Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
There is evidence of Neolithic, bronze age and iron age occupation on numerous sites in the Alresford area, with a Roman or Romano-British site on nearby Fobdown and to the south-east of the town in Bramdean. There is evidence of a grant to the Church at Winchester sometime before the 9th century, which became known as the Liberty of Alresford. The settlement was listed in the Domesday Book.
New Alresford was founded in the 12th/13th century, the idea originally being that of Henri de Blois , the Bishop of Winchester and brother of King Stephen of England. The design of the T-shaped town (originally named Novum Forum) was followed by de Blois' successor Godfrey de Lucy . The medieval stone bridge built at this time is still in place. This expansion also involved the construction of the Great Weir between Old and New Alresford, creating Old Alresford Pond.
New Alresford quickly became established as a prosperous market town, focussed on the wool, leather, and the other products from sheep and cattle. Alresford sent two members to parliament until the population was reduced by the Black Death. Much of the medieval town was destoyed by a fire in 1689 that destroyed 117 houses in the town as well as the Church and Market House. Much of the town was rebuilt in the 18th century, with many of the Georgian buildings remaining today.
In the spring of 1644, the Battle of Cheriton took place on Cheriton Down, reaching the outskirts of Alresford. Defeated Royalists set fire to houses in the town as they withdrew.
A turnpike linking London to the Channel ports (now the A31) was built in 1753, passing through the town.
There are six primary and one secondary school in the Alresford area with a total of 140 staff and over 2000 pupils - (pupil numbers as of 2004 in brackets)
- Sun Hill Junior (260)
- Sun Hill Infant (184)
- Perins Community School – secondary (818)
- a community sports college and secondary school. The school was granted specialist status for leading the field in the area of sports within Hampshire. The head teacher is Mrs. Janice Bernard.
- Four Marks Primary (266)
- Cheriton Primary (108)
- Ropley Primary (177)
- Preston Candover Primary (128)
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