, but interesting specimens of the ornament employed in small houses of the time.

The church of St. John the Baptist, standing behind the market-house and approached by a narrow passage from West Street, suffered severely in the fire of 1689, and was described by Duthy in 1839 as 'a plain neat substantial structure … possessing no monuments of any particular interest,' and 'better calculated to afford accommodation to its congregation than materials to the topographer.' (fn. 22) The rectory is some distance from the church, standing in wide grounds south of the Alresford railway station, which is on the Alton branch of the London and SouthWestern Railway as it runs through the parish south of the town.

Of the several houses of note in the parish, Arlebury House, or New Place, is a fine house built in Italian style, standing west of the town and north of the main road to Winchester. Charles Kingsley is said to have frequently stayed here, probably when he was rector of Eversley. Miss Mitford, the authoress of Our Village, is said to have been born in a house in Broad Street, which bears a tablet recording the fact. (fn. 23) On the south side of West Street, near a house called St. John's, there formerly stood a meeting-house of the Quakers and a cemetery. The meeting-house was standing in 1750, but has since been pulled down, and no trace either of it or of the graveyard now remains.

The parish contains 244¼ acres of arable land and 283¾ acres of permanent grass. (fn. 24) The soil is chalky loam, the subsoil chalk. The chief crops are wheat, oats, turnips, and watercress. (fn. 25)

Among place-names can be mentioned Bouerewey, Abourewey, Houlendelle, Basteletyn, La Floudeland, Jagonslane, and Le Hankysburgh (fn. 26) (xv cent.); and Sewelsebryge (fn. 27) and Boltings (fn. 28) (xvi cent.).

The following sixteenth-century perambulation of the vill of New Alresford is preserved at the Public Record Office: 'Perambulation there beginning at the bridge to the north of the vill there and stretching east to Utley Dych and Furley Dych, and thence stretching south to the east of Shiplond over the way leading to Sutton, and thence on the western part of Swetley to Appledowne, and so by the hedge from New Alresford even to a certain ditch, and by the ditch to the southern end of Le Merchis and by the hedge to a stream, and thence north by the stream to Tottenmede, and thence east by the great stream coming out of Alresford Pond to the eastern part of Brodmed, and thence by the land of Roger Crope to the north of the mill called Townemyll and thence to the bridge.' (fn. 29)


According to local tradition the early existence of New Alresford as distinct from Old Alresford and Medsted was due to a defeat inflicted by the Saxons on a party of Danes near the village of West Tisted about five miles east of Alresford. The Saxons granted quarter to the defeated enemy on condition that they went to the ford over the River Alre to be baptized. In commemoration of the victory a statue of the Virgin was then erected in the churchyard of Old Alresford. (fn. 30) New Alresford was certainly a separate village in the reign of William the Conqueror, though less important than the village of Old Alresford, (fn. 31) and it would doubtless have remained in this subordinate position had it not been for the exertions of its lord Godfrey de Lucy bishop of Winchester (1189–1204), who often resided in the neighbouring palace of Bishop's Sutton, and was naturally anxious to promote its welfare. In the first place, he made the Itchen a navigable waterway for barges and flat-bottomed boats from Southampton to Winchester as well as from thence to the very head of the river, by throwing up a great dyke at Alresford, by which means the water from two or three local streams was gathered into a great lake now called Alresford Pond, and a reservoir of water provided for supplying the navigation. (fn. 32) In reward for this scheme undertaken at his own expense King John gave the bishop the royalty of the river, and in addition granted him free licence and authority to collect, receive, take, and apply to his own proper use and benefit … all fines, tolls, taxes, and customs from goods and merchandise conveyed up or down the River Itchen. (fn. 33) In the second place, having obtained a charter from King John in 1200 granting to him a weekly market in Alresford on Thursday, (fn. 34) he made a spacious market-place, causing all the buildings to be taken down and rebuilt with the square in the centre, the market-house at one end and the great corn-mills and public ovens and boulting-house at the other. According to Camden he altered the name of his town to New Market, with respect perhaps to Old Alresford adjoining, but this name continued not long with the common people, the best preservers of language. (fn. 35) In 1202 King John granted Godfrey de Lucy a fair at Alresford for three days, on the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist and the two following days. (fn. 36) This grant was confirmed by Edward I in 1282, and by Richard II in 1380, (fn. 37) and an additional fair was added on the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord some time later. (fn. 38)

