Basingstoke: Wikis


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Coordinates: 51°16′00″N 1°05′15″W / 51.2667°N 1.0876°W / 51.2667; -1.0876

Basingstoke is located in Hampshire

 Basingstoke shown within Hampshire
Population 82,913 [1][a]
OS grid reference SU637523
District Basingstoke and Deane
Shire county Hampshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Basingstoke
Postcode district RG21, RG22, RG23, RG24
Dialling code 01256
Police Hampshire
Fire Hampshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Basingstoke
List of places: UK • England • Hampshire

Basingstoke is a town in northeast Hampshire, England. It lies across a valley at the source of the River Loddon. It is 48 miles (77 km) southwest of London, 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Southampton, 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Reading, and 19 miles (31 km) northeast of the county town, Winchester. In 2008 it had an estimated population of 82,913. It is part of the borough of Basingstoke and Deane and part of the parliamentary constituency of Basingstoke. Basingstoke is often nicknamed "Doughnut City" or "Roundabout City" due to the number of roundabouts.

Often mistaken for a new town, Basingstoke is an old market town expanded in the 1960s as part of a tripartite agreement between London County Council, Hampshire County Council and Basingstoke Borough Council. It was developed rapidly, along with Andover and Tadley, to accommodate part of the London 'overspill' as perceived under the Greater London Plan, 1944.[2]

Basingstoke market was mentioned in the Domesday Book and Basingstoke remained a small market town until the 1950s. It still has a regular market, but is now bigger than Hampshire County Council's definition of a market town.[3]

Basingstoke is a prosperous town, with an above-average standard of living and low unemployment.[4] It is an economic centre, and the location of the UK headquarters of Sun Life Financial of Canada, The Automobile Association, ST Ericsson, GAME, Motorola and Sony Professional Solutions (Europe). Other industries include drug manufacture, IT, communications, insurance and electronics.


Geography and administration

Situated in a valley through the North Downs, Basingstoke is a major interchange between Reading, Newbury, Andover, Winchester, and Alton, and lies on the natural trade route between the southwest of England and London.



The Basingstoke parliamentary constituency was formed under the 1885 Act and is currently served by Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Mrs Maria Miller, who was elected in the 2005 general election.[5]

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, which has its offices in the town, is a Conservative-led council, having 33 Conservative, 14 Liberal Democrat, 9 Labour, two Independent councillors and two former Conservatives who formed a Basingstoke First Community Party at the beginning of 2009 after the expulsion of one of them from the Conservative Party for conduct not befitting a member.[6]

Basingstoke is part of a two-tier local government structure and returns county councillors to Hampshire County Council. When the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth attained unitary authority status in 1998, Basingstoke became Hampshire's largest settlement.[7][8]

Physical geography/geology

The precise size and shape of Basingstoke today are difficult to identify, as it has no single official boundary that encompasses all the areas contiguous to its development. The unparished area of the town represents its bulk, but several areas that might be considered part of the town are separate parishes, namely Chineham, Rooksdown, and Lychpit. The unparished area includes Worting, which was previously a separate village and parish,[9] extending beyond Roman Road and Old Kempshott Lane, which might otherwise be considered the town’s ‘natural’ western extremity. The ward boundaries within the parliamentary constituency are not (as of August 2007) coterminous with the parish boundaries.

Basingstoke is situated on a bed of cretaceous upper chalk with small areas of clayey and loamy soil, inset with combined clay and flint patches. Loam and alluvium recent and pleistocene sediments line the bed of the river Loddon. A narrow line of tertiary Reading beds run diagonally from the northwest to the southeast along a line from Sherborne St John through Popley, Daneshill and the north part of Basing. To the north of this line, encompassing the areas of Chineham and Pyotts Hill, is London clay.[10]

Divisions and suburbs

Basingstoke's expansion has absorbed much surrounding farmland and scattered housing, transforming it into housing estates or local districts. Many of these new estates are designed as almost self-contained communities, such as Lychpit, Chineham, Popley, Winklebury, Oakridge, Kempshott, Brighton Hill, South Ham, Black Dam and Hatch Warren. The M3 acts as a buffer zone to the south of the town, and the South Western Main Line constrains the western expansion, with a green belt to the north and north-east, making Basingstoke shaped almost like a kite. As a result, the villages of Cliddesden, Dummer, Sherborne St John and Oakley, although being very close to the town limits, are considered distinct entities. Popley, Hatch Warren and Beggarwood are seeing rapid growth in housing.[11][12]

Nearby towns: Hook, Tadley, Whitchurch,

Nearby villages: Aldermaston, Baughurst, Bramley, Kingsclere, Oakley, Old Basing, Overton, Ramsdell, Silchester, Sherfield on Loddon.


