Gosport in 1838
GOSPORT, a seaport and fortified town in the Portsdown division of Hampshire. It is situated within the parish of Alverstoke, and on the western side of Portsmouth Harbour, near its entrance, 73 miles south-by-west from London. In the reign of Henry VIII it is described by Leland as a mere village, inhabited by fishermen.
It is now a market-town of importance, and in time of war is a place of great activity. Gosport is subject to the jurisdiction of the county magistrates. About the beginning of the present century it was strengthened by a line of bastions which extended from Weovil to Alverstoke. The Royal Clarence Yard, within the lines, contains the brewery, victualling department, &,c., from which the Royal Navy are supplied.
The coasting trade is considerable. There are several distilleries, and an extensive iron foundry, where chain cables and anchors are made. The market-days are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Gosport is a chapelry to the neighbouring village of Alverstoke, and is in the diocese of Winchester, the living being a curacy worth £100 per annum, in the gift of the rector of Alverstoke. The rectory of Alverstoke is in the patronage of the bishop of Winchester, and has an average net income of £1,287. The chapel is spacious and neat, and stands to the south of the town, in the centre of a cemetery well stocked with shrubs. Besides an almshouse there are several charity-schools supported be voluntary donations.
Near the extremity of the point of land which forms the west side of Portsmouth Harbour is situated the Royal Hospital of Haslar, founded at the suggestion of the earl of Sandwich, and erected between the years 1750 and 1762, The ordinary expenses of this establishment, which is intended exclusively for the reception of sick and wounded seamen, is about £5,000 per annum, and it contain accommodations for more than 2,000 patients. The portico of the centre building is surmounted by the royal arms, and by two figures representing commerce and navigation. The population of Gosport with Alverstoke was 12,637 in 1831, and had much increased in consequence of the removal of the victualling establishment from Portsmouth. Gosport is a polling-place for the southern division of the county. Bingham Town is a populous suburb, containing many genteel residences ; and Anglesea, about two miles from Gosport, on Stokes Bay, is a new and fashionable watering-place.