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Hampshire
EnglandHampshire.svg
Geography
Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county
Region: South East England
Area
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 9th
3,769 km² (1,455 mi²)
Ranked 8th
3,679 km² (1,420 mi²)
Admin HQ: Winchester (formerly Southampton)
ISO 3166-2: GB-HAM
ONS code: 24
NUTS 3: UKJ33
Demographics
Population
- Total (2008 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 5th
1,720,600
457 / km²
Ranked 3rd
1,286,000
Ethnicity: 96.7% White
1.3% S. Asian
0.8% Mixed
1.2% Other
Politics
Hampshire County Council
http://www.hampshire.gov.uk
Executive Conservative
Members of Parliament
Districts
Hampshire Ceremonial Numbered.png
  1. Gosport
  2. Fareham
  3. Winchester
  4. Havant
  5. East Hampshire
  6. Hart
  7. Rushmoor
  8. Basingstoke and Deane
  9. Test Valley
  10. Eastleigh
  11. New Forest
  12. Southampton (Unitary)
  13. Portsmouth (Unitary)

Hampshire (pronounced /ˈhæmpʃər/ or /ˈhæmpʃɪər/  ( listen)), sometimes historically Southamptonshire,[1] Hamptonshire,[2] (abbr. Hants), "Old Hampshire" or the County of Southampton,[3] is a county on the south coast of England. The county borders (clockwise from West), Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey and West Sussex. The county has an area of 3,700 square kilometres (1,400 sq mi) [4] and at its widest points is about 86 kilometres (53 mi) east–west and 76 kilometres (47 mi) [5] north–south. The county town is Winchester situated at 51°03′35″N 1°18′36″W / 51.05972°N 1.31°W / 51.05972; -1.31. The 2001 census gave the population of the administrative county as 1.24 million; the ceremonial county also includes the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, which are administratively independent, and has a total population of 1.6 million. Christchurch and Bournemouth, within the historic borders of the county, were made part of the non-metropolitan county of Dorset in 1974.

Hampshire is a popular holiday area, with tourist attractions including its many seaside resorts, the maritime area in Portsmouth, and the motor museum at Beaulieu. The New Forest National Park lies within the borders, as does a large area of the South Downs, which has now become a National Park. Hampshire has a long maritime history and two of England's largest ports, Portsmouth and Southampton, lie on its coast. The county is famed as home of writers Jane Austen and Charles Dickens and the birthplace of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Hampshire is blessed with some of the most beautiful countryside and accessible coastline, offering a wide variety of sporting facilities and leisure activities.

Contents

History

The chalk downland of the South Downs and southern edges of Salisbury Plain were settled in the neolithic, and these settlers built hill forts such as Winklebury 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 southern portion of the county known as the Meon and in particular the valley of the River Hamble was occupied by Jutish tribes from perhaps as early as 495. Later West Saxon migrants absorbed the Jutish tribes within Wessex after 530.

Movements of Cerdic through southern Hampshire, according to Albany F. Major (1912).

Some scholars believe there is evidence to show the traditional county boundaries of Hampshire may date back to the years of the original West Saxon settlement in c. 519. It is likely that both Winchester and Silchester would have fallen to the West Saxons between the years 508 and 514. A later thrust up the Hampshire Avon towards Old Sarum in 519 appears to have been checked by the Britons at Charford. The historian Albany Major in Early Wars of Wessex makes the case that the borders of the traditional county of Hampshire probably match those of the first West Saxon kingdom established by Cerdic and his son. Evidence of this comes from the border between Hampshire and Berkshire which follows generally the line of the Roman road that ran east and west through Silchester, but it is deflected in the north in a rough semicircle in such a way as to include the whole of the district around the town. He argues that the capture of Silchester, of which no record has been passed down to us, was not the work of Mercian Angles but of the West Saxons probably striking north from Winchester and possibly acting in concert with a separate force making its way up the Thames Valley towards Reading. Silchester was left desolate after its fall and it is most improbable that any regard would have been paid to its side of the border had the fixing of the county boundary been made at a later period.[6]

Study of the borders between Hampshire and Wiltshire also seem to suggest the West Saxon's westward advance was checked by about 519AD. The area north of Charford This would corroborate the date given in the Annales Cambriae for the crucial British victory at the Battle of Mons Badonicus in 517AD which is believed to have stopped further Anglo-Saxon encroachments in south-west and midland Britain for at least a generation.

Hampshire was one of the first Saxon shires, recorded in 755 as Hamtunscir,[1] but for two centuries represented the western end of Saxon England, as advances into Dorset and Somerset were fought off by the Britons. The name is derived from the port of Southampton which was known previously as simply "Hampton". After the Saxons advanced further 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.

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 Roman 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 natives of Southampton.

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 the Isle of 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. Farnborough is a major centre for the Aviation industry.

The county has in the past been called "Southamptonshire" and appears as such on some Victorian maps.[citation needed] The name of the administrative county was changed from 'County of Southampton' to 'County of Hampshire' on 1 April 1959.[citation needed] The short form of the name, often used in postal addresses, is Hants. This abbreviated form is derived from the Old English Hantum plus Scir (meaning a district governed from the settlement now known as Southampton) and the Anglo-Saxons called it Hamtunschire. At the time of the Domesday Book (1086) this had been compressed to Hantescire.

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 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.

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United States

Hampshire was the departure point of some of those later to settle in the east coast of what is now the United States, in the 17th century, giving its name in particular to New Hampshire.

Southampton from Netley Hospital.

Governance

With the exceptions of the unitary authorities of Portsmouth and Southampton, Hampshire is governed by a county council based in Winchester, with several non-metropolitan districts beneath it, and for the majority of the county, parish councils or town councils at the local level. The districts of Hampshire are the following:

The county also contains a national park, covering the New Forest, and therefore governance of this area is carried out by the National Park Authority as well as the New Forest District Council.

Economy

The Beaulieu River.

Hampshire is a relatively affluent county, with a Gross domestic product (GDP) of £32.3 billion in 2005 (£22.4 billion when excluding Southampton and Portsmouth).[7] In 2006, Hampshire had a GDP per capita of £19,300, comparable with the UK as a whole and slightly below the South East England figure of £19,600.[8]

Portsmouth and Winchester have the highest job densities in the county, and therefore there is a high level of commuting into the cities. Southampton has the highest number of total jobs and commuting both into and out of the city is high. The county has a lower level of unemployment than the national average, at 1.9% when the national rate was 3.3%, and as of March 2005 has fallen to 1.1%. 39% are employed by large firms, compared with a national average of 42%. Hampshire has a considerably higher than national average employment in high-tech industries, but average levels in knowledge based industry. 25.21% of the population work in the public sector.[9]

Many rural areas of Hampshire have traditionally been reliant on agriculture, though the county was less agricultural than most surrounding counties, and was mostly concentrated on dairy farming. The significance of agriculture as an employer and wealth creator has declined since the first half of the 20th century and agriculture currently employs 1.32% of the population.

The New Forest area is a National Park, and tourism is a significant economic segment in this area, with 7.5 million visitors in 1992.[10] The South Downs and the cities of Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester also attract tourists to the county. Southampton Boat Show is one of the biggest annual events held in the county, and attracts visitors from throughout the country. In 2003 the county had a total of 31 million day visits, and 4.2 million longer stays.[11]

The cities of Southampton and Portsmouth are both significant ports, with Southampton handling a large proportion of the national container freight and Portsmouth housing a large Royal Navy base. The docks have traditionally been large employers in these cities, though again mechanisation has forced diversification of the economy.

Demographics

Southampton Docks.