New Alresford was now well equipped as a market town, and by means of the canal was linked with Winchester and Southampton. Henry III increased its trade still more when he connected it with Alton by a royal highway instead of the hitherto only means of communication—a narrow road passing through a continuation of woods where foresters and shepherds had committed all sorts of depredations. The bishops of Winchester and Oxford, together with Robert de St. John and others, met before the king's justices in 1269, and surrendered all their title and claims in these woodlands in order that they might be grubbed up and brought into a state of cultivation, and immediately afterwards the king by deed granted his own demesnes in the neighbourhood in order that a royal road, spacious, wide, and good, might be forthwith made from Alton to Alresford. (fn. 39) It seems probable that the old road, which runs from Alton by Chawton Wood and several solitary farms through Bighton, and enters Old Alresford over the causeway at the head of the pond, is the royal road of Henry III. With these advantages it is not surprising that the trade of New Alresford flourished. In the fourteenth century it was reckoned as one of the ten great wool markets in England, and its prosperity may be gauged from the fact that in the reign of Edward III a contribution of ninths produced £2 15s. from New Alresford as compared with £9 from Southampton and only 8s. 6d. from Portsmouth. (fn. 40) The manufacture of cloth was also carried on vigorously by the inhabitants, at one time there being no fewer than four fulling-mills within a mile of the town. (fn. 41) A further proof of its importance is afforded by the fact that in the reign of Edward I it gained the right of representation in Parliament, sending two burgesses to the Parliaments of 1295, 1300–1, and 1306–7, (fn. 42) and one to the Parliament of 1306. (fn. 43) Although the town seems never to have received a charter of incorporation, the inhabitants from a very early date possessed certain privileges, as is shown by a charter of 1256 whereby Ethelmar, bishop-elect of Winchester, granted to the burgesses of Francheville or Newtown in the Isle of Wight all the liberties and free customs which were enjoyed by the burgesses of Taunton, Witney, Alresford, or Farnham. (fn. 44) The king's grant also in 1302 of pavage to the bailiff and good men of Alresford seems to point to the nucleus of a corporation, (fn. 45) and if the town had prospered as it had begun it seems probable that a charter of incorporation would have been granted to it at no distant date. But linked up as it was with Winchester, the prosperity as well as the adversity of the inhabitants of New Alresford depended to a great extent on that of the former city, and when, after enduring the calamities of hostile incursions and destructive pestilence, Winchester sank under that ordinance of Edward III which sapped the foundation of its trade by removing the wool-staple thence to Calais, the prosperity of New Alresford declined. A fire of 1440 and a pestilence in the reign of Edward IV completed the ruin of the town, (fn. 46) and in the latter reign the place was so deserted and the survivors reduced to such distress that the bailiff found it impossible to collect his quitrents. (fn. 47) However, under the Tudors the town recovered to some extent from its depression. It made considerable advances in the trade and manufacture of cloth, other officers, such as ale-tasters, taxcollectors, leather-sealers, and constables, began to be elected in the court leet of the borough, (fn. 48) and a statement of the reign of Edward VI to the effect that the inhabitants of New Alresford held in common to the use of the poor of the town a house or upper room built over the Churchway at the gate of the churchyard, a close called the Town Close, and half an acre of land lying in Downegate Furlong, (fn. 49) seems to indicate the existence of the municipal governing body which afterwards consisted of the bailiff and eight burgesses. (fn. 50) A further proof that it already existed and held the borough at fee-farm of the bishop seems to be afforded by the report of a surveyor sent down by Sir John Gate before his purchase of the bailiwick of Bishop's Sutton. His language is not very clear, but he states: 'The boroughe of New Alresford standeth all upon quite rents,' 'The boroughe is the worst rent within the hooll bailiwicke, as I take it, becawse of the contynual reparations,' and again 'Alresford is clerely gevin bi the bisshopp to one of the porters of the towne, as I have lernd, which must be considered upon your purchase if it be not remedied.' (fn. 51) All this seems to point to the same conclusion that the borough was farmed out for a fixed rent, nearly all of which the bishop had to spend on the town, while the words 'if it be not remedied' seem to hint that the right was only a prescriptive one. At length, on 10 December, 1572, Robert Horne bishop of Winchester by charter granted the borough to the bailiff and burgesses to hold of him at a fixed annual rent of £16 14s. 2¼d., viz. £15 15s. 6¼d. farm of the borough, 12s. picage and stallage of fairs and markets, and 6s. 8d. farm of a tenement called Bultings in the north of the town. (fn. 52) From this date the income of the borough was applied in pursuance of resolutions passed at meetings of the bailiff and eight burgesses. (fn. 53) At these meetings also the bailiff and the other officers of the borough, such as constables, ale-conners or beer-tasters, and kerners of flesh and fish, were elected and vacancies among the burgesses filled up, but at each election the bailiff, burgess, or other officer was presented and sworn in at the court leet of the borough. (fn. 54) The corporation also was accustomed to exercise a legal jurisdiction within the borough, and held a law-day court every three weeks for the trial of inferior actions of debt, trespass, &c., but it was discontinued after the burning down of the council-house in 1689. (fn. 55) Such was the constitution of the borough during the seventeenth and following centuries.

