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Hampshire Winchester, Southampton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Basingstoke, Newport

History of Hampshire
The chalk downland of the South Downs and southern edges of Salisbury Plain were settled in the neolithic, and these settlers built hill forts and may have farmed the valleys of Hampshire. Hampshire was part of an area named Gwent or Y Went by the Celts, which also covered areas of Somerset and Wiltshire. In the Roman invasion of Britain, Hampshire was one of the first areas to fall to the invading forces. The county was occupied by Jutish tribes until Saxon times. Hampshire was one of the first Saxon shires, recorded in 755, but for two centuries represented the western end of Saxon England, as advances into Dorset and Somerset were fought off by the Britons. After the Saxons advanced west Hampshire became the centre of the Kingdom of Wessex, and many Saxon kings are buried at Winchester. A statue in Winchester celebrates the powerful King Alfred, who stabilised the region in the 9th century.

Winchester Cathedral.After the Norman Conquest the county was favoured by Norman kings who established the New Forest as a hunting forest. The county was recorded in the Domesday Book divided into 44 hundreds. From the 12th century the ports grew in importance, fuelled by trade with the continent, wool and cloth manufacture in the county, and the fishing industry, and a shipbuilding industry was established.

Over several centuries a series of castles and forts were constructed along the coast of the Solent to defend the harbours at Southampton and Portsmouth. These include the Norman Portchester Castle which overlooks Portsmouth Harbour, and a series of forts built by Henry VIII including Hurst Castle, situated on a sand spit at the mouth of the Solent, Calshot Castle on another spit at the mouth of Southampton Water, and Netley Castle. Southampton and Portsmouth remained important harbours when rivals, such as Poole and Bristol declined, as they are amongst the few locations that combine shelter with deep water. Southampton has been host to many famous ships, including the Mayflower and the Titanic, the latter being staffed largely by Hampshire natives.

Hampshire played a large role in World War II due to its large Royal Navy harbour at Portsmouth, the army camp at Aldershot and the military Netley Hospital on Southampton Water, as well as its proximity to the army training ranges on Salisbury Plain and Purbeck. Supermarine, the designers of the Spitfire and other military aircraft, were based in Southampton, which led to severe bombing of the city. Aldershot remains one of the British Army's main permanent camps.

Southampton from Netley Hospital.The county has in the past been called "Southamptonshire" and appears as such on some Victorian maps. Its name was officially changed from 'County of Southampton' to 'County of Hampshire' on April 1, 1959. The short form of the name, often used in postal addresses, is Hants.

The Isle of Wight has traditionally been treated as part of Hampshire for some purposes, but has been administratively independent for over a century, obtaining a county council of its own in 1890. The Isle of Wight became a full ceremonial county in 1974. Apart from a shared police force and health authority there are now no formal administrative links between the Isle of Wight and Hampshire, though many organisations still combine Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch also fall within the traditional county of Hampshire, but were ceded to Dorset in the local government reorganisation of 1974.

Places of interest
Beaulieu Abbey and the National Motor Museum Broadlands Exbury House HMS Victory Itchen Valley Country Park Mid-Hants Watercress Railway Mottisfont Abbey Nepe Country Park Netley Abbey New Forest New Forest Museum River Avon River Hamble River Itchen Portchester Castle River Meon River Test Romsey Abbey Royal Victoria Country Park Silchester Roman Town Southampton Water South Downs Way, a long distance footpath The Vyne, Whitchurch Silk Mill