At the Census 2001[12] the ceremonial county recorded a population of 1,644,249, of which 1,240,103 were in the administrative county, 217,445 were in the unitary authority of Southampton, and 186,701 were in Portsmouth. The population of the administrative county grew 5.6% from the 1991 census, Southampton grew 6.2% while Portsmouth remained unchanged, compared with 2.6% for England and Wales as a whole. Eastleigh and Winchester grew fastest at 9% each. The age structure of the population is similar to the national average.

96.73% of residents were white British, falling to 92.37% in Southampton. The significant ethnic minorities are Asian at 1.34% and mixed race at 0.84%. 0.75% of residents were migrants from outside the UK. 73.86% stated their religion as Christianity and 16.86% were not religious. Significant minority religions were Islam (0.76%) and Hinduism (0.33%).

Education

The school system in Hampshire (including Southampton and Portsmouth) is comprehensive. Geographically inside the Hampshire LEA are twenty four independent schools, Southampton has three and Portsmouth has four. Few Hampshire schools have sixth forms, which varies by district council.

There are four universities, namely the University of Southampton, Southampton Solent University, the University of Portsmouth and the University of Winchester (which also has a small campus in Basingstoke).

Politics

Hampshire is divided into eighteen parliamentary constituencies. Ten of these are represented by Conservative Members of Parliament (MPs), four by the Liberal Democrats and three by Labour. Labour represent the large cities, including both Southampton constituencies (Test and Itchen) and Portsmouth North. The Conservatives represent the most rural constituencies, New Forest West, New Forest East, Hampshire North West, Hampshire North East, Hampshire East and the constituencies of Aldershot, Basingstoke, Havant, Gosport and Fareham, which are centred on towns. The Liberal Democrats represent Winchester, Portsmouth South and Eastleigh, all centred around towns, and the largely rural constituency of Romsey. There is a new parliamentary constituency to be contested at the next general election as part of the new boundary changes: the Meon Valley constituency is notionally a Conservative seat, based on the 2005 polling results in the areas it will cover.

The Isle of Wight returns its own Member to the House of Commons and, in this way, it is often said[citation needed] that Hampshire returns nineteen Members of Parliament despite Hampshire and the Isle of Wight having been separated administratively and ceremonially for some time.

At the 2009 local elections for Hampshire County Council, the Conservative Party had a 47.72% share of the votes, the Liberal Democrats had 32.89% and Labour 7.07%. As a result, 51 Conservatives, 25 Liberal Democrats, one Labour and one Community Campaign councillor sit on the County Council.[13] Southampton City Council, which is entirely independent, has 26 Conservative, 14 Labour and 8 Liberal Democrat councillors.[14] Portsmouth City Council, also independent, has 23 Liberal Democrat, 17 Conservative and two Labour councillors.[15]

Hampshire also has its own County Youth Council (HCYC)[16] and is an independent youth-run organisation. It meets once a month around Hampshire and aims to give the young people of Hampshire a voice. It also has numerous district and borough youth councils including Basingstoke's "Basingstoke & Deane Youth Council".[17] Along with the Youth council for the Test Valley District, youthExpress.

Wildlife

Hampshire has wildlife typical of the island of Great Britain. One distinguishing feature is that Hampshire has a large free roaming herd of Red Deer, including more than 6500 stags during busy seasons. The stag population is protected by the government and hunting is prohibited.[citation needed]

Physical geography

Hampshire's geology falls into two categories. In the south, along the coast is the "Hampshire Basin", an area of relatively non-resistant Eocene and Oligocene clays and gravels which are protected from sea erosion by the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight. These low, flat lands support heathland and woodland habitats, a large area of which form part of the New Forest. The New Forest has a mosaic of heathland, grassland, coniferous and deciduous woodland habitats that host diverse wildlife. The forest is protected as a national park, limiting development and agricultural use to protect the landscape and wildlife. Large areas of the New Forest are open common lands kept as a grassland plagioclimax by grazing animals, including domesticated cattle, pigs and horses, and several wild deer species. Erosion of the weak rock and sea level change flooding the low land has carved several large estuaries and rias, notably the 16 km (9.9 mi) long[18] Southampton Water and the large convoluted Portsmouth Harbour. The Isle of Wight lies off the coast of Hampshire where the non-resistant rock has been eroded away, forming the Solent.

In the north and centre of the county the substrate is the Southern England Chalk Formation of Salisbury Plain and the South Downs. These are high hills with steep slopes where they border the clays to the south. The hills dip steeply forming a scarp onto the Thames valley to the north, and dip gently to the south. The highest point in the county is Pilot Hill, which reaches the height of 286 m (938 ft). The downland supports a calcareous grassland habitat, important for wild flowers and insects. A large area of the downs is now protected from further agricultural damage by the East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Itchen and Test are trout rivers that flow from the chalk through wooded valleys into Southampton Water. Nestled in a valley on the downs is Selborne, and the countryside surrounding the village was the location of Gilbert White's pioneering observations on natural history. Hampshire's county flower is the Dog Rose.[19]

Hampshire has a milder climate than most areas of the British Isles,[20] being in the far south with the climate stabilising effect of the sea, but protected against the more extreme weather of the Atlantic coast. Hampshire has a higher average annual temperature than the UK average at 9.8 °C to 12 °C,[21] average rainfall at 741–1060 mm per year,[22] and higher than average sunshine at over 1541 hours per year.[23]

Cities, towns, and villages

New apartment blocks in the rapidly changing Basingstoke.

Hampshire's county town is Winchester, a historic city that was once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Wessex and of England until the Norman conquest of England. The port cities of Southampton and Portsmouth were split off as independent unitary authorities in 1997, although they are still included in Hampshire for ceremonial purposes. Fareham, Gosport and Havant have grown into a conurbation that stretches along the coast between the two main cities. The three cities are all university cities, Southampton being home to the University of Southampton and Southampton Solent University (formerly Southampton Institute), Portsmouth to the University of Portsmouth, and Winchester to the University of Winchester (formerly known as University College Winchester; King Alfred's College).The northeast of the county houses the Blackwater Valley conurbation which includes the towns of Farnborough, Aldershot, Blackwater and Yateley and borders both Berkshire and Surrey.

Hampshire lies outside the green belt area of restricted development around London, but has good railway and motorway links to the capital, and in common with the rest of the south-east has seen the growth of dormitory towns since the 1960s. Basingstoke, in the north of the county, has grown from a country town into a business and finance centre. Aldershot, Portsmouth, and Farnborough have strong military associations with the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force respectively. The county also includes several market towns: Alton, Andover, Bishop's Waltham, Lymington, New Milton, Petersfield, Ringwood, Romsey, and Whitchurch.

Towns by population size: (2001 census)

For the complete list of settlements see List of places in Hampshire.

Culture, arts and sport

Due to Hampshire's long association with pigs and boars, natives of the county have been known as Hampshire hogs since the 18th century.[24] Hampshire has literary connections, being the birthplace of authors including Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, and the residence of others, such as Charles Kingsley. Austen lived most of her life in Hampshire, where her father was rector of Steventon, Hampshire, and wrote all of her novels in the county. Hampshire also has many visual art connections, claiming the painter John Everett Millais as a native, and the cities and countryside have been the subject of paintings by L. S. Lowry and J. M. W. Turner. Selborne houses the Oates museum for the explorer Lawrence Oates, and entertainers Peter Sellers, Benny Hill, Carl Barat and Craig David.