Its prosperity during this time was repeatedly checked by outbreaks of fire. (fn. 56) The first of these took place in 1644, after the battle of Cheriton, when the royal troops, under the earl of Forth and Lord Hopton, being forced to leave the town, set fire to it at both ends as they marched out, knowing the republican tendencies of the inhabitants. Owing, however, to the exertions of the victorious Roundheads who were quickly on the scene, the ravages of the fire were stayed before much damage was done. (fn. 57) About 1689 almost the whole town, including the church, market-house, and council-house, was destroyed by a more disastrous fire, attributed by some to a party of soldiers who had just marched through the town. (fn. 58) According to the testimony of an Irishwoman, however, Mary Collins by name, the incendiaries were a company of sixty-seven Irishmen and six Irishwomen, who pretended themselves to be distressed Protestants, forced out of Ireland, but whose real object in coming to England was to set towns and houses on fire. She declared that they were all well armed and that the women carried fire balls, that they intended to burn Winchester, and that they had already set fire to several houses near Sherborne, and in addition gave the names and descriptions of five of the company. (fn. 59) At this lapse of time, however, it is difficult to test the truth of this story.

It seemed that the prosperity of the town, recovered during the preceding century, was lost for ever; but within fifteen years, owing to the industry of the inhabitants and the willing help which poured in from the neighbouring gentry and a royal brief for assistance, (fn. 60) there was but one person, an old and crippled female, who received support from the parish, (fn. 61) and the town had begun to prosper once more. However, another fire, which also proved disastrous, owing possibly to the number of thatched houses in the town, (fn. 62) broke out in 1736. It began in a brewhouse and spread quickly along the thatched roofs, enveloping the streets before many of the inhabitants could save any of their goods. (fn. 63) But the same spirit of determination in the inhabitants, helped by various relief funds, again reinstated and rebuilt the town on the lines of its modern existence. In 1753 the new London road was made, and the town became a great posting centre, and so continued till the coming of the railway. (fn. 64) Defoe's Tour (ed. 1778) speaks of Alresford as having 'now a very great market every Thursday, particularly about Michaelmas, for sheep, corn, etc., and a small markethouse standing on wooden pillars.' The town is now important as the centre of an extensive agricultural district, much stock being brought in on market day, and especially on the last Thursday in July and the Thursday after 11 October, on which days the fairs are now held, and its trade is still further increased by its position on the main road from London to Southampton. The corporation continued until March, 1886, when by the operation of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1883 (46 & 47 Vic. cap. 18), it was dissolved. In 1890 its property was vested in the town trustees, who administer the revenues of the borough at the present day.