Early settlements

The remains of the 16th-century Chapel of the Holy Trinity at the Holy Ghost Chapel

The hillfort at Winklebury (2 miles (3 km) west of the town centre), known locally as Winklebury Camp or Winklebury Ring[13] dates from the Iron age and there are remains of several other earthworks around Basingstoke including a long barrow near Down Grange.[14] Nearby, to the west, Roman Road and Kempshott Lane mark the course of a Roman road that ran from Winchester to Silchester. Further to the east, another Roman road ran from Chichester through the outlying villages of Upton Grey and Mapledurwell. The Harrow Way is an ancient route that runs to the south of the town.


The name Basingstoke (A.D 990; Embasinga stocæ,[15] Domesday; Basingestoches) is believed to have been derived from the town's position as the outlying, western settlement of Basa's people.[16][b] Basing, now Old Basing, a village a few miles to the east, is thought to have the same etymology, but is considered by some to be the older settlement.[17]

Market town

Basingstoke is recorded as being a market site in the Domesday Book, and has held a regular Wednesday market since 1214.[18] During the Civil War, and the siege of Basing House between 1643 and 1645, the town played host to large numbers of Parliamentarians. During this time, St. Michael's Church was damaged whilst being used as an explosive store[19] and lead was stripped from the roof of the Chapel of the Holy Trinity[20] leading to its eventual ruin. Cromwell is believed to have stayed in the town towards the end of the siege and wrote a letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons addressed from Basingstoke.[21]

The cloth industry appears to have been important in the development of the town until the 17th century along with malting.[22]

Brewing became important during the 18th and 19th centuries, and the oldest and most successful was May's Brewery, established by Thomas and William May in 1750 in Brook Street.

Victorian history

The London and South Western Railway arrived in 1839 from London, and within a year it was connected to Winchester and Southampton. in 1848 a rival company, Sponsored by the Great Western Railway built a branch from Reading, and in 1854 a line was built to Salisbury.[23] In the 19th century Basingstoke began to move into industrial manufacture, Wallis and Haslam (later Wallis & Steevens),[24] began producing agricultural equipment including threshing machines in the 1850s, moving into the production of stationary steam engines in the 1860s and then traction engines in the 1870s.

Two traders who opened their first shops within a year of each other in the town, went on to become household names nationally: Thomas Burberry in 1856 and Alfred Milward in 1857.[25] Burberry became famous after he invented Gabardine and Milward founded the Milwards chain of shoe shops, which could be found on almost every high street until the 1980s.[26]

London Street includes a variety of architecture from the 17th to the 20th century

Ordinary citizens were said to be shocked[27] by the emotive, evangelical tactics of the Salvation Army when they arrived in the town in 1880, but the reaction from those employed by the breweries or within the Licence trade quickly grew more openly hostile. Violent clashes became a regular occurrence[c] culminating on Sunday 27 March 1881 with troops being called upon to break up the conflict after the Mayor had read the Riot Act. The riot and its causes led to questions in Parliament and a period of notoriety for the town.[28]

In 1898 John Isaac Thornycroft began production of steam-powered lorries in the town and Thornycroft’s quickly grew to become the town’s largest employer.[29]

Recent history

Basingstoke was among the towns and cities targeted during the Second World War, and suffered bomb damage including St Michael's Church. After the war, it had a population of 25,000.

As part of the London Overspill plan, Basingstoke was rapidly developed in the late 1960s as an 'expanded town', along with places such as Harlow and Swindon. Basingstoke town centre was completely rebuilt. At this time many buildings of historic interest were replaced by a large red brick shopping centre and concrete multi-storey car park. Many office blocks and large estates were built, including a ring road.