Hampshire's relatively safe waters have allowed the county to develop as one of the busiest sailing areas in the country, with many yacht clubs and several manufacturers on the Solent. The game of cricket was largely developed in south-east England, with one of the first teams forming at Hambledon in 1750. Hampshire County Cricket Club today is a successful first-class team, captained by Dimitri Mascarenhas.

Hampshire has several association football teams, including Premier League side Portsmouth F.C., Coca Cola League One side Southampton F.C. and Coca Cola League Two side Aldershot Town F.C.

Portsmouth F.C. and Southampton F.C. have traditionally been fierce rivals. Portsmouth won the FA Cup in 1939 and 2008 and Football League title twice, in 1949 and 1950, but have spent much of the last 50 years outside the top division and at one stage spent two seasons in the Fourth Division (the lowest division in senior football). Southampton, meanwhile, won the FA Cup in 1976, reached the final in 2003 and spent 27 unbroken years in England's top division (1978–2005). Aldershot F.C. became members of the Football League in 1932 but never progressed beyond the Third Division and on 25 March 1992 were declared bankrupt and forced to resign from the league. A new football club, Aldershot Town F.C. was formed almost immediately, and started life in Division 3 of the Isthmian League. In 2008 Aldershot Town were crowned the Conference National champions and were promoted into the Football League.

Hampshire also has a number of Non League football teams. Basingstoke Town, Eastleigh and Havant & Waterlooville play in the Conference South. Bashley and Farnborough play in the Southern Football League Premier Division.

Thruxton Circuit is Hampshire's premier motor racing course with the National Motor Museum being located in the New Forest adjacent to Beaulieu Palace House.

The Farnborough Airshow is a popular international event, held biennially.

Media

The county's news is covered on BBC TV by BBC South Today from its studios in Southampton. ITV news covers the county as part of ITV Meridian. Countless commercial radio stations cover the area, with BBC Radio Solent looking after the majority of the county and BBC Surrey keeping across in North-East Hampshire.

Transport

Southampton Airport, with an accompanying main line railway station, is an international airport situated in the Borough of Eastleigh, close to Swaythling in the city of Southampton. Cross-channel and cross-Solent ferries link the county to the Isle of Wight and European continent. The South Western Main Line railway from London to Weymouth runs through Winchester and Southampton, and the Wessex Main Line from Bristol to Portsmouth also runs through the county as does the Portsmouth Direct Line.

The M3 motorway connects the county to London. The construction of the Twyford Down cutting near Winchester caused major controversy by cutting through a series of ancient trackways (the Dongas) and other features of archaeological significance. The M27 motorway serves a bypass for the major conurbations and as a link to other settlements on the south coast. Other important roads include the A3, A31 and A36.The roads in the county are known for their heavy traffic, especially around Southampton and Portsmouth and the M27 and A27.

The county has a high level of car ownership, with only 15.7% having no access to a private car compared with 26.8% for England and Wales. The county has a lower than average use of trains (3.2% compared with 4.1% for commuting) and buses (3.2% to 7.4%) but a higher than average use of bicycles (3.5% to 2.7%) and cars (63.5% to 55.3%).[25]

Hampshire formerly had several canals, but most of these have been abandoned and their routes built over. Both the Chichester Canal and Basingstoke Canal have been extensively restored, and are now navigable for most their routes, but the Salisbury and Southampton Canal, Andover Canal and Portsmouth and Arundel Canal have all disappeared.

Emergency services

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Grant, Russell (1989). The Real Counties of Britain. Oxford: Lennard Publishing. pp. 61. ISBN 1-85291-071-2. 
  2. ^ Cox, Thomas (1738). Magna Britannia, Antiqua et Nova, A Survey of England, wherein to Camden's Topographical Account is added a more large History of Cities, Towns, Boroughs, Parishes and Places. http://www.envf.port.ac.uk/hantsgaz/hantsgaz/hgandx_f.htm. 
  3. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911. "Hampshire".
  4. ^ http://www.itisholdings.com/downloadfile.asp?id=72
  5. ^ http://www.geog.port.ac.uk/webmap/hantsmap/hantsmap/hscale.htm
  6. ^ Major, Albany F Early Wars of Wessex (1912, 1978) p.17
  7. ^ Hampshire County Council, 2008. Summary figures - State of the economy.
  8. ^ Hampshire County Council, 2008. Economic performance - State of the economy.
  9. ^ Hampshire County Council, 2004. Profile of Hampshire.
  10. ^ New Forest District Council, n.d. "Tourism questions and answers."
  11. ^ Hampshire County Council, United Kingdom Tourism Survey & GB Leisure Day Visits Survey, 2004. "Tourism Facts and Figures."
  12. ^ Office for National Statistics & Hampshire County Council, 2003. Census 2001 data
  13. ^ Hampshire County Council, 2009. Local election results.
  14. ^ Southampton City Council, 2009. Local election results.
  15. ^ Portsmouth City Council, 2008. Local election results.
  16. ^ "Hampshire County Youth Council". Hcycweb.net. 2009-04-22. http://www.hcycweb.net/. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  17. ^ "Basingstoke & Deane Youth Council". Bdycweb.net. http://www.bdycweb.net/. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  18. ^ http://mollus.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/pdf_extract/40/5/413
  19. ^ BBC News, May 5, 2004. UK counties choose floral emblems.
  20. ^ "Season of mists? How autumn lost its cool". The Observer. guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2006/oct/15/meteorology.uknews. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  21. ^ Met Office, 2000. Annual average temperature for the United Kingdom.
  22. ^ Met Office, 2000. Annual average rainfall for the United Kingdom.
  23. ^ Met Office, 2000. Annual average sunshine for the United Kingdom.
  24. ^ Hampshire County Council, 2003. "Press Release: Hampshire's Hog has a home."
  25. ^ Hampshire County Council, 2005. Facts and Figures website.

References

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

Hampshire [1] is a county on England's South East coast.

Map of Hampshire
Map of Hampshire

Towns

Andover

  • The New Forest. Created in 1079 by William the Conqueror this is a beautiful area for walking and cycling.
  • Many sites in Hampshire are associated with the English writer Jane Austen who lived in the county most of her life.

Eat

Breamore house tea barn [2] is a cafe in the heart of the Hampshire country side. It is situated in the grounds of Breamore House [3], a manor house dating back to the 16th century.

Sleep

For an idea of some hotels in Hampshire see [4]

Get out

West Sussex and East Sussex. Or visit the Isle of Wight via ferry from Portsmouth.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HAMPSHIRE (or County Of Southampton, abbreviated Hants), a southern county of England, bounded N. by Berkshire, E. by Surrey and Sussex, S. by the English Channel, and W. by Dorsetshire and Wiltshire. The area is 1623.5 sq. m. From the coast of the mainland, which is for the most part low and irregular, a strait, known in its western part as the Solent, and in its eastern as Spithead, separates the Isle of Wight. This island is included in the county. The inlet of Southampton Water opens from this strait, penetrating inland in a northwesterly direction for 12 m. The easterly part of the coast forms a large shallow bay containing Hayling and Portsea Islands, which divide it into Chichester Harbour, Langston Harbour and Portsmouth Harbour. The westerly part forms the more regular indentations of Christchurch Bay and part of Poole Bay. In its general aspect Hampshire presents a beautiful variety of gently rising hills and fruitful valleys, adorned with numerous mansions and pleasant villages, and interspersed with extensive tracts of woodland. Low ranges of hills, included in the system to which the general name of the Western Downs is given, reach their greatest elevation in the northern and eastern parts of the county, where there are many picturesque eminences, of which Beacon, Sidown and Pilot hills near Highclere in the north-west, each exceeding 850 ft., are the highest. The portion of the county west of Southampton Water is almost wholly included in the New Forest, a sequestered district, one of the few remaining examples of an ancient afforested tract. The river Avon in the south-west rises in Wiltshire, and passing Fordingbridge and Ringwood falls into Christchurch Bay below Christchurch, being joined close to its mouth by the Stour. The Lymington or Boldre river rises in the New Forest, and after collecting the waters of several brooks falls into the Solent through Lymington Creek. The Beaulieu in the eastern part of the forest also enters the Solent by way of a long and picturesque estuary. The Test rises near Overton in the north, and after its junction with the Anton at Fullerton passes Stockbridge and Romsey, and enters the head of Southampton Water. The Itchen rises near Alresford, and flowing by Winchester and Eastleigh falls into Southampton Water east of Southampton. The Hamble rises near Bishops Waltham, and soon forms a narrow estuary opening into Southampton Water. The Wey, the Loddon and the Blackwater, rising in the north-eastern part of the county, bring that part into the basin of the Thames. The streams from the chalk hills run clear and swift, and the trout-fishing in the county is famous. Salmon are taken in the Avon.