The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST was burnt in the fire which destroyed so much of the town in 1689, the tower and walls of the nave alone remaining. The chancel was rebuilt of the same width as its predecessor, but 10 ft. shorter from east to west, the nave arcades being replaced by wooden posts which were boarded and painted. In 1897–8 the late seventeenth-century building was replaced by modern Gothic work, the chancel being entirely rebuilt and extended to its former length, the wooden posts replaced by stone arcades, and the whole church thoroughly renovated, except the tower.

The oldest remaining feature in the building, with the exception of part of a twelfth-century font found during the repairs, is a thirteenth-century lancet at the west end of the south aisle, partly overlapped by the west respond of the south arcade, which is set to the south of the line of the mediaeval arcade, as a weathering on the east face of the tower shows. The lower part of the tower is of fourteenth-century work, but the earlier developments of the plan are naturally difficult to trace. The nave evidently had a south aisle in the thirteenth century, which must have been narrower than the present, and parts of two large thirteenth-century bases, preserved with other pieces of old stonework at the west end of the north aisle, belong to an arcade of that date. The east window of the north chapel has part of a late thirteenth-century nook-shaft in its south jamb, witnessing to work done at that time, but it is not in its original position. In the fifteenth century both aisles were probably set out to their existing width, and several pieces of fourteenth and fifteenth century detail show that a good deal of building went on in this period. The north and south doorways of the nave and parts of the aisle windows are of the fifteenth century, the traces of previously existing work having been carefully followed at the late repairs. The south doorway is now blocked, and the north has lost a porch which formerly sheltered it.

The upper part of the tower is of red brick, embattled and crowned by a large vane, the belfry windows having oak frames with two trefoiled lights. In the ground stage is a modern west doorway, and above it an ogee-headed fourteenth-century trefoiled light. There are similar windows on the north and south in this stage, and the tower arch is of the same date, of three chamfered orders with repaired jambs. Above it, but below the weathering of the old roof, is a square-headed opening, and there is another like it above the old roof line, but blocked, ranging with similar windows on the other faces of the tower. In the north side of the ground story is a blocked eighteenth-century doorway in red brick with a semicircular head.

The font is modern, but parts of two of its predecessors have been found: the twelfth-century fragment already noted and part of the shaft of a fourteenthcentury font.

The modern fittings of the church are very good, and the five-light east window of the chancel is filled with excellent modern glass, the subject being Christ in glory.

There are eight bells of 1811, by Mears of Whitechapel.

The plate consists of a cup of 1564, a standing paten of 1695, a second paten of 1729, and a large flagon, 14¼ in. high, of 1728.

The earliest register book runs from 1678 to 1734, containing the burials in woollen, and there are scattered entries, eleven of 1714 and one of 1722, on the fly-leaf, four pages with baptisms and burials 1724–5 and marriages 1724–32, and on a loose leaf a few baptisms ranging between 1726 and 1735.

The second book contains baptisms and marriages from 1736 to 1768, and burials copied from the first book, and continued to 1768; the third book is a copy of Nos. 1 and 2, with baptisms and burials continued to 1812, and the fourth book is the printed marriage register 1754–1812.


New Alresford was formerly a chapelry attached to the rectory of Old Alresford (q.v.). In 1291 the church of Old Alresford, together with the chapel, was valued at £26 13s. 4d., (fn. 65) but in 1535 New Alresford chapel was valued separately at £3 6s. 8d. (fn. 66)

The chapelry of New Alresford remained attached to the church of Old Alresford and followed its descent (q.v.) until the year 1850, when it was separated and formed into a distinct ecclesiastical benefice. (fn. 67) The living is now a rectory in the gift of the bishop of Winchester.

In the parish of New Alresford there was a brotherhood or fraternity called the brotherhood or fraternity of Jesus, (fn. 68) endowed with a tenement in New Alresford called Jesus House, a shop and another tenement situated near the porch of the parish church of New Alresford, (fn. 69) 'towardes the fyndynge of a priest called the brotherhed priest to the intent that he should synge within the parishe churche of New Alresford as well for the ayde and helpe of the curate as also for the ease of the inhabitauntes there.' (fn. 70) The brotherhood was erected within the parish church of New Alresford, and was of the yearly value of £3 14s., of which the priest received £2 10s. 8d. (fn. 71) On its suppression in the reign of Edward VI its possessions became the property of the crown. Part were granted by Queen Elizabeth in 1589 to Richard Branthwaite and Roger Bromley, (fn. 72) while the rest remained with the crown until 1618, in which year James I granted them by letters patent to James Ouchterlong and Richard Gurnard. (fn. 73) Jesus House was the property and residence of James Apsdale in 1774, (fn. 74) but the further history of these tenements has not been traced.