The shopping centre, following money issues, was built in phases. The first phase was completed by the 1970s and was later covered in the 1980s, and was known as The Walks. The second phase was completed by the early 1980s, and became The Malls. The third phase was abandoned and the site was later used to build The Anvil concert hall.

The new shopping centre Festival Place

In 2003 Basingstoke was voted ninth in the Crap Towns survey, a humorous, but unscientific guide to the worst places to live in Britain though was not in the top ten of the 2004 survey.

Later that year, the Basingstoke Gazette launched its "Basingstoke – A Place to be Proud of" campaign, aimed at changing people’s perception of the town.[30] The campaign is ongoing (as of May 2009) and marked by the presentation of annual awards to individuals, organisations or businesses nominated by the public for commendable local achievement.[31]

The central part of the shopping centre was rebuilt in 2002 and reopened as Festival Place. This has bought a dramatic improvement to shoppers opinions of the town centre, but it is unclear if it has softened the towns overall image.[32]

Further work to improve the image of the town continues with the latest Central Basingstoke Vision project coordinated by the Borough Council.[33]

In the mid 1990s, numerous reports described sightings of the Beast of Basingstoke, a big cat believed to be a lion or a puma, possibly two. Local legend suggests the animal was shot and killed, although no official news sources document any capture or killing of the beast.[34]

During the severe snow storms of December 2009, Basingstoke and the surrounding area was one of the worst hit regions in the UK, where an estimated 3000 motorists were forced to abandon their vehicles around the town and on the ring road during the evening rush hour of the 21st.[35]


Year Population[36]
1801 2,589
1841 4,066
1871 5,574
1891 7,960
1911 11,259
1921 12,415
1931 13,865
1951 16,978
1961 25,980
1971 52,608
Basingstoke & Deane Compared
2001 UK census Basingstoke and Deane South East England England
Total population 152,573 8,000,645 49,138,831
Population density 2.41 4.20 3.77
White British 96.6% 95.1% 90.9%
Asian 1.2% 2.3% 4.6%
Mixed race 1.0% 1.1% 1.3%
Christian 74.0% 72.8% 71.7%
No religion 17.0% 16.5% 14.6%
Good health 74.3% 71.5% 68.8%
Employed full time 51.0% 43.2% 40.8%
Owner Occupier with mortgage or loan 48.7% 41.9% 38.9%
Travelling less than 10 km to work 64.2% 63.0% 67.5%

The borough of Basingstoke was merged with other local districts in 1974 to form the borough of Basingstoke and Deane. Since then most census data has been for the larger area: before 1974, census information was published for the town as a separate entity.

Figures published for the most recent UK census in 2001 for the Borough of Basingstoke and Deane, give a population of 152,573 and a population density of 2.41 persons per hectare.[37] The number of women at 50.48% slightly exceeded that of men.[38] 96.56% of the population were White British, 1.22% Asian or Asian British, 1.02% mixed race, 0.58% Black or Black British and 0.61% Chinese or other ethnic group. With regard to religion, 74.02% of the population were Christian, 16.98% had no religion and 7.22% did not respond. Other religions in total accounting for less than 2%. Amongst other findings were that 74.33% felt they were in good health, 50.98% were economically active full time employees (over 10% higher than the National Average) and 48.73% were buying their property with a mortgage or loan (almost 10% higher than the national average).[37] Amongst the working population, 64.2% travelled less than 10 km to work.[39] The biggest percentage of employees, 17.67% worked in real estate, renting and business activities.[40]


View of The Malls from Basingstoke Train Station

Festival Place, a new shopping centre, opened in autumn 2002, adding a huge boost to the town centre,[41] transforming the former The Walks Shopping Centre and the New Market Square. Aside from a wide range of shops, there is also a range of cafés and restaurants as well as a large multiple-screen Vue cinema (formerly Ster Century until their takeover in 2005).[42]

Central Basingstoke has two further shopping areas: The Malls and the Top of Town. The Malls area has declined since the opening of Festival Place and the closure of its Allders department store, though it is still home to several major retailers. The leasehold was purchased in 2004 by the St Modwen development group in partnership with the Kuwait property investment company Salhia Real Estate, with provision for redevelopment[43] and a 55,000 square metre Primark store opened on the previous Allders site, in the Malls shopping centre, in March 2008. The store, which employs 204 people, is in the top 25 largest Primark stores in the country.[44]

View from Basingstoke railway station forecourt; the chrome yellow buildings of Crown Heights stand on the site of older office buildings that have been demolished to build apartments. The former IBM offices in the background are now being converted into flats.