Table of contents

Geology

Somewhat to the north of the centre of the county is a broad expanse of hilly chalk country about 21 m. wide; the whole of it has been bent up into a great fold so that the strata on the north dip northward steeply in places, while those on the south dip in the opposite direction more gently. In the north the chalk disappears beneath Tertiary strata of the "London Basin," and some little distance south of Winchester it runs in a similar manner beneath the Tertiaries of the "Hampshire Basin." Scattered here and there over the chalk are small outlying remnants which remain to show that the two Tertiary areas were once continuous, before the agencies of denudation had removed them from the chalk. These same agencies have exposed the strata beneath the chalk over a small area on the eastern border.

The oldest formation in Hampshire is the Lower Greensand in the neighbourhood of Woolmer Forest and Petersfield; it is represented by the Hythe beds, sandstones and limestones which form the high ridge which runs on towards Hind Head, then by the sands and clays of the Sandgate beds which lie in the low ground west of the ridge, and finally by the Folkestone beds; all these dip westward beneath the Gault. The last-named formation, a clay, worked here and there for bricks, crops out as a narrow band from Fareham through Worldham and Stroud common to Petersfield.

Between the Gault and the chalk is the Upper Greensand with a hard bed of calcareous sandstone, the Maim rock, which stands up in places as a prominent escarpment. The Upper Greensand is also exposed at Burghclere as an inlier; the rocks are bent into a sharp anticline and the chalk, having been denuded from its crest, the older sandy strata are brought to light. A much more gentle anticline brings up the chalk through the Tertiary rocks in the neighbourhood of Fareham. Besides occupying the central region already mentioned, which includes Basingstoke, Whitchurch, Andover, Alresford and Winchester, the chalk appears also in a small patch round Rockbourne. The Tertiary rocks of the north (London basin) about Farnborough, Aldershot and Kingsclere, comprise the Reading beds, London clay and the more sandy Bagshot beds which cover the latter in many places, giving rise to heathy commons. The southern Tertiary rocks of the Hampshire basin include the Lower Eocene Reading beds - used for brick-making - and the London clay which extend from the boundary of the chalk by Romsey, Bishop's Waltham, to Havant. These are succeeded towards the south by the Upper Eocene beds, the Bracklesham beds and the Barton clay. The Barton clays are noted for their abundant fossils and the Bagshot beds at Bournemouth contain numerous remains of subtropical plants. A series of clays and sands of Oligocene age (unknown in the London basin) are found in the vicinity of Lymington, Brockenhurst and Beaulieu; they include the Headon beds, with a fluvio-marine fauna, well exposed at Hordwell cliffs, and the marine beds of Brockenhurst. Numerous small outliers of Tertiary rocks are scattered over the chalk area, and many of the chalk and Tertiary areas are obscured by patches of Pleistocene deposits of brick earth and gravel.

Agriculture and Industries

Nearly seven-tenths of the total area is undercultivation (an amount below the average of English counties) and of this area about two-fifths is in permanent pasture. The acreage under oats is roughly equal to that under wheat and barley. Small quantities of rye and hops are cultivated. Barley is usually sown after turnips, and is more grown in the uplands than in the lower levels. Beans, pease and potatoes are only grown to a small extent. On account of the number of sheep pastured on the uplands a large acreage of turnips is grown. Rotation grasses are grown chiefly in the uplands, and their acreage is greater than in any other of the southern counties of England. Sanfoin is the grass most largely grown, as it is best adapted to land with a calcareous subsoil. In the lower levels no sanfoin and scarcely any clover is grown, the hay being supplied from the rich water meadows, which are managed with great skill and attention, and give the best money return of any lands in the county. Where a rapid stream of water can be passed over them during the winter it seldom becomes frozen, and the grasses grow during the cold weather so as to be fit for pasture before any traces of vegetation appear in the surrounding fields. Hops are grown in the eastern part of the county bordering on Surrey. Farming is generally conducted on the best modern principles, but owing to the varieties of soil there is perhaps no county in England in which the rotation observed is more diversified, or the processes and methods more varied. Most of the farms are large, and there are a number of model farms. The waste land has been mostly brought under tillage, but a very large acreage of the ancient forests is still occupied by wood. In addition to the New Forest there are in the east Woolmer Forest and Alice Holt, in the south-east the Forest of Bere and Waltham Chase, and in the Isle of Wight Parkhurst Forest. The honey of the county is especially celebrated. Much attention is paid to the rearing of sheep and cattle. The original breed of sheep was white-faced with horns, but most of the flocks are now of a Southdown variety which have acquired certain distinct peculiarities, and are known as "short wools" or "Hampshire downs." Cattle are of no distinctive breed, and are kept largely for dairy purposes, especially for the supply of milk. The breeding and rearing of horses is widely practised, and the fattening of pigs has long been an important industry. The original breed of pigs is crossed with Berkshire, Essex and Chinese pigs. In the vicinity of the forest the pigs are fed on acorns and beechmast, and the flesh of those so reared is considered the best, though the reputation of Hampshire bacon depends chiefly on the skilful manner in which it is cured.

The manufactures are unimportant, except those carried on at Portsmouth and Gosport in connexion with the royal navy. Southampton is one of the principal ports in the kingdom. In many of the towns there are breweries and tanneries, and paper is manufactured at several places. Fancy pottery and terra-cotta are made at Fareham and Bishop's Waltham; and Ringwood is celebrated for its knitted gloves. At most of the coast towns fishing is carried on, and there are oyster beds at Hayling Island. Cowes in the Isle of Wight is the station of the Royal Yacht Squadron, and has building yards for yachts and large vessels. The principal seaside resorts besides those in the Isle of Wight are Bournemouth, Milford, Lee-onthe-Solent, Southsea and South Hayling. Aldershot is the principal military training centre in the British Isles.

Communications

Communications are provided mainly by the lines of the London & South-Western railway company, which also owns the docks at Southampton. The main line serves Farnborough, Basingstoke, Whitchurch and Andover, and a branch diverges southward from Basingstoke for Winchester, Southampton and the New Forest and Bournemouth. An alternative line from eastward to Winchester serves Aldershot, Alton and Alresford. The main Portsmouth line skirts the south-eastern border by Petersfield to Havant, where it joins the Portsmouth line of the London, Brighton & South Coast railway. The South-Western system also connects Portsmouth and Gosport with Southampton, has numerous branches in the Southampton and south-western districts, and large work shops at Eastleigh near Southampton. The Great Western company serves Basingstoke from Reading and Whitchurch, Winchester and Southampton from Didcot (working the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton line); the Midland & South-Western Junction line connects Andover with Cheltenham; and the Somerset & Dorset (also a Midland & South-Western joint line) connects Bournemouth with Bath - all these affording through communications between Southampton, Bournemouth, and the midlands and north of England. None of the rivers, except in the estuarine parts, is navigable.