The Town Trust.

The Town Trust property now consists of the fire-engine house and site let to the overseers for £6 a year; tolls arising from fairs and markets averaging £80 a year; a building known as the Hurdle House in the Fair Field; and two strips of copyhold land at Pound Hill used as a recreation ground. Also £205 17s. 7d. consols with the Official trustees of Charitable Funds, who also hold £60 3s. 8d. consols received towards the repayment of a loan of £200 to Henry Perin's School.

The administration of the trust is regulated by a scheme made under the above-mentioned Act in 1890 (modified by a scheme in 1894), whereby trustees were appointed, who were authorized to contribute out of the income a yearly sum of £20 for the public benefit of the inhabitants of the parishes of Old Alresford, New Alresford, and of Pound Hill, and the maintenance of trees in Broad Street, and a yearly sum of £25 to Perin's School, and to apply the balance towards the improvement of the water supply or other public purpose.

The trustees of the Town Trust also administer the income of the following charities, namely:—

Charity of James Withers (1680), consisting of a rent-charge of £5 received annually in respect of land taken in 1861 for the purposes of the railway, and £99 12s. consols, arising from the sale of the remainder of the land allotted on the inclosure in 1806, and an annual sum of 8s. received in respect of property on the Dean.

Charity of John Pink (1642), consisting of an annual rent-charge of £10 received in respect of land taken in 1861 for the purposes of the railway, and £234 11s. 9d. consols arising from the sale of the remainder of the land allotted in 1806.

Susanna Eliza Coney's Charity for Poor (will 1885), consisting of £177 6s. 9d. consols; and

Susanna Eliza Coney's Charity for Education, consisting of £206 11s. 10d. consols.

The several sums of stock are held by the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds; and by a scheme, dated 21 July, 1893, the income of the last-mentioned charity is directed to be applied in the maintenance of exhibitions tenable at Perin's School or other place of higher education to deserving children bona fide resident in New Alresford.

Church Trust.

From time immemorial the town was entitled to common rights for the benefit of the church in respect of which 1 r. 36 p. was allotted on the inclosure in 1806, which was sold in 1865 for £60; a plot of garden ground containing 2 r. 8 p. situated in the Dean was also held by the churchwardens, which was sold in 1888 for £150. The purchase moneys are now represented by £218 18s. 11d. consols with the official trustees.

In 1696 Henry Perin by his will founded and endowed a grammar school in this parish. (fn. 75) By a scheme under the Endowed Schools Acts, approved by Her Majesty in Council, 7 October, 1899, provision is made for the establishment of foundation scholarships, each entitling the holder to exemption, total or partial, from the payment of tuition fees at the rate of not more than one scholarship for every five scholars, to be awarded to boys and girls of the parishes of New Alresford, Old Alresford, Bishop's Sutton, and Cheriton (with a preference as to one-third for boys and girls of the parish of New Alresford) qualified as therein mentioned.

The present endowment of the school consists of the school, master's house, and garden in hand, 51 a. 3 r. 36 p. of land at New Alresford let at £41 12s. a year; a rent-charge of £5 on land at Bishop's Sutton; and a yearly sum of £25 out of the income of the New Alresford Town Trust.

Certain works of improvement in the school buildings were effected in 1901 at a cost of £358 10s., whereof £150 was provided by the Hampshire County Council, and the governors of Perin's School were authorized to borrow £200 from the Town Trust at 3½ per cent. to be repaid in fifteen years (see above).

William Todd (1681) gave £3 per annum to be distributed in the church porch on Good Friday. The rent-charge is duly received and applied.

In 1831 Mrs. Jenny Harris by deed declared the trusts of a sum of stock to produce £10 a year to be applied for the benefit of the poor in bread or other provisions on 1 January. The fund consists of £333 6s. 8d. consols with the official trustees.