The Top of Town is the historic heart of Basingstoke, housing the town's Willis Museum[45] in the former Town Hall building and the Haymarket Theatre in the former Corn exchange. There are also several locally run shops, as well as the post office, and the market place.

The town's nightlife is split between the new Festival Square, and the traditional hostelries at the Top of Town, with a few local community pubs outside the central area. The town has four nightclubs, two in the town itself, one on the east side and one 2 miles (3 km) out to the west.

In Portchester Square is the Basingstoke Sports Centre[46] which has a subterranean swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and steam room. Above ground there is a gym, aerobics studios, squash courts and main hall. There is also a playden for young children. Basingstoke town centre is also home to a modern concert hall, The Anvil.[47]

Sports and leisure

Outside the town centre, there is a leisure park featuring the Aquadrome swimming pool, which opened in May 2002.[48] The park also includes an ice rink, bowling alley, Bingo club and a ten screen cinema, as well as a restaurant and fast food outlets. The leisure park is also home to the Milestones Museum which contains a network of streets and buildings based on the history of Hampshire.

Basingstoke has its own football club, Basingstoke Town F.C. who play in the Blue Square Conference South. The Basingstoke Rugby Football Club play in Rugby Football Union's Powergen South West League 1, and the Basingstoke Bison ice hockey team play in the Elite Ice Hockey League until the end of 2008/2009 season. From the 2009/2010 season, the team will play in the English Premier Ice Hockey League. Basingstoke also has a swimming team, known as the Basingstoke Bluefins and an American Flag Football Team known as the Basingstoke Zombie Horde. The diversity of sporting activity in the area is also illustrated by organisations such as Basingstoke Demons Floorball Club and Basingstoke Bulls Korfball Club. The home ground of Basingstoke & North Hants Cricket Club, Mays Bounty was until 2000 used once a season by Hampshire County Cricket Club. Players such as Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar as well as Ashes winners Michael Vaughan, Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard have graced the ground.[49][50][51] It was also where celebrated commentator and playwright John Arlott watched his first match.[52] In August 2008 County Cricket returned to May’s Bounty with Hampshire County Cricket Club defeating eventual County Champions Durham County Cricket Club.[53]

Eastrop Park, with Fanum House in the background

Plans have recently been announced for a new multi-million pound sports facility at Down Grange, which would be suitable for many sports. Proposals include a stadium for Basingstoke Town FC and Basingstoke RFC which would be up to the standard of the Football League, a new 8 lane athletics track and hockey pitch, as well as a gym, swimming pool, hotel and conference facilities.


Basingstoke has its own radio station: Kestrel FM. Heart Berkshire, broadcast from Reading also provides local radio coverage. The town also has good coverage from digital radio; the BBC, Independent National and Now Reading multiplexes can be received in the town,[54] and the outskirts can receive London and South Hampshire stations as well.[55][56]

There are three local newspapers: the Basingstoke Gazette, Basingstoke Observer and the Basingstoke Independent. The town is also covered by the Hampshire Chronicle.


Education in Basingstoke is co-ordinated by Hampshire County Council. Each neighbourhood in the town has at least one Primary school, while Secondary schools are distributed around the town on larger campuses.

Basingstoke has two large further education colleges: a sixth form college, Queen Mary's College (QMC) and Basingstoke College of Technology (BCOT).


The University of Winchester has a Campus in Basingstoke (Chute House Campus). Chute House Campus delivers full-time and part-time university courses for those who have otherwise busy lives and want a flexible approach to studying. Located in the centre of Basingstoke, many courses are run in the evening to meet the growing demand for this type of flexible study. The qualifications on offer range from foundation degrees, bachelor degrees, PGCE and MBA. Subjects include childhood studies, various management pathways, community development and creative industries.