Population and Administration

The area of the ancient county is 1,039,031 acres, including the Isle of Wight. The population was 690,097 in 1891 and 797,634 in 1901. The area of the administrative county of Southampton is 958,742 acres, and that of the administrative county of the Isle of Wight 94,068 acres. The county is divided for parliamentary purposes into the following divisions: Northern or Basingstoke, Western or Andover, Eastern or Petersfield, Southern or Fareham, New Forest, and Isle of Wight, each returning one member. It also includes the parliamentary boroughs of Portsmouth and Southampton, each returning two members, and of Christchurch and Winchester, each returning one. There are II municipal boroughs: Andover (pop. 6509), Basingstoke (9793), Bournemouth (J9,762), Christchurch (4204), Lymington (4165), Portsmouth (188,133), Romsey (4365), Southampton (104,824), Winchester (20,929), and in the Isle of Wight, Newport (10,911) and Ryde (11,043). Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Southampton are county boroughs. The following are urban districts: Aldershot (3 0 ,974), Alton (5479), Eastleigh and Bishopstoke (9317), Fareham (8246), Farnborough (11,500), Gosport and Alverstoke (28,884), Havant (3837), Itchen (13,097), Petersfield (3265), Warblington (3639); and in the Isle of Wight, Cowes (8652), East Cowes (3196), St Helen's (4652), Sandown (5006), Shanklin (4533), Ventnor (5866). The county is in the western circuit, and assizes are held at Winchester. It has one court of quarter sessions, and is divided into 14 petty sessional divisions. The boroughs of Andover, Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Lymington, Newport, Portsmouth, Romsey, Ryde, Southampton (a county in itself) and Winchester have separate commissions of the peace, and the boroughs of Andover, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester have in addition separate courts of quarter sessions. There are 394 civil parishes. Hampshire is in the diocese of Winchester, excepting small parts in those of Oxford and Salisbury, and contains 411 ecclesiastical parishes or districts wholly or in part.

History

The earliest English settlers in the district which is now Hampshire were a Jutish tribe who occupied the northern parts of the Isle of Wight and the valleys of the Meon and the Hamble. Their settlements were, however, unimportant, and soon became absorbed in the territory of the West Saxons who in 495 landed at the mouth of the Itchen under the leadership of Cerdic and Cynric, and in 508 slew S000 Britons and their king. But it was not until after another decisive victory at Charford in 519 that the district was definitely organized as West Saxon territory under the rule of Cerdic and Cynric, thus becoming the nucleus of the vast later kingdom of Wessex. The Isle of Wight was subjugated in 530 and bestowed on Stuf and Wihtgar, the nephews of Cerdic. The Northmen made their first attack on the Hampshire coast in 835, and for the two centuries following the district was the scene of perpetual devastations by the Danish pirates, who made their headquarters in the Isle of Wight, from which they plundered the opposite coast. Hampshire suffered less from the Conquest than almost any English county, and was a favourite resort of the Norman kings. The alleged destruction of property for the formation of the New Forest is refuted by the Domesday record, which shows that this district had never been under cultivation.

In the civil war of Stephen's reign Baldwin de Redvers, lord of the Isle of Wight, supported the empress Matilda, and Winchester Castle was secured in her behalf by Robert of Gloucester, while the neighbouring fortress of Wolvesey was held for Stephen by Bishop Henry de Blois. In 1216 Louis of France, having arrived in the county by invitation of the barons, occupied Winchester Castle, and only met with resistance at Odiham Castle, which made a brave stand against him for fifteen days. During the Wars of the Roses Anthony Woodville, 2nd earl Rivers, defeated the duke of Clarence at Southampton, and in 1471, after the battle of Barnet, the countess of Warwick took sanctuary at Beaulieu Abbey. The chief events connected with Hampshire in the Civil War of the 17th century were the gallant resistance of the cavalier garrisons at Winchester and Basing House; a skirmish near Cheriton in 1644 notable as the last battle fought on Hampshire soil; and the concealment of Charles at Titchfield in 1647 before his removal to Carisbrooke. The duke of Monmouth, whose rebellion met with considerable support in Hampshire, was captured in 1685 near Ringwood.

Hampshire was among the earliest shires to be created, and must have received its name before the revival of Winchester in the latter half of the 7th century. It is first mentioned in the Saxon chronicle in 755, at which date the boundaries were practically those of the present day. The Domesday Survey mentions 44 hundreds in Hampshire, but by the 14th century the number had been reduced to 37. The hundreds of East Medina and West Medina in the Isle of Wight are mentioned in 1316. Constables of the hundreds were first appointed by the Statute of Winchester in 1285, and the hundred court continued to elect a high constable for Fordingbridge until 1878. The chief court of the Isle of Wight was the Knighten court held at Newport every three weeks. The sheriff's court and the assizes and quarter sessions for the county were formerly held at Winchester, but in 1831 the county was divided into 14 petty sessional divisions; the quarter sessions for the county were held at Andover; and Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester had separate jurisdiction. Southampton was made a county by itself with a separate sheriff in 1447.

In the middle of the 7th century Hampshire formed part of the West Saxon bishopric of Dorchester-on-Thames. On the transference of the episcopal seat to Winchester in 676 it was included in that diocese in which it has remained ever since. In 1291 the archdeaconry of Winchester was coextensive with the county and comprised the ten rural deaneries of Alresford, Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Drokinsford, Fordingbridge, Isle of Wight, Sombourne, Southampton and Winchester. In 1850 the Isle of Wight was subdivided into the deaneries of East Medina and West Medina. In 1856 the deaneries were increased to 24. In 1871 the archdeaconry of the Isle of Wight was constituted, and about the same time the deaneries were reduced to 21. In 1892 the deaneries were reconstituted and made 18 in number, and the archdeaconry of the Isle of Wight was divided into the deaneries of East Wight and West Wight.

After the Conquest the most powerful Hampshire baron was William Fitz-Osbern, who in addition to the lordship of the Isle of Wight held considerable estates on the mainland. At the time of the Domesday Survey the chief landholders were Hugh de Port, ancestor of the Fitz-Johns; Ralf de Mortimer; William Mauduit whose name is preserved in Hartley Mauditt; and Waleran, called the Huntsman, ancestor of the Waleraund family. Hursley near Winchester was the seat of Richard Cromwell; and Gilbert White, the naturalist, was curate of Farringdon near Selborne.

Apart from the valuable foreign and shipbuilding trade which grew up with the development of its ports, Hampshire has always been mainly an agricultural county, the only important manufacture being that of wool and cloth, which prospered at Winchester in the 12th century and survived till within recent years. Salt-making and the manufacture of iron from native ironstone also flourished in Hampshire from pre-Norman times until within the 19th century. In the 14th century Southampton had a valuable trade with Venice, and from the 15th to the 18th century many famous warships were constructed in its docks. Silk-weaving was formerly carried on at Winchester, Andover, Odiham, Alton, Whitchurch and Overton, the first mills being set up in 1684 at Southampton by French refugees. The paper manufacture at Laverstoke was started by the Portals, a family of Huguenot refugees, in 1685, and a few years later Henri de Portal obtained the privilege of supplying the bank-note paper to the Bank of England.