In 1853 William Wilkinson by will left to the vicar and churchwardens £100, the interest to be applied on St. Thomas's Day in the distribution of articles in kind to the poor. The legacy (less duty) was invested in £94 14s. 9d. consols.

In 1862 John Dunn by will directed his executors to purchase a sum of consols sufficient to produce £5 a year to be applied on Candlemas Day in the distribution of bread amongst needy and deserving poor. The legacy is represented by £166 13s. 4d. consols.

In 1882 Christopher Cooke, by will proved this date, bequeathed £5 a year for the distribution of food, clothes, fuel or money among the poor, subject to the deduction of £1 for the minister for a sermon on 26 June, when that day shall fall on a Sunday. The legacy is now represented by £200 2½ per cent. annuities with the official trustees.


  • 1. Dugdale, Mon. i, 210.
  • 2. Birch, Cart. Sax. i, 148.
  • 3. Ibid. i, 554.
  • 4. Ibid. ii, 280.
  • 5. Ibid. ii, 291.
  • 6. Birch, Cart. Sax. iii, 115.
  • 7. Ibid. iii, 404.
  • 8. V.C.H. Hants, i, 459.
  • 9. In the charters the following occur as boundaries:—Cendefer, Hremmescumbes geate, Dregtune, Ticieburnan, and Icenan. They can be identified respectively as Brown Candover, Rampscombe Farm, Drayton Farm, Tichborne, and the Itchen.
  • 10. Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 8, No. 26.
  • 11. This is clear from the court rolls and ministers' accounts of Old Alresford manor.
  • 12. A series of these rolls is preserved at the Public Record Office.
  • 13. Old Alresford and Medsted tithings always sent tithing-men to the Old Alresford court, Wield only occasionally (Eccl. Com. Ct. R. bdle. 85, No. 2; bdle. 94, No. 2; bdle. 99, No. 8).
  • 14. Mins. Accts. bdle. 1141, No. 8.
  • 15. e.g. to the hundred courts of 1465 and 1486 (Eccl. Com. Ct. R. bdle. 80, Nos. 1 and 2).
  • 16. Exch. Lay Subs. R. Hants, bdle. 173, Nos. 23, 200, 221. The contributions of New Alresford borough on the other hand were sometimes returned with those of the parishes of Bishop's Sutton Hundred, and sometimes with those of the other Hampshire boroughs.
  • 17. Pat. 5 Edw. VI, pt. 6, m. 20.
  • 18. Ibid. pt. 5, m. 20.
  • 19. Ibid. 4 & 5 Phil. and Mary, pt. 7, m. 24.
  • 20. Close, 24 Chas. I, pt. 3, m. 16.
  • 21. On either side of this avenue are strips of land called Avenue Common, which are the property of the town trustees, who received them as successors of the bailiff and burgesses, the latter having acquired them by gift from the bishop of Winchester, lord of the manor.
  • 22. Duthy, Sketches of Hants, 108.
  • 23. The whole question of her birthplace was discussed in Hants N. and Q.
  • 24. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 25. This latter industry dates from very early times, there being many mentions of 'Cress pytts' in the sixteenth-century borough court rolls.
  • 26. Duchy of Lanc. Rentals and Surv. bdle. 8, No. 21.
  • 27. Eccl. Com. Ct. R. bdle. 85, No. 3.
  • 28. Eccl. Com. Various, 57, No. 159460 2/2.
  • 29. a Eccl. Com. Ct. R. bdle. 136, No. 1.
  • 30. Hants N. and Q. iii, 66. The author adds that two or three circumstances give some probability to the story, such as the existence of four barrows in Burrow Lane, West Tisted; also of a hillock in Old Alresford churchyard, which is said to contain the ruins of an ancient chapel, but that the story looks suspiciously like the account of the defeat of the Danes by Alfred at Edinson.
  • 31. V.C.H. Hants, i, 459.
  • 32. Dugdale, Mon. i, 196.
  • 33. Ibid.
