Hampshire Treasures

Volume 12 ( Gosport)

Page 25 - Elson and Bridgemary

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Situated in the north east of the town, and at one time a small hamlet. It is now mainly a residential area, and the local church is St. Thomas's built in 1845. The name may originate in Old English - Aethelswithetun - from 'village of Aethelswith', a Saxon village.

Elson includes the impressive Fort Brockhurst opened as a museum by English Heritage.

The name Bridgemary comes from Old English - Briddesmere - a pond where birds gather. Originally a collection of scattered farms, Bridgemary has grown over the last thirty years and now has a population of 6,685 (1991 census). Large housing estates have filled the area between Rowner and Fareham, much of this housing being built by the Council. The original houses were built by German prisoners of war after 1945 and a great deal of pre-fabricated building was also undertaken. Since then the area has grown and many private housing schemes have arisen. The area is amply served by amenities and communications and is the site of some light industry. In essence however, Bridgemary is a dormitory area of Gosport with a large indigenous population who commute throughout Gosport, Fareham and Portsmouth.

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