Fordingbridge in 1838
Fordingbridge is in the hundred of Fordingbridge, on the right or west bank of the Avon, 92 miles from London on the road to Christchurch. The parish is large, containing 5,720 acres, and had in 1831 a population of 2,822, more than half agricultural. Fordingbridge was formerly a place of greater extent than now, and has suffered several times from fire. There is a stone bridge of seven arches over the river. There are some manufactures of sail-cloth and bed-ticking. The market is on Saturday, and there is one yearly fair. The living is a vicarage, united with the parochial chapelry of Ibsby, or Ibsley, in the diocese and archdeaconry of Winchester, and in the gift of Kings College, Cambridge : the annual value is £601, with a glebe-house. There is an Independent congregation. There were in the parish in 1833 one infant-school with 45 children, eight day and boarding-schools with 153 children, one day and Sunday-school with 231 children daily and 113 on Sundays, partly supported by endowment, and one Sunday-school with 292 children.
Two miles from the town, on a hill called Godshill, overgrown with oaks, are the remains of an ancient camp, perhaps of Saxon origin, secured on one side by a double trench, and on the other by the steep slope of the hill.