Hampshire returned four members to parliament in 1295, when the boroughs of New Alresford, Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Overton, Portsmouth, Southampton, Winchester, Yarmouth and Newport were also represented. After this date the county was represented by two members, but most of the boroughs ceased to make returns. Odiham and the Isle of Wight were represented in 1300, Fareham in 1306, and Petersfield in 1307. From 1311 to 1547 Southampton, Portsmouth, and Winchester were the only boroughs represented. By the end of the 16th century Petersfield, Newport, Yarmouth, and Andover had regained representation, and Stockbridge, Christchurch, Lymington, Newtown and Whitchurch returned two members each, giving the county with its boroughs a total representation of 26 members. Under the Reform Act of 1832 the county returned four members in four divisions; Christchurch and Petersfield lost one member each; and Newtown, Yarmouth, Stockbridge and Whitchurch were disfranchised. By the act of 1868 Andover, Lymington and Newport were deprived of one member each.

Antiquities

Hampshire is rich in monastic remains. Those considered under separate headings include the monastery of Hyde near Winchester, the magnificent churches at Christchurch and Romsey, the ruins of Netley Abbey, and of Beaulieu Abbey in the New Forest, the fragments of the priory of St Denys, Southampton, the church at Porchester and the slight ruins at Titchfield, near Fareham, and Quarr Abbey in the Isle of Wight. Other foundations, of which the remains are slight, were the Augustinian priory of Southwick near Fareham, founded by William of Wykeham; that of Breamore, founded by Baldwin de Redvers, and that of Mottisfont near Romsey, endowed soon after the Conquest. There are many churches of interest, apart from the cathedral church of Winchester and those in some of the towns in the Isle of Wight, or already mentioned in connexion with monastic foundations. Pre-Conquest work is well shown in the churches of Corhampton and Breamore, and very early masonry is also found in Headbourne Worthy church, where is also a brass of the 15th century to a scholar of Winchester College in collegiate dress. The most noteworthy Norman churches are at Chilcombe and Kingsclere and (with Early English additions) at Brockenhurst, Upper Clatford, which has the unusual arrangement of a double chancel arch, Hambledon, Milford and East Meon. Principally Early English are the churches of Cheriton, Grately, which retains some excellent contemporary stained glass from Salisbury cathedral; Sopley, which is partly Perpendicular; and Thruxton, which contains a brass to Sir John Lisle (d. 1407), affording a very early example of complete plate armour. Specimens of the later styles are generally less remarkable. The frescoes in Bramley church, ranging in date from the 13th to the 15th century, include a representation of the murder of Thomas a Beckett. A fine series of Norman fonts in black marble should be mentioned; they occur in Winchester cathedral and the churches of St Michael, Southampton, East Meon and St Mary Bourne.

The most notable old castles are Carisbrooke in the Isle of Wight; Porchester, a fine Norman stronghold embodying Roman remains, on Portsmouth Harbour; and Hurst, guarding the mouth of the Solent, where for a short time Charles I. was imprisoned. Henry VIII. built several forts to guard the Solent, Spithead and Southampton Water; Hurst Castle was one, and others remaining, but adapted to various purposes, are at Cowes, Calshot and Netley. Fine mansions are .unusually numerous. That of Stratfieldsaye or Strathfieldsaye, which belonged to the Pitt family, was purchased by parliament for presentation to the duke of Wellington in 1817, his descendants holding the estate from the Crown in consideration of the annual tribute of a flag to the guard-room at Windsor. A statue of the duke stands in the grounds, and his war-horse "Copenhagen" is buried here. The name of Tichborne Park, near Alresford, is well known in connexion with the famous claimant of the estates whose case was heard in 1871. Among ancient mansions the Jacobean Bramshill is conspicuous, lying near Stratfieldsaye in the north of the county. It is built of stone and is highly decorated, and though the complete original design was not carried out the house is among the finest of its type in England. At Bishops Waltham, a small town 10 m. S.S.E. of Winchester, Henry de Blois, bishop of Winchester, erected a palace, which received additions from William of Wykeham, who died here in 1404, and from other bishops. The ruins are picturesque but not extensive.

See Victoria County History, " Hampshire," R. Warner, Collections for the History of Hampshire; &c. (London, 1789); H. Moody, Hampshire in 1086 (1862), and the same author's Antiquarian and Topographical Sketches (1846), and Notes and Essays relating to the Counties of Hants and Wilts (1851); R. Mudie, Hampshire, &c. (3 vols., Winchester, 1838); B. B. Woodward, T. C. Wilks and C. Lockhart, General History of Hampshire (1861-1869); G. N. Godwin, The Civil War in Hampshire, 1642-1645 (London, 1882); H. M. Gilbert and G. N. Godwin, Bibliotheca Hantoniensis (Southampton, 1891). See also various papers in Hampshire Notes and Queries (Winchester, 1883 et seq.).


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Etymology

English Ham + Shire (county). The 'p' evolved phonetically between [m] and [sh], as with Thom'pl.'son.

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
Hampshire

Plural
-

Hampshire

  1. A maritime county in the south of England bordered by Berkshire, Surrey, Sussex, Dorset, Wiltshire and the English Channel; also includes the Isle of Wight.

Synonyms

  • Hamptonshire (dated)
  • Southamptonshire (dated)
  • County of Southampton
  • Hants (abbreviation)

Derived terms


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Hampshire
File:EnglandHampshire.png
Geography
Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county
Region: South East England
Area
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 9th
3,769 km²
Ranked 8th
3,679 km²
Admin HQ: Winchester
ISO 3166-2: GB-HAM
ONS code: 24
NUTS 3: UKJ33
Demographics
Population
- Total (2006 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 5th Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
1,691,000


449

/ km²
Ranked 3rd Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
1,266,000
Ethnicity: 96.7% White
1.3% S. Asian
Politics
File:Arms-hants.jpg
Hampshire County Council
http://www.hants.gov.uk/hcc/
Executive Conservative
Members of Parliament
Districts
File:Hampshire Ceremonial Numbered.png
  1. Gosport
  2. Fareham
  3. Winchester
  4. Havant
  5. East Hampshire
  6. Hart
  7. Rushmoor
  8. Basingstoke and Deane
  9. Test Valley
  10. Eastleigh
  11. New Forest
  12. Southampton (Unitary)
  13. Portsmouth (Unitary)

Hampshire, sometimes historically Southamptonshire, Hamptonshire, (abbr. Hants), or the County of Southampton, is a county on the south coast of England. The county borders (clockwise from West), Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey and West Sussex. The county has an area of 1,455 square miles (3,769 km²) and at its widest points is approximately 55 miles (90 km) east-west and 40 miles (65 km) north-south. The county town is Winchester situated at 51°03′35″N, 1°18′36″W. The 2001 census gave the population of the administrative county as 1.24 million; the ceremonial county also includes the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, which are administratively independent, and has a total population of 1.6 million. Christchurch and Bournemouth, within the historic borders of the county, were made part of the non-metropolitan county of Dorset in 1974.

Hampshire is a popular holiday area, with tourist attractions including its many seaside resorts, the maritime area in Portsmouth, and the motor museum at Beaulieu. The New Forest National Park lies within the borders, as does a large area of the South Downs, which is also scheduled to become a National Park. Hampshire has a long maritime history and two of England's largest ports lie on its coast. The county is famed as home of the writers Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.

