Beacons

Norden's Hampshire 1607

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Beacon hills On Norden's map beacons are shown as a hill with what might be flames on top. These are believed to represent posts on which beacons burned in a cresset, and the number of posts, often 3, is significant.
Three of the beacons are named on the map; others are just indicated - we have tried very hard to make a complete list below; the grid references are approximate:-

beacons BEWARE: to get back to this list after clicking on an item, use the back button.
'modern' name (parish; ngr) = old name (hundred) if given

Bitterne Beacon? (West End parish; SU469139)
by Beacon Road and Telegraph Road, West End; approximately SU470138, above 80m contour
Burghclere Beacon? (Burghclere parish; SU454572)
Beacon Hill, and hill fort; about SU458573, 261m; Burghclere
Note in Camden's Britannia
Crondall Beacons? (Crondall parish; SU824504)
Beacon Hill; SU823503, at 177m; Crondall
Farley Mount Beacon? (Ashley parish; SU403290)
Beacon Hill, Farley Mount; SU403290, at 174m; Ashley
Hythe Beacon? (Marchwood parish; SU382093)
Beacon Hill; SZ383091, above 25m contour; Hythe and Dibden
Lomer Beacon? (Exton parish; SU603225)
Beacon Hill, Lomer Beacon; SU602224, at 201m; Exton
Popham Beacons (Steventon parish; SU529440) = 3 Parow beacons (Micheldevor Hundred)
Probably on the hill top near Beacons Farm; SU528440, at 167m; Steventon
BUT also see Popham Beacons now used as the name for a group of tumuli, not on a hill top, SU525439; Overton
OR Three Barrows, not on a hill top; SU507444; Laverstoke
Portsdown Beacons? (Portsmouth parish; SU6_0_)
On coastal ridge above Cosham, could easily be under Fort Purbrook! about SU6706, above 90m contour; Portsmouth
Selthorne Beacon? (Brockenhurst parish; SZ273999) = Selborne beak (Newforrest Hundred)
Probably towards the east end of Set Thorn Enclosure; about SZ2799, above the 60m contour
Toothill Beacon? (Nursling and Rownhams parish; SU382187) = Toothillbeac (Fawley Hundred)
On Toot Hill, SU381187, at 84m; Nursling and Rownhams
Note that on the hill is Telegraph Wood, refering to a later phase of communications
Armada It is worth remembering that this map was drafted in 1595, only a few years after the Armada, whose presence off our shores was signalled by beacons. Norden must have been aware how important beacons were for defensive communication.

Camden's
Britannia

Norden's map of Hampshire was published in Camden's 'Britannia' along with a description of the county, including a comment about beacons:-

... and Burgh-Cleare situate under an high hill, in the top whereof a warlike rampire (such as our countreymen call a Burgh) hath a trench taking a great compasse about it: from whence, there being a faire and open prospect every way over the country lying underneath, there standeth a Beacon, that by light burning fire the enemies comming, may bee shewed to all the neighbour-inhabitants round about. And verily such watches or signals as this, we terme in common speech Beacons, of the old word Beacnian, that is, to shew by a signe, and for these many hundred yeeres, they have been in right great request, and much used among us: in some places, by heaping up a deale of wood, in others by barrels full of pitch fastened to the top of a mast or pole in the highest places of the countrey, at which, by night some doe ever more watch: and in old time, there were set horsemen as posts in many places, whom our Ancestors called Hobelers, who in the day time should give notice of the enemies approch.


References
Hill, David: 1981: Atlas of Anglo Saxon England: Blackwell:: ISBN 0 631 13684 3

Jones, J D: 11968: Hampshire Beacon Plot, The: ProcHFC: 25: pp105-118

Martin, Colin; Parker, Geoffrey: 1988: Spanish Armada, The: Hamish Hamilton:: ISBN 0 241 12125 6

Sandell, Elsie M: 1961 (March): Fire on the Hills: Hampshire Magazine

White, H T: 1931: Beacon System in Hampshire, The: ProcHFC: 10: pp252-278

White, H T: 1934: Hampshire plot, A: ProcHFC: 12: pp54-60

White, H T: 1947: Beacon System in Hampshire, The: ProcHFC: 16: pp19-22

Williams-Freeman, J P: 1934: Coast of Hampshire, The: ProcHFC: 12: 218-220



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