Review of Havant by Stephen on June 10th, 2008
The old market town of Havant (6 miles (10km) east of Portsmouth) sits at the north end of Langstone Harbour, although the town was built about a mile from the waters edge being set astride the old Roman road that went from Chichester to Bittern (Southampton) where it is crossed by a later road from Rowlands Castle to Hayling Island. There is evidence of Roman pottery and tile making in the area and other Roman remains have been unearthed. In 935 King Athelstan gave lands at Havant to one of his thanes Witger, about 1000 it was given to the Monks of St.Peter & St.Paul at Winchester. Much of Havant was destroyed by fire in 1790 only the church and an adjacent row of cottages survived. The cottages form the `Old House at Home` pub. The church of St.Faith is a cruciform building with a vaulted chancel, the tower, transepts and nave date from the 12th century and the chancel is C13th; the church underwent heavy restorations in 1832 &1874. It is built on the site of an earlier church and an earlier Roman building. To the south west of the church, near the Homewell spring, was a large Parchment works and Tannery. It is believed that Parchment (made from prepared sheep skin) was being carried out in Havant for several hundred years, the last works closed in 1936. Just south of the crossroads is the excellent Havant Museum housed in a late Victorian house built in 1875 next door in the old Town Hall is the Arts Centre. Havant was made a District Council in 1972.