Hampshire Treasures

Volume 12 ( Gosport)

Page 29 - Hardway and Forton

Previous page (Volume 12, Page 27) Previous page (Volume 12, Page 27) Next page (Volume 12, Page 31) Next page (Volume 12, Page 31)

Forton and Hardway Ward includes coast overlooking Portsmouth harbour, together with a tidal inlet south of Priddy's Hard. This extended inland almost to Brockhurst, with a mill pond which has been filled in and built over.

Forton is on the east side of the main road from Fareham down to Gosport the town and was, at one time, a small hamlet. Rapid expansion came in the C19, when Forton Barracks became the home of the Royal Marines and between 1848 and 1856, part of the foreshore was acquired to provide more accommodation.

A military prison was also built in the area. The site of the barracks is now a sixth form college.

Forton's name shows its Saxon village origin in the Old English name For-tun meaning 'village by the ford'.

Hardway is on the north east shore of Gosport and has a population of 7674 (1991 census). It contains the former Ordnance depot of Priddy's Hard, which was transferred to Gosport, after the inhabitants of Portsmouth objected to its being situated in their town in 1768. Included in it is the original gunpowder magazine.

Hardway was possibly a landing point for the men from Elson during Saxon times. A map of Gosport in 1831 shows three hards at Hardway, including one named Convicts Hard, a reminder of the prison hulks which were moored in the harbour.

The centre of Hardway, and Priddy's Hard are conservation areas, and part of Forton, including the frontage of the former St. Vincent Barracks.

Please use "Next page" to see Hampshire Treasures entries for Hardway and Forton.

Previous page (Volume 12, Page 27) Previous page (Volume 12, Page 27) Next page (Volume 12, Page 31) Next page (Volume 12, Page 31)