Formerly Westbourne was renowned as a market town centred around the Square. It was famous for sheep, cattle and pony trading and reached the height of its prosperity in the late 1600’s, during the reign of Charles II. Although today there are far fewer shops that there were a few hundred years ago, Westbourne still remains a vibrant commercial centre, boating a selection of village shops, garages and pubs as well a the local school and the churches. Indeed the parish church, St. John the Baptists with its 18th century spire visible from all approached, plays an integral part in village life.
Incorporating 66 listed buildings, it is not surprising that part of Westbourne’s charm lies in the diversity of its houses ranging from timber-frames thatched cottages to Georgian mansions and Victorian terraces.
Although its written history can be traces back to Domesday, a fire destroyed a large chunk of the village, resulting in the oldest surviving properties dating back to no earlier than the 16th century. Many shops have since been converted into residential properties but still display original features to indicate their past.
Close to Portsmouth, the parish of Westbourne has always attracted naval personnel. It is also home to many who work for local businesses and the village school continues to entice younger families into the neighbourhood. Residents appreciate Westbourne’s rural charm, its sense of community and its thriving social life which, with the likes of Westbourne week, the horticulture show and the Church fete, becomes particularly active in summer.