Contents

Physical geography

Main article: Geology of Hampshire

Hampshire's geology falls into two categories. In the south, along the coast is the "Hampshire Basin", an area of relatively non-resistant Eocene and Oligocene clays and gravels which are protected from sea erosion by the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight. These low, flat lands support heathland and woodland habitats, a large area of which form part of the New Forest. The New Forest has a mosaic of heathland, grassland, coniferous and deciduous woodland habitats that host diverse wildlife. The forest is protected as a national park, limiting development and agricultural use to protect the landscape and wildlife. Large areas of the New Forest are open common lands kept as a grassland plagioclimax by grazing animals, including domesticated cattle, pigs and horses, and several wild deer species. Erosion of the weak rock and sea level change flooding the low land has carved several large estuaries and rias, notably the 12 mile (19 km) long Southampton Water and the large convoluted Portsmouth Harbour. The Isle of Wight lies off the coast of Hampshire where the non-resistant rock has been eroded away forming the Solent.

In the north and centre of the county the substrate is the Southern England Chalk Formation of Salisbury Plain and the South Downs. These are high hills with steep slopes where they border the clays to the south. The hills dip steeply forming a scarp onto the Thames valley to the north, and dip gently to the south. The highest point in the county is Pilot Hill, which reaches the height of 286 m (938 ft). The downland supports a calcareous grassland habitat, important for wild flowers and insects. In the past Hampshire had little arable agriculture, but in the early 20th century the demand for food led to the establishment of farms on the downs. A large area of the downs are now protected from further agricultural damage by the East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Itchen and Test are trout rivers that flow from the chalk through wooded valleys into Southampton Water. Nestled in a valley on the downs is Selborne, and the countryside surrounding the village was the location of Gilbert White's pioneering observations on natural history. Hampshire's county flower is the Dog Rose.[1]

Hampshire has a milder climate than most areas of the British Isles, being in the far south with the climate stabilising effect of the sea, but protected against the more extreme weather of the Atlantic coast. Hampshire has a higher average annual temperature than the UK average at 9.8 °C to 12 °C,[2] average rainfall at 741–1060 mm per year,[3] and higher than average sunshine at over 1541 hours per year.[4]

History

Main article: 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 such as Winklebury 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.

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 Roman 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 natives of Southampton.

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 the Isle of 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.

File:NetleyRVCP-North.jpg The county has in the past been called "Southamptonshire" and appears as such on some Victorian maps. The name of the administrative county was changed from 'County of Southampton' to 'County of Hampshire' on 1 April 1959. The short form of the name, often used in postal addresses, is Hants, which sometimes gives rise to puzzlement. This abbreviated form is derived from the Old English Hantum plus Scir (meaning a district governed from the settlement now known as Southampton) and the Anglo-Saxons called it Hamtunschire. At the time of the Domesday Book (1086) this was compressed to Hantescire.

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.

Economy

File:050103 2300 hants bh.jpg

Hampshire is a relatively affluent county, with a Gross domestic product (GDP) of £22.9 billion (£16.3 billion when excluding Southampton and Portsmouth). This makes it the sixth largest economy in England, and is equal in size to the economy of Northern Ireland, making up 2% each of the economy of the UK as a whole.[5]

Portsmouth and Winchester have the highest job densities in the county, and therefore there is a high level of commuting into the cities. Southampton has the highest number of total jobs and commuting both into and out of the city is high. The county has a lower level of unemployment than the national average, at 1.9% when the national rate was 3.3%, and as of March 2005 has fallen to 1.1%. 39% are employed by large firms, compared to a national average of 42%. Hampshire has a considerably higher than national average employment in high-tech industries, but average levels in knowledge based industry. 25.21% of the population work in the public sector.[6]

Many rural areas of Hampshire have traditionally been reliant on agriculture, though the county was less agricultural than most surrounding counties, and was mostly concentrated on dairy farming. The significance of agriculture as an employer and wealth creator has declined since the first half of the 20th century and agriculture currently employs 1.32% of the population. The county has a long association with wild boar, and the domesticated Hampshire hog breed of pig, from which bacon is produced.[7]

The New Forest area is a National Park, and tourism is a significant economic segment in this area, with 7.5 million visitors in 1992.[8] The South Downs and the cities of Southampton and Winchester also attract tourists to the county. Southampton Boat Show is one of the biggest annual events held in the county, and attracts visitors from throughout the country. In 2003 the county had a total of 31 million day visits, and 4.2 million longer stays.[9]

The cities of Southampton and Portsmouth are both significant ports, with Southampton handling a large proportion of the national container freight and Portsmouth housing a large Royal Navy base. The docks have traditionally been large employers in these cities, though again mechanisation has forced diversification of the economy.

Demographics

File:Soton river test docks 01.jpg At the Census 2001[10] the ceremonial county recorded a population of 1,644,249, of which 1,240,103 were in the administrative county, 217,445 were in the unitary authority of Southampton, and 186,701 were in Portsmouth. The population of the administrative county grew 5.6% from the 1991 census, Southampton grew 6.2% while Portsmouth remained unchanged, compared with 2.6% for England and Wales as a whole. Eastleigh and Winchester grew fastest at 9% each. The age structure of the population is similar to the national average.

96.73% of residents were indigenous, falling to 92.37% in Southampton. The significant ethnic minorities are Asian at 1.34% and mixed race at 0.84%. 0.75% of residents were migrants from outside the UK. 73.86% stated their religion as Christianity and 16.86% were not religious. Significant minority religions were Islam (0.76%) and Hinduism (0.33%).

Education

The school system in Hampshire (including Southampton and Portsmouth) is comprehensive. Geographically inside the Hampshire LEA are twenty four independent schools, Southampton has three and Portsmouth has four. Few Hampshire schools have sixth forms, which varies by district council. The average proportion of school pupils gaining five good GCSEs including English and Maths is 45.8%; for Hampshire's 14,200 state school pupils taking GCSEs at 16 it is 50.2% - one of the highest in England. By not including Southampton and Portsmouth, will offset this significantly. The best state schools at GCSE in 2006 were Ringwood School and Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville, followed by the Perins School in New Alresford, Court Moor School in Fleet, Eggar's School in Alton and Kings' School in Winchester. The worst was the Oak Farm Community School in north Farnborough, although a school in Portsmouth got lower results. At A level, performance is less good, but there are some excellent results for state schools at The Sixth Form College and Peter Symonds College in Winchester. Farnborough produces some of the worst results in the county at GCSE, but the best at A level. The best overall school at A level is St Swithun's School in Winchester, followed by Winchester College. As a comparison, for Southampton and Portsmouth state schools, there is only a catholic girls' school that performs well at GCSE, which is in central Southampton. For A level, where the few sixth forms that do exist, none get very high results in these two cities.

GCSE results by district council (%)

% of pupils with 5 grades A-C including English and Maths in 2006; compare this table to average house price by district.

  • Winchester 66.4
  • Eastleigh 58.4
  • Hart 57.9
  • East Hampshire 55.0
  • Fareham 54.2
  • New Forest 53.8
  • Test Valley 45.4
  • Basingstoke 45.2
  • Havant 43.4
  • Rushmoor 38.3
  • Gosport 36.7
  • (Southampton Unitary Authority 36.2)
  • (Portsmouth Unitary Authority 29.2)

Politics

Hampshire is divided into eighteen parliamentary constituencies. Ten of these are represented by Conservative Members of Parliament (MPs), four by the Liberal Democrats and three by Labour. Labour represent the large cities, including both Southampton constituencies (Test and Itchen) and Portsmouth North. The Conservatives represent the most rural constituencies, New Forest West, New Forest East, Hampshire North West, Hampshire North East, Hampshire East and the constituencies of Aldershot, Basingstoke, Havant, Gosport and Fareham, which are centred on towns. The Liberal Democrats represent Winchester, Portsmouth South and Eastleigh, all centred around towns, and the largely rural constituency of Romsey. There is a new parliamentary constituency to be contested at the next general election as part of the new boundary changes. The Meon Valley constituency is notionally a Conservative seat.

