New history of Waterlooville – the town named after the battle

The cover of The Early Years of Waterlooville.

The cover of The Early Years of Waterlooville.

The picturesque cottages that once sat behind the original Coach and Horses pub at Hilsea, Portsmouth.

Quaint old farm cottages were behind Coach and Horses pub

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Havant area historian Steve Jones has produced a new booklet, edited by Ralph Cousins, called The Early Years of Waterlooville 1810-1910 and the History of the Forest of Bere.

The 90-page A4 special edition celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

Steve tells of the turnpike road from Portsmouth to Sheet and that it took between nine and 10 hours to travel from Portsmouth to London on the stagecoch along dreadful ‘roads’.

The Forest of Bere at that time covered most of east Hampshire.

In 1800 the forest covered 16,000 acres with 10,000 acres of open forest.

When the Forestry Commission took over in 1919 there were only 1,450 acres of woodland but since then, through purchase and leasing, that figure has risen to 3,500 acres.

The Heroes of Waterloo pub was allegedly given that name after the soldiers who rested there on their way home from the battle.

Steve tells us the legend is somewhat fanciful and that the pub is most probable named after the battle itself.

The present pub is not the original, that was a few yards farther west.

The book also tells the long history of St George’s Church in the town centre and also of the many traders, pubs, hotels and characters associated with the town down the years.

With more than 50 photographs and a few maps, the book costs £6 and is available from Waterlooville library and Havant museum.

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