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Bradshaw’s Guide

Romsey

Like many other places of great antiquity, Romsey owes its foundation to a monastic establishment. Edward here founded a Benedictine abbey on a very extensive scale and appointed his daughter abbess.

It was enlarged by Edgar, whose son’s remains were interred in its church. Romsey suffered considerably during the incursions of the Danes, who sacked the town and plundered the abbey in the 10th century. Although mentioned in Domesday Book, its first charter of incorporation only dates as far back as the reign of James I.

It possesses a very ancient-looking church which belonged to the abbey, cruciform in shape, with a low tower. This church has been frequently altered and rebuilt. The Archaeological Society has lately restored this interesting edifice, which, although mostly in the early English, yet retains traces of the Norman style. For nearly two hundred years an apple tree grew on the roof of this ancient structure, but it has recently been removed for fear of its injuring the building. The church contains a screen, several old frescoes, sculptures, tombs, &c. Remains of the abbey are still to be seen, and Roman coins, &c., have been found in the neighbourhood. The town has a population of 2,116, employed in general agricultural trade, paper mills, and sacking making.

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