The Isle of Wight returns its own Member to the House of Commons and, in this way, it is often said that Hampshire returns nineteen Members of Parliament despite Hampshire and the Isle of Wight having been separated administratively and ceremonially for some time.

At the 2005 local elections for Hampshire County Council the Conservative Party had a 43.69% share of the votes, the Liberal Democrats had 36.01% and Labour 16.08%. Therefore 46 Conservatives, 28 Liberal Democrats and four Labour councillors sit on the County Council.[11] Southampton City Council, which is entirely independent, has 18 Liberal Democrat, 15 Labour and 15 Conservative councillors.[12] Portsmouth City Council, also independent, has 20 Liberal Democrat, 18 Conservative, seven Labour and one independent councillor.[13]

Hampshire also has its own County Youth Council (HCYC) and is an independent youth-run organisation. It meets once a month around Hampshire and aims to give the young people of Hampshire a voice.[14]

Cities, towns, and villages

File:Uk-basingstoke.jpg Hampshire's county town is Winchester, a historic city that was once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Wessex and of England. The port cities of Southampton and Portsmouth were split off as independent unitary authorities in 1997, although they are still included in Hampshire for ceremonial purposes. Fareham, Gosport and Havant have grown into a conurbation that stretches along the coast between the two main cities. The three cities are all university cities, Southampton being home to the University of Southampton and Southampton Solent University (formerly Southampton Institute), Portsmouth to the University of Portsmouth, and Winchester to the University of Winchester (formerly known as University College Winchester; King Alfred's College).

Hampshire lies outside the green belt area of restricted development around London, but has good railway and motorway links to the capital, and in common with the rest of the south-east has seen the growth of dormitory towns since the 1960s. Basingstoke, in the north of the county, has grown from a country town into a business and finance centre. Aldershot, Portsmouth, and Farnborough have strong military associations with the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force respectively. The county also includes several market towns: Alton, Andover, Bishop's Waltham, Lymington, Petersfield, Ringwood, Romsey, and Whitchurch.

Towns by population size: (2001 census)

For the complete list of settlements see List of places in Hampshire.

Culture, arts and sport

File:Winchester Cathedral.JPG Due to Hampshire's long association with pigs and boars, natives of the county have been known as Hampshire hogs since the 18th century.[7] Hampshire has literary connections, being the birthplace of authors including Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, and the residence of others, such as Charles Kingsley. Austen lived most of her life in Hampshire, where her father was rector of Steventon, and wrote all of her novels in the county. Hampshire also has many visual art connections, claiming the painter John Everett Millais as a native, and the cities and countryside have been the subject of paintings by L. S. Lowry and J. M. W. Turner. Hampshire is also the birthplace of explorer Lawrence Oates, and entertainers Peter Sellers, Benny Hill, Carl Barat and Craig David.

Hampshire's relatively safe waters have allowed the county to develop as one of the busiest sailing areas in the country, with many yacht clubs and several manufacturers on the Solent. The sport cricket was largely developed in south-east England, with one of the first teams forming at Hambledon in 1750. Hampshire County Cricket Club today is a successful first-class team, captained by Shane Warne. Hampshire has several association football teams, including Premier League side Portsmouth F.C. and Championship side Southampton F.C., which have traditionally been fierce rivals. Aldershot F.C. also played in the Football League until the club's closure in 1992. Thruxton Circuit is Hampshire's premier motor racing course with the National Motor Museum being located in the New Forest adjacent to Beaulieu Palace House. The Farnborough Air Show is a popular international event, held biennially.

Transport

Southampton Airport, with an accompanying main line railway station, is an international airport situated in the Borough of Eastleigh, close to Swaythling in the city of Southampton. Cross-channel and cross-Solent ferries link the county to the Isle of Wight and European continent. The South Western Main Line railway from London to Weymouth runs through Winchester and Southampton, and the Wessex Main Line from Bristol to Portsmouth also runs through the county.

The M3 motorway connects the county to London. The construction of the Twyford Down cutting near Winchester caused major controversy by cutting through a series of ancient trackways (the Dongas) and other features of archaeological significance. The M27 motorway serves a bypass for the major conurbations and as a link to other settlements on the south coast. Other important roads include the A3, A31 and A36.The roads in the county are known for their heavy traffic,especially around Southampton and Portsmouth and the M27 and A27.

The county has a high level of car ownership, with only 15.7% having no access to a private car compared to 26.8% for England and Wales. The county has a lower than average use of trains (3.2% compared to 4.1% for commuting) and buses (3.2% to 7.4%) but a higher than average use of bicycles (3.5% to 2.7%) and cars (63.5% to 55.3%).[15]

See also

External links

Notes

  1. ^ BBC News, May 5 2004. UK counties choose floral emblems.
  2. ^ Met Office, 2000. Annual average temperature for the United Kingdom.
  3. ^ Met Office, 2000. Annual average rainfall for the United Kingdom.
  4. ^ Met Office, 2000. Annual average sunshine for the United Kingdom.
  5. ^ Hampshire County Council, 2002. Economic factors.
  6. ^ Hampshire County Council, 2004. Profile of Hampshire.
  7. ^ a b Hampshire County Council, 2003. "Press Release: Hampshire's Hog has a home."
  8. ^ New Forest District Council, n.d. "Tourism questions and answers."
  9. ^ Hampshire County Council, United Kingdom Tourism Survey & GB Leisure Day Visits Survey, 2004. "Tourism Facts and Figures."
  10. ^ Office for National Statistics & Hampshire County Council, 2003. Census 2001 data
  11. ^ Hampshire County Council, 2005. Local election results.
  12. ^ Southampton City Council, 2005. Local election results.
  13. ^ Portsmouth City Council, 2005. List of councillors.
  14. ^ Hampshire County Youth Council
  15. ^ Hampshire County Council, 2005. Facts and Figures website.

References

  1. Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911. "Hampshire".
  2. Draper, Jo. 1990. Hampshire. Wimborne: Dovecote Press. ISBN 0-946159-82-3
  3. Pigot & Co's Atlas of the Counties of England, 1840. London: J Pigot & Co.



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Simple English

Hampshire
[[File:]]
Geography
Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county
Region: South East England
Area
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 9th
3,769 km²
Ranked 8th
3,679 km²
Admin HQ: Winchester
ISO 3166-2: GB-HAM
ONS code: 24
NUTS 3: UKJ33
Demographics
Population
- Total (2005 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 5th
1,671,000
443 / km²
Ranked 3rd
1,259,400
Ethnicity: 96.7% White
1.3% S. Asian
0.8% Mixed
1.2% Other
Politics
Hampshire County Council
http://www.hants.gov.uk/hcc/
Executive Conservative
Members of Parliament
Districts
File:Hampshire Ceremonial
  1. Gosport
  2. Fareham
  3. Winchester
  4. Havant
  5. East Hampshire
  6. Hart
  7. Rushmoor
  8. Basingstoke and Deane
  9. Test Valley
  10. Eastleigh
  11. New Forest
  12. Southampton (Unitary)
  13. Portsmouth (Unitary)

Hampshire is a county in the south of the UK. The county has an area of 1,455 square miles (3,769 km²). At its widest points, the county is approximately 55 miles (90 km) east-west and 40 miles (65 km) north-south. The county town is Winchester. About 1.6 million people live in Hampshire.

File:Winchester
Winchester Cathedral


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