Basingstoke is within 30 miles (48 km) of six universities, namely Thames Valley University (TVU), the University of Winchester, the University of Reading, the University of Southampton, Southampton Solent University and Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University College in Farnham.



Churchill Way running through the center of Basingstoke town center, as seen from Festival Place car park
Basingstoke railway station, as seen from Alençon Link

Basingstoke is at Junction 6 and Junction 7 of the M3 motorway, which skirts the town's southern edge, linking the town to London and to Southampton and the south-west. The central area of the town is encircled by a ring road constructed in the 1960s named The Ringway and bisected from east to west by the A3010, Churchill Way. Major roads radiate from the Ringway like spokes from a hub. The A33 runs north east to Reading and the M4 Motorway and south west to Winchester. The A30 runs east to Hook and west to Salisbury. The A303 begins a few miles south west of Basingstoke to head west towards Wiltshire and the West Country, sharing the first few miles with the A30. The A339 runs south east to Alton and north west to Newbury. Basingstoke has a reputation for having a large density of roundabouts.


The South Western Main Line railway runs east and west through the centre of the town and Basingstoke railway station linking it to the South West of England, London Waterloo (the fastest train Basingstoke to London takes 45 minutes), Winchester, Southampton and Bournemouth, and via the Eastleigh to Fareham Line and West Coastway Line to Portsmouth and Brighton. The West of England Main Line to Salisbury and Exeter diverges at Worting Junction, to the west. The Basingstoke Branch[57] runs north-east to Reading, providing services to Oxford, Birmingham, the north of England and Scotland. The town was also the terminus of the defunct Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway. Current rail services from Basingstoke are operated by South West Trains, Crosscountry and First Great Western.


Most bus services in the town operate from Basingstoke Bus Station. The majority are provided by the Stagecoach Group through their Stagecoach in Hampshire sub-division. Newbury Buses also operate over individual routes and cango operate a service linking villages between Basingstoke and Alton. A Park and Ride service provided by Courtney Coaches[58] links Basingstoke leisure park with Basing View, via Basingstoke Railway Station. This service uses distinctive purple and green Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 buses,(previously using Optare Solo), and provides a daytime service at roughly 10-minute intervals throughout the week. The buses on this service being provided by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. Currently (2010), a complimentary peak time service is also provided by Courtney Coaches Limited[59] between Chineham Business Park and the railway station. National Express offers direct coach services to London and Southampton from the bus station.


Separate provision for cyclists from other road traffic was not part of the remit of the 1960s town redevelopment, and until recently provision for cyclists was very poor.[60] A Basingstoke Area Cycling Strategy was developed in 1999[61] and subsequently an extensive cycle network has been developed[62] mainly utilising on-road routes or off-road routes that run parallel with and directly alongside roads. Basingstoke was linked to Reading on the National Cycle Network route 23 in May 2003 and the route was extended south to Alton and Alresford in April 2006. A Basingstoke Bicycle Users Group meets quarterly to discuss local cycling issues.[63]


The closest international airport to Basingstoke is Southampton, about 25 miles (40 km) away. Blackbushe (9 miles (14 km)) and Farnborough (11 miles (18 km)) have Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Ordinary Licences, allowing for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction. Other General Aviation (GA) airfields in the area are at Popham,[64] (7 miles (11 km)) and Lasham (5 miles (8 km)). Prior Permission Required (PPR) sites are near Brimpton[65] and Hook. Lasham is particularly well known for its gliding school.


Though there are no navigable waterways within the immediate area, plans to reconnect the town with the surviving section of the Basingstoke Canal have been mooted several times in the past and this remains a long term aim of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society.[66] The Basingstoke Canal Heritage Footpath follows the canal route for 2 miles (3 km) from Festival Place to Basing House.

Nearest places

Cultural references

In the 1887 Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera Ruddigore, the word "Basingstoke" is used as a code word by Sir Despard Murgatroyd to soothe his new wife, Mad Margaret, when she seems in danger of relapsing into madness. Margaret suggests this course of action herself:

Well, then, when I am lying awake at night, and the pale moonlight streams through the latticed casement, strange fancies crowd upon my poor mad brain, and I sometimes think that if we could hit upon some word for you to use whenever I am about to relapse—some word that teems with hidden meaning—like "Basingstoke"—it might recall me to my saner self.