Abbots Worthy Abbotstone Abbotswood Abbotts Ann Aldershot Allbrook Alresford Alton Alverstoke Ampfield Amport Andover Andwell Anmore Anna Valley Anthill Common Appleshaw Arford Ashe Ashe Warren Ashfield Ashford Ashford Hill Ashlett Ashley - New Forest Ashley - Test Valley Borough Council Ashley Warren Ashmansworth Ashton Ashurst Avington Avon Awbridge Axford Axmansford Badger Farm Bagmore Bagnum Bailey Green Ball Hill Balmerlawn Bank Bartley Barton on Sea Barton Stacey Bashley Basingstoke Bassett Bassett Green Battramsley Batts Corner Baughurst Baybridge Beaulieu Beauworth Beckley Bedhampton Beech Bell Hill Bentley Bentworth Bickton Bighton Binley Binsted Bishop's Green Bishop's Sutton Bishop's Waltham Bishopstoke Bisterne Bisterne Close Bitterne Blackfield Blackmoor Blacknest Blackwater Blashford Blendworth Blissford Boarhunt Boldre Boorley Green Bordean Bordon Bordon Camp Bossington - Houghton Botley Bradley Braishfield Brambridge Bramdean Bramley Bramley Corner Bramley Green Bramshaw Bramshill Bramshott Bramshott Chase Bransbury Bransgore Breamore Bridgemary Broad Laying Broad Oak Broadmere Brock's Green Brockbridge Brockenhurst Brook - New Forest Brook - Test Valley Brook Hill Brookheath Broughton Brown Candover Browninghill Green Bucklers Hard Bucks Horn Oak Bullington Burgate Burghclere Buriton Burkham Burley Burley Lawn Burley Street Burridge Bursledon Butt's Green Buttsash Cadnam Calmore Calshot Canada Carter's Clay Catherington Catisfield Chalton Chandlers Ford Charlton Charlwood Charter Alley Chawton Cheriton Chidden Chilbolton Chilcomb Chilton Candover Chilworth Chineham Church Crookham Church End Clanfield Clanville Clarken Green Clayhill Cliddesden Colbury Colden Common Cole Henley Colemore Colt Hill Compton Conford Coombe Copythorne Corhampton Cosham Cove Cowplain Crawley Crondall Crookham Village Crow Crowdhill Crux Easton Cufaude Cupernham Curbridge - Burridge Curdridge - Row Ash Damerham Darby Green Dean Deane Denmead Denvilles Dibden Dibden Purlieu Dipley Dogmersfield Downton Drayton Droxford Dummer Dunbridge Dunley Durley East Anton East Aston East Boldre East Cholderton East Dean East End - Basingstoke and Deane BC East End - Rushmoor BC East Liss East Martin East Meon East Oakley East Stratton East Tisted East Tytherley East Wellow East Woodhay East Worldham Eastleigh Eastney Easton Ecchinswell Egbury Egypt Eling Ellingham Ellisfield Elson Elvetham Emery Down Empshott Empshott Green Emsworth Enham Alamein Eversley Eversley Centre Eversley Cross Everton Ewshot Exbury Exton Faccombe Fair Oak Fair Oak Green Fareham Farleigh Wallop Farnborough Fawley Finchdean Finkley Fisher's Pond Fleet Fleetend Flowerdown Fobdown Fordingbridge Forton Four Marks Foxcotte Foxhills Fratton Freefolk Fritham Frithend Frogham Froxfield Green Fryern Hill Fulflood Fullerton Funtley Furze Hill Furzeley Corner Furzley Lodge Fyfield Gally Hill Gilbert Street Godshill Godwinscroft Golden Pot Goodworth Clatford Gore End Gosport Grateley Grayshott Great Shoddesden Greatham Greywell Gundleton Hale Hale Park Hale Purlieu Ham Spray Hamble Hambledon Hangersley Hannington Harbridge Harbridge Green Hardley Hardway Hare Warren Harestock Hartford Bridge Hartley Mauditt Hartley Wespall Hartley Wintney Hatchet Gate Hatherden Hattingley Havant Hawkley Hawley Hawthorn Hazeley Hazeley Heath Headbourne Worthy Headley - Basingstoke and Deane Headley - East Hampshire Headley Down Hearn Heath End (Baughurst) Heath End (East Woodhay) Heckfield Hedge End Hensting Herriard High Cross Highbridge Highclere Hightown Hill Brow Hill Head Hill Top Hillpound Hillstreet Hilsea Hiltingbury Hinton Hinton Ampner Hinton Marsh Hoe Hoe Gate Holbury Holme on Swale Holmsley Holybourne Hook - Basingstoke Hook - Fareham Hook Common Hordle Horndean Horsebridge Horton