The hundred of Christchurch: Introduction

A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.

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'The hundred of Christchurch: Introduction', A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5, (London, 1912), pp. 81-82. British History Online [accessed 24 June 2024].

. "The hundred of Christchurch: Introduction", in A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5, (London, 1912) 81-82. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024,

. "The hundred of Christchurch: Introduction", A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5, (London, 1912). 81-82. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024,




The district now known as Christchurch Hundred (fn. 1) was in 1086 comprised within the four hundreds of Shirley or Sirlei, Rodedic, Egheiete (fn. 2) and Bovre or the New Forest. Shirley Hundred, consisting of Sopley, Ripley, Avon and Winkton, corresponded fairly closely to the modern parish of Sopley. Rodedic Hundred contained Milford with Efford, Milton with Wootton and part of Ashley, Hordle with Arnewood, as well as Pilley and part of Sway in Boldre, Fritham in Bramshaw and another manor assessed at 5 virgates. Egheiete Hundred (fn. 3) contained Twyneham, Holdenhurst, Hurn, Knapp, Stanpit, Hubborn, Bashley and Bortel (fn. 4); while in the New Forest Hundred were Highcliff, Beckley, Hinton, Yaldhurst, Fernhill, Ossemsley and part of Ashley in Milton, together with Walhampton and the greater part of Sway in Boldre. (fn. 5) The separate hundreds of Egheiete (Eggieath), Shirley (Schirlega) and Rodedic (Ruggedich) still existed in 1176, when there was also a hundred of Holdenhurst. (fn. 6) The last-named had no doubt been formed from Egheiete Hundred, in which the large estate of Holdenhurst had lain, and was probably co-extensive with what was afterwards known as the hundred or liberty of Westover (q.v.). By 1263, however, the other three hundreds had been all absorbed into that of Holdenhurst, which at this date embraced the whole of the modern hundred of Christchurch with Westover Liberty. (fn. 7) In 1280 Isabel de Fortibus owned 'the free hundred annexed to the manor' of Christchurch, with 'the liberties pertaining thereto,' (fn. 8) and by 1316 the whole district was known as the hundred of Christchurch, which comprised the tithings of Boldre, Sway, Arnewood, Efford, Keyhaven, Milford, Hordle, Ashley, Chewton, Hinton, Avon, Sopley, Winkton, Burton, Bure, Street and Hurn, (fn. 9) together also with Westover (i.e. that part of the hundred lying west of the Stour) and the town of Lymington. (fn. 10) The latter continued to be reckoned within the hundred down to 1593. (fn. 11) As regards Westover, at least as early as 1500 separate hundred courts were held for the three districts of the borough, Christchurch Foreign (fn. 12) (i.e. that part of the hundred, exclusive of the borough, which lay east of the Stour) and Westover Liberty. (fn. 13) The last-named has since then been for all practical purposes a separate hundred, although for a long time it continued to be included in that of Christchurch, (fn. 14) this leading sometimes to a change of name, such as 'the hundred of Christchurch Westover' in 1571 (fn. 15) and in later records 'the hundred of Christchurch and Westover.' (fn. 16) The out hundred of Christchurch or Christchurch Foreign comprised the tithings of Boldre, Chewton, Avon, Sway, Milford, Sopley, Arnewood, Hordle, Winkton, Efford, Ashley, Burton, Bure, Keyhaven, Hinton, Street and Hurn. The liberty of Westover includes the tithings west of the Stour, North Ashley, Muscliff, Muccleshell, Throop, Holdenhurst, Iver or Iford and Tuckton. (fn. 17)


The tithing of Boldre comprised Walhampton and Sharprix, of which the latter continued in the hundred down to 1642, (fn. 18) while the former, together with Sway, was included in it until after 1841 (fn. 19); the hundred still comprises a small part of Boldre parish. The hamlet of Pennington in Milford parish is a detached portion of Ringwood Hundred, to which it belonged as early as 1316. (fn. 20) Efford tithing was in 1831 a detached portion of Harbridge, the remainder of the parish being in Ringwood Hundred. (fn. 21) The hundred has always belonged to the lord of the honour of Christchurch (vide infra).


  • 1. Which in 1881 contained 40,030 acres (Pop. Ret. 1881).
  • 2. V.C.H. Hants, i, 454b, 455a, 484b.
  • 3. In a charter of about 1170 there is mention of land lying 'outside the gate of Eggcite' (Brayley and Ferrey, Antiquities of Priory of Christchurch [1834], App. p. viii).
  • 4. Also 4 acres held by Willac and 4 acres held by Alvric the physician, both of the king (V.C.H. Hants, i, 513); Bortel was probably Bosley in Hurn (vide infra).
  • 5. Ibid. Dom. Surv. i, 510.
  • 6. Pipe R. 22 Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), 190; ibid. 23 Hen. II, 167.
  • 7. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. III, 173 (vide infra).
  • 8. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 771.
  • 9. The same tithings are found on the hundred court rolls for Christchurch Foreign of the years 1500, 1516 (Ct. R. penes Sir G. A. E. Tapps-Gervis-Meyrick, bart.) and 1542–5 (Ct. R. portf. 201, no. 12).
  • 10. Feud. Aids, ii, 315.
  • 11. Ibid. 327, 349, 371; Lay Subs. bdles. 173, no. 96; 174, no. 183, 389, 405, 417.
  • 12. This district— 'the out hundred of Christchurch'—is mentioned in the reign of Edward I (Rentals and Surv. [P.R.O.], portf. 14, no. 48).
  • 13. Ct. R. penes Sir G. A. E. Tapps-Gervis-Meyrick, bart. The courts for Westover and Christchurch Foreign were held on the same day.
  • 14. Norden, Chorographical Description of Hants, 1595, in Add. MS. 31853; Lay Subs. bdle. 174, no. 183, 389, 405, 417.
  • 15. Ibid. no. 389.
  • 16. This is found as late as 1692 (Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. vi, 373).
  • 17. MSS. penes Sir G. A. E. Tapps-Gervis-Meyrick, bart.
  • 18. Lay Subs. R. bdles. 174, no. 389; 175, no. 546; Feud. Aids, ii, 327, 349.
  • 19. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 174, no. 417; Pop. Ret. 1831, 1841, 1851.
  • 20. Feud. Aids, ii, 315, 327, 349, 371 (where, however, it is returned as being in Christchurch Hundred); Pop. Ret. 1831, &c.
  • 21. Pop. Ret. 1831. An exceedingly good map of the hundreds of that date is to be found in Greenwood's County Atlas, 1834.