First published in 1895, Thomas Hardy referred to Basingstoke as "Stoke Barehills" in Jude the Obscure – Part Fifth, Chapter 5

"There is in Upper Wessex an old town of nine or ten thousand souls; the town may be called Stoke-Barehills. It stands with its gaunt, unattractive, ancient church, and its new red brick suburb".
"The most familiar object in Stoke-Barehills nowadays is its cemetery, standing among some picturesque mediaeval ruins beside the railway; the modern chapels, modern tombs, and modern shrubs having a look of intrusiveness amid the crumbling and ivy-covered decay of the ancient walls."

Carl Barât, co-founder of The Libertines rock band, was born in Basingstoke and responded to a request for a description of the town with the question: "Have you seen The Office?".[67]

In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, just after Ford Prefect has explained to Arthur Dent that they hitched a lift on a spaceship Arthur replies: "Are you trying to tell me that we just stuck out our thumbs and some green bug-eyed monster stuck his head out and said, Hi fellas, hop right in. I can take you as far as the Basingstoke roundabout?".[68]

The character Rodney Trotter in the sitcom Only Fools And Horses studied at an art college in Basingstoke.

Basingstoke is mentioned in a skit from Episode 42 of Monty Python's Flying Circus as the site of a World War I battle. When the General (sitting as president of a court martial) asks "Basingstoke, Hampshire?" he is told no, the battle occurred in Basingstoke, Westphalia (which can only be located on a map produced by Cole Porter).

Recorded in Hunter Davies' contempary biography of The Beatles, Paul McCartney offers John Lennon "some amazing cake from Basingstoke."[69]


The 1998 film Get Real was filmed at various locations around the town.[70]

The British sitcom Blessed referred to Basingstoke in an episode that aired during the last quarter of 2005. When the main character met an upper-class couple who had named their children "India" and "Ireland" to reflect their supposed mystical natures, he ironically replied that he had named his own children "Basingstoke" and "Milton Keynes".

Basingstoke’s North Hampshire Hospital was one of two hospitals used for the filming of Channel 4's hit comedy Green Wing.[71]

An episode of Top Gear was filmed in Festival Place in November 2008. The episode was broadcast on BBC2 at 8:00pm on 7 December. Jeremy Clarkson was testing the new Ford Fiesta in the town in the early hours of the morning.[72]

Basingstoke was referenced to in the second series of Skins, where Chris' father claims to have relatives as far as Basingstoke attending his son's funeral.

In the first series of Ultimate Force, episode 2 "Just a Target", the assassination attempt towards the end of the episode was set in Basingstoke.

See also


a. ^  Population figure is an estimate for mid 2008, and includes only the town of Basingstoke (Unparished area) — not the surrounding area.

b. ^  The List of generic forms in British place names shows a toponomic interpretation of the various Old English elements within the names Basing and Basingstoke. ‘’Bas’’ is taken as a personal name, ‘’ingas’’ as 'people of' and ‘’stoc’’ as 'dependent farmstead' or 'secondary settlement'.

c. ^  In summarising to Magistrates at the trial of those members of the public said to have rioted against the Salvationists, defence counsel stated that ‘’Until this body known as the Salvation Army was formed here, the number of summonses which had come before the Magistrates was comparatively unknown. They now had a large number of assault cases to hear.’’ ‘’The army perfectly well knew that their conduct was leading to disturbances in the town’’. The case against the defendants was dismissed.[73]