  • 34. Chart R. 1 John, m. 10. This grant was confirmed to Godfrey bishop of Winchester in 1378 (ibid. 2 Ric. II, m. 7).
  • 35. Camden, Mag. Brit. (1789), i, 117. His statement is probably based on the words 'Item forum innovatum est apud Halresford per Godefridum de Lucy episcopum Wintoniensem appellavitque nomen ville novum Forum,' in a cartulary of Waverley Abbey (Ann. Mon. [Rolls Ser.], ii, 252).
  • 36. Chart. R. 4 Ric. II, No. 1.
  • 37. Ibid.
  • 38. Eccl. Com. Ct. R. bdle. 73, No. 7; Eccl. Com. Various, bdle. 57, No. 159460 2/2. A court of piepowder was held by the bailiff of the borough on the fair days. The rolls of the courts held in 1420 are preserved at the Public Record Office.
  • 39. Duthy, Sketches of Hants, 88; Chart. R. 53 Hen. III, m. 10.
  • 40. Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 124.
  • 41. Duthy, Sketches of Hants, 104.
  • 42. Return of Members of Parl. pt. i, 5, 14, 25.
  • 43. Ibid. 23.
  • 44. Vide Chart. R. 13 Edw. I, m. 2.
  • 45. Pat. 30 Edw. I, m. 14.
  • 46. Duthy, Sketches of Hants, 104.
  • 47. Eccl. Com. Various, bdle. 57, No. 1594 60 2/2. In this series there are six ministers' accounts of Alresford borough previous to the reign of Henry VII. On each of these accounts there is a long list of sums of money owing to the bishop from various bailiffs.
  • 48. Eccl. Com. Ct. R. bdle. 85, No. 3.
  • 49. Ibid. bdle. 136, No. 1.
  • 50. Parl. Pap. 1880, vol. 31, p. 8.
  • 51. Duchy of Lanc. Rentals and Surv. bdle. 8, No. 22a.
  • 52. Eccl. Com. Various, bdle. 56, No. 1594 60½.
  • 53. Parl Pap. 1880, vol. 31, p. 8.
  • 54. Ibid.
  • 55. Duthy, Sketches of Hants, 108.
  • 56. The inhabitants' fear of fire is clearly shown by the heavy fines inflicted upon persons for having dangerous and insufficient flues in their houses (Eccl. Com. Ct. R. bdle. 99, No. 8.)
  • 57. Woodward, Hist. of Hants, ii, 28.
  • 58. Ibid.; Cal. S. P. Dom. 1689–90, pp. 94, 121.
  • 59. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. x, App. vi, 185.
  • 60. A verbatim copy of the royal brief is printed in Hants N. and Q. viii, 47–9. Owing to the fact that more than three years elapsed before the inhabitants applied for and obtained the brief, the collection did not amount to so much as was expected. The whole of the amount collected after all expenses were paid did not exceed 12s. in the £ in their several losses (Hants N. and Q. vi, 133).
  • 61. Duthy, Sketches of Hants, 107.
  • 62. The reeds that grow so plentifully in the old Alresford pond were formerly used for thatching.
  • 63. Duthy, Sketches of Hants, 107; Woodward, Hist. of Hants, ii, 30.
  • 64. Woodward, Hist. of Hants, ii, 30. Even before the making of the new road the town was a posting centre, as may be seen from the petition of Francis Barnard, innkeeper of New Alresford, in 1661 for renewal of his patent that his house might be the post house from Southampton to Winchester towards London, and he himself might be continued postmaster (Cal. S.P. Dom. 1661–2, p. 125).
  • 65. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 211.
  • 66. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii, 9.
  • 67. Woodward, Hist. of Hants, ii, 24; Clergy List, 1850.
  • 68. Eccl. Com. Ct. R. bdle. 136, No. 1.
  • 69. Vide Pat. 16 Jas. I, pt. 13, m. 14.
  • 70. Chant. Cert. 52, No. 23.
  • 71. Ibid.
  • 72. Pat. 31 Eliz. pt. 11, m. 27.
  • 73. Ibid. 16 Jas. I, pt. 13, m. 14.
  • 74. Robert Boyes' MS. History of Alresford (1774) penes Lord Swaythling.
  • 75. V.C.H. Hants, ii, 387, 391.