Heath Houghton Hound Hound Green Hundred Acres Hungerford Hunton Hursley Hurstbourne Priors Hurstbourne Tarrant Hyde Hythe South Hayling - Hayling Island Ibsley Ibthorpe Ibworth Idsworth Isington Itchen Abbas Itchen Stoke Jack's Bush Kempshott Kent's Oak Keyhaven Kilmeston Kimbridge Kimpton Kimpton Down King's Somborne Kings Worthy Kingsclere Kingsley Kingsmead Kingston Kitwood Knapp Lane End Langley Langrish Langstone Lasham Laverstoke Leckford Lee Lee on the Solent Lepe Lickisto Lindford Linford Linkenholt Linwood Liphook Liss Liss Forest Litchfield Little Ann Little Down Little London - Andover Little London - Tadley Little Park Little Posbrook Little Shoddesden Little Somborne Littleton Lockerley Locks Heath Long Common Long Parish Long Sutton Longmoor Longparish Longstock Lovedean Lower Burgate Lower Daggons Lower Exbury Lower Farringdon Lower Froyle Lower Padworth Lower Pennington Lower Swanwick Lower Upham Lower Waterditch Lower Wield Lower Woodcott Lychpit Lyde Green Lymington Lyndhurst Mapledurwell Marchwood Marsh Court Martin Martin Drove End Martyr Worthy Matchams Mattingley Medstead Meonstoke Micheldever Micheldever Station Michelmersh Middle Wallop Middle Wyke Middleton Milford on Sea Millbrook Minstead Mislingford Mockbeggar Monk Sherborne Monkwood Monxton Moorgreen Moortown Morestead Mortimer West End Mottisfont Moundsmere Murrell Green Nash's Green Nately Scures Neacroft Neatham Nether Wallop Netherton Netley Netley Abbey Netley Marsh New Alresford New Milton Newbridge Newfound Newnham Newton Stacey Newton Tony Newton Valence Newtown - Burghclere Newtown - Fareham Newtown - Lockerley Newtown - Minstead Newtown Common Norleywood North Baddesley North Boarhunt North Camp North Charford North End - Cheriton North End - Damerham North End - Newbury North End - Portsmouth North Gorley North Hayling - Hayling Island North Houghton North Kingston North Oakley North Poulner North Ripley North Street North Sydmonton North Waltham North Warnborough Northam Northbrook Northington Northington Down Northney Nursling Nursted Nutley Oakhanger Oakley Oakshott Odiham Ogdens Old Alresford Old Basing Old Burghclere Old Milton Oliver's Battery Ossemsley Otterbourne Otterwood Outwick Over Wallop Overton Ovington Ower - Fawley Ower - Totton Owslebury Padworth Common Palestine Pamber End Pamber Green Pamber Heath Park Gate Passfield Peel Common Pennington Penton Corner Penton Grafton Penton Mewsey Penwood Perham Down Petersfield Phoenix Green Picket Hill Picket Piece Picket Post Picket Twenty Pill Heath Pilley Pilley Bailey Pitt Plaitford Plastow Green Pooksgreen Popham Popley Portchester Portmore Portsea Portsmouth Portswood Poulner Pound Street Preston Candover Prinsted Privett Purbrook Quarley Quidhampton Ragged Appleshaw Rake Ramsdean Ramsdell Ratlake Red Rice Redenham Ringwood Ripley Riplington Rockbourne Rockford Romsey Ropley Ropley Dean Ropley Soke Rotherwick Row Ash Rowland's Castle Rowner Rownhams Sandford Sandleheath Sarisbury Sarisbury Green Selborne Setley Shalden Shawford Shedfield Sheet Sherborne St John Sherfield English Sherfield on Loddon Shipton Bellinger Shirley Shirrell Heath Shobley Sholing Shootash Shorley Silchester Silkstead Sleaford Smannell Soake Soay Soberton Soberton Heath Soldridge Sopley South Baddesley South End South Gorley South Hayling - Hayling Island South Town South Warnborough South Wonston Southampton Southampton Airport Southington Southrope Southsea Southwick Spanish Green

An online guide of where to stay, where to go and what to do...
From caravan sites, static parks and Campsites. From restaurants, take aways and cafes. From hotels, b & b's and hostels. From car boots, antique fairs and farmers markets. From pubs, bars and nightclubs. To family days out and other things to do.