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  33. ^ "The Libertines – Drugs, Jail and R&R". Rolling 2004. Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  34. ^ ""It's Basingstoke NOT Boringstoke"". Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  35. ^ "Thousands trapped in cars overnight due to snow and ice". BBC News. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
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  43. ^ "St Modwen buys Basingstoke’s Malls with Key Kuwaiti partner". Property 2004. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  44. ^ Martin, Kate (2008). "Primark Opens In Basingstoke". Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
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  47. ^ "The Anvil". Anvil Arts. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
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  49. ^ "Hampshire v Yorkshire, CGU National League, May’s Bounty, Basingstoke 13 June 1999". Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  50. ^ "Hampshire v Yorkshire, County Championship, May’s Bounty, Basingstoke 2-4 June 1992". Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  51. ^ "Hampshire v Durham, County Championship, May’s Bounty, Basingstoke 14-16 June 2000". Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  52. ^ Arlott, John (1990). Basingstoke Boy. Willow Books, Harper Collins. pp. 26. 
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  54. ^ "DAB Digital Radio Coverage Maps". Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
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External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Basingstoke [1] is a town in Hampshire. It has been around as a market town since the Domesday Book, but was developed as a 'new town', one of several constructed in the 1950s to accommodate overspill population from London. Throughout the 70's and 80's it was often considered a joke 'dull' town with nothing to offer and had very little to entertain any visitors unless they were into trainspotting or roundabouts (it is alleged that Basingstoke has the highest number of roundabouts per head population of any UK town - but its probably no longer true!).

Recent redevelopment of the town center has seen the growth of a huge shopping area, lots of restaurants and new cinemas and theatre. Basingstoke - it seems -has grown up!

Get in

Basingstoke has a station on the main line from London to Southampton. There is also a line to Reading. Train times can be found on the National Rail Planner or by calling 0845-748-4950 from anywhere in the UK. It takes around forty minutes to get to Basingstoke from London Waterloo station. The station is situated at the edge of the town center and is only a minute's walk from the shops.

Alternatively the town is conveniently situated for the M3 motorway (US English: freeway) also from London to Southampton and is about one hours drive from both. The A33 links the town with Reading and the M4.

Get around

By Foot

Basingstoke has a large and modern town centre, with a multitude of cinemas, bars, clubs and pubs - all easily accessible from the train station.

By Bus

Basingstoke is well served by buses. The central bus station is situated in the town center and most buses stop at the station. The buses are regular and serve most outlying areas of the town. Indeed the buses are efficient and the bus stops clearly marked

By Car

Basingstoke is easy to drive around and the town center does not suffer from much congestion (except for at peak times). There is ample parking in both 'Top of Town' and Festival Place and the town's ring road (called 'Ringway') makes it easy to access any part of Basingstoke without much trouble.

The Park and Ride facility is served by three Centre Shuttle buses, see National Park and Ride Directory

  • Basing House, Redbridge Lane, Old Basing (1 mile east of Basingstoke), tel 467294, [2]. Once a major Tudor palace and castle rivalling Hampton Court, Basing House was destroyed in a civil war siege. Now an attractive set of ruins, with an explanatory exhibition. Car parking is very difficult in Old Basing village; instead follow the signs to Basing House car park and get the bonus of a very attractive walk along the crystal clear River Loddon to the house. Alternatively bus line 8 runs once an hour from Basingstoke bus station stopping outside Basing House main entrance. Open Apr-Sep W-Su 2pm-6pm. £1-2.
  • Silchester Roman Town, Silchester (5 miles north of Basingstoke), [3]. Known to the Romans as Calleva Atrebatum, Silchester was abandoned after the Roman era which means that much of the archeology remains. All that is left on the surface now are a complete ring of city walls, the amphitheater and an little medieval church. Away from the rivers that have dictated the area demographics, Silchester is about as isolated a place as you will find in south-east England; on a spring weekday you are likely to find yourself sharing the ruins only with cows. Open every day sunrise-sunset. Free.
  • Milestones Museum, Leisure Park, Churchill Way West, tel 477766, [4]. A living history museum, with reconstructed street scenes and buildings from the Victorian era. Open Tu-F 10am-5pm; Sa-Su 11am-5pm; M closed. £3.50-6.50.
  • Wote Street Willy, Wote Street, town centre. The largest statue of a penis on public display in Britain. The image of a mother and child is carved into the side of the sculpture, and its phallic appearance was apparently overlooked by planners until its erection (pun intended).
  • L'Arc Sculpture, Alencon Link, Town Centre. Marvel at the similarities between this sculpture and the Iran-Iraq war monument in Baghdad
  • Viables Roundabout, home to Britain's shortest piece of gauge railway track.
  • Crockford Lane Roundabout, or 'The Chineham Wave' displays a ribbon of around 100 red steel human silhouettes.
  • Mike Reddaway's Ancesteral Home
  • Fyffes Banana Ripening Factory, Winklebury. The largest Banana Ripening Factory in Europe.
  • Conference South Football at The Camrose, Western Way.
  • Basingstoke Blues Club, 20 Churchill Way (RG21 7QU). Listen to live Quality Blues Bands once a month see  edit


The Basingstoke area has many restaurants of different types and costs and it clearly isn't possible to list them all here. The following small selection are restaurants which have been visited and recommended by Wikitravellers:

  • The Millstone Pub, Bartons Lane, Lychpit, (adjacent to Basing House car park), tel 331153. This pub, situated by the delightful River Loddon, was until recently a fantastic authentic rustic pub. It has now been 'renovated' so lost some of its character but now does bar food. Thankfully it still has a good range of real ales. A good place to eat before or after visiting Basing House (see 'See'). £6-10.
  • Station Kebabs, Railway Station. Kebab Van. Burger Sauce available.
  • The War Memorial Park



Basingstoke's area code (for landline numbers) is 01256 when dialed from within the UK or +441256 from outside the UK.

  • Farnborough, birth place of flying in the United Kingdom.
  • Winchester, a nearby ancient cathedral city with lots to see.
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BASINGSTOKE, a market-town and municipal borough of Hampshire, England, 48 m. W.S.W. from London by the London & South-Western railway; served also by a branch of the Great Western railway. Pop. (1901) 9793. The church of St Michael and All Angels is a fine specimen of a late Perpendicular building (principally of the time of Henry VIII.). The chapel of the Holy Ghost is a picturesque ruin, standing in an ancient cemetery, built for the use of the local gild of the Holy Ghost which was founded in 1525, but flourished for less than a century. Close to the neighbouring village of Old Basing are remains of Basing House, remarkable as the scene of the stubborn opposition of John, fifth marquess of Winchester, to Cromwell, by whom it was taken after a protracted siege in 1645.

A castle occupied its site from Norman times. Numerous prehistoric relics have been discovered in the district, and a large circular encampment is seen at Winklebury Hill. Basingstoke has considerable agricultural trade, and brewing, and the manufacture of agricultural implements, and of clothing, are carried on. The Basingstoke canal, which connects the town with the river Wey and so with the Thames, was opened about 1 794, but lost its trade owing to railway competition. It was offered for sale by auction unsuccessfully in 1904, but was bought in 1905. The municipal borough is under a mayor, four aldermen and twelve councillors. Area, 4195 acres.

Basingstoke is a town of great antiquity, and excavations have brought to light undoubted traces of Roman occupation. The first recorded historical event relating to the town is a victory won here by ZEthelred and Alfred over the Danes in 871. According to the Domesday survey it had always been a royal manor, and comprised three mills and a market. A charter from Henry III. in 1256 granted to the men of Basingstoke the manor and hundred of that name and certain other privileges, which were confirmed by Edward III., Henry V. and Henry VI. As compensation for loss sustained by a serious fire, Richard II. in 1392 granted to the men of Basingstoke the rights of a corporation and a common seal. A charter from James I. dated 1622 instituted two bailiffs, fourteen capital burgesses, four justices of the peace, a high steward and under steward, two serjeantsat-mace and a court of record. Charles I. in 1641 changed the corporation to a mayor, seven aldermen and seven burgesses. Basingstoke returned two members to parliament in 1295, 1302 and 1306, but no writs are extant after this date. In 1202-1203 the market day was changed from Sunday to Monday, but in 1214 was transferred to Wednesday, and has not since been changed. Henry VI. granted a fair at Whitsun to be held near the chapel of the Holy Ghost. The charter from James I. confirmed another fair at the feast of St Michael the Archangel, and that of Charles I. granted two fairs on Basingstoke Down at Easter and on the Loth and 11th of September. The wool trade flourished in Basingstoke at an early date, but later appears to have declined, and in 1631 the clothiers of Basingstoke were complaining of the loss of trade and consequent distress.

See Victoria County History - Hants; F. G. Baigent and J. E. Millard, History of Basingstoke (Basingstoke, 1889).

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  1. A town in Hampshire, England


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