Basingstoke

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Basingstoke is a town in northeast Hampshire
Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

, in south central England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. It lies across a valley
Valley
In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...

 at the source of the River Loddon
River Loddon
The River Loddon is a river in the English counties of Berkshire and Hampshire. It is a tributary of the River Thames, rising within the urban area of Basingstoke and flowing to meet the Thames near the village of Wargrave...

. It is 48 miles (77 km) southwest of London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

, 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Reading
Reading, Berkshire
Reading is a large town and unitary authority area in England. It is located in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway, some west of London....

 and 19 miles (31 km) northeast of the county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

, Winchester
Winchester
Winchester is a historic cathedral city and former capital city of England. It is the county town of Hampshire, in South East England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs, along the course of...

. In 2008 it had an estimated population of 82,913. It is part of the borough of Basingstoke and Deane
Basingstoke and Deane
Basingstoke and Deane is a local government district and borough in Hampshire, England. Its primary settlement is Basingstoke. Other settlements include Bramley, Tadley, Kingsclere, Overton, Oakley, Whitchurch and the hamlet of Deane, some from Basingstoke....

 and part of the parliamentary constituency of Basingstoke. Basingstoke is often nicknamed "Doughnut City" or "Roundabout City" because of the number of roundabouts.

Often mistaken for a new town, Basingstoke is an old market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

 expanded in the 1960s as part of a tripartite agreement between London County Council
London County Council
London County Council was the principal local government body for the County of London, throughout its 1889–1965 existence, and the first London-wide general municipal authority to be directly elected. It covered the area today known as Inner London and was replaced by the Greater London Council...

, Hampshire County Council
Hampshire County Council
Hampshire County Council is the county council that governs the majority of the county of Hampshire in England. It provides the upper tier of local government, below which are district councils, and town and parish councils...

 and Basingstoke Borough Council. It was developed rapidly, along with Andover
Andover, Hampshire
Andover is a town in the English county of Hampshire. The town is on the River Anton some 18.5 miles west of the town of Basingstoke, 18.5 miles north-west of the city of Winchester and 25 miles north of the city of Southampton...

 and Tadley
Tadley
Tadley is a town and civil parish in the English county of Hampshire.During the 1950s and 1960s, the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment , now known as AWE, became the area's largest employer, and a large number of houses were built during this period to accommodate AWRE workers...

, to accommodate part of the London 'overspill'
London overspill
London overspill is the term given to the communities created - largely consisting of publicly provided housing - as a result of the Government policy of moving residents out of Greater London, England into other towns around the South East, East Anglia and beyond.-Policy development:The policy...

 as perceived under the Greater London Plan
Greater London Plan
The Greater London Plan of 1944, often referred to as the Abercrombie Plan, was a plan for the development and improvement of London commissioned by the Ministry of Works in 1942 and drawn up by Patrick Abercrombie....

, 1944.

Basingstoke market was mentioned in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 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.

Basingstoke is an economic centre, and is the location of the UK headquarters of De La Rue
De La Rue
De La Rue plc is a British security printing, papermaking and cash handling systems company headquartered in Basingstoke, Hampshire. It also has a factory on the Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead, and other facilities at Loughton, Essex and Bathford, Somerset...

, Sun Life Financial of Canada
Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial Inc. is an international financial services company known primarily as a life insurance company. Based in Toronto, Canada, Sun Life and its partners provide insurance, retirement and investment solutions for individuals and businesses around the world including Canada, the United...

, The Automobile Association
The Automobile Association
The Automobile Association , a British motoring association founded in 1905 was demutualised in 1999 to become a private limited company which currently provides car insurance, driving lessons, breakdown cover, loans and motoring advice, and other services...

, ST Ericsson, Huawei Technologies, GAME
GAME (retailer)
The Game Group plc is a British video games retail company. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE SmallCap Index....

, Motorola
Motorola
Motorola, Inc. was an American multinational telecommunications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, which was eventually divided into two independent public companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions on January 4, 2011, after losing $4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009...

, Barracuda Networks
Barracuda Networks
Barracuda Networks, Inc. is a privately held company providing security, networking and storage solutions based on appliances and cloud services. The company’s security products include solutions for protection against email, web surfing, web hackers and instant messaging threats such as spam,...

, BNP PARIBAS Lease Group UK
BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas S.A. is a global banking group, headquartered in Paris, with its second global headquarters in London. In October 2010 BNP Paribas was ranked by Bloomberg and Forbes as the largest bank and largest company in the world by assets with over $3.1 trillion. It was formed through the merger...

, the leasing arm of BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas S.A. is a global banking group, headquartered in Paris, with its second global headquarters in London. In October 2010 BNP Paribas was ranked by Bloomberg and Forbes as the largest bank and largest company in the world by assets with over $3.1 trillion. It was formed through the merger...

 in the UK, and Sony
Sony
, commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

 Professional Solutions (Europe). Other industries include drug manufacture, IT
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

, communications
Telecommunication
Telecommunication is the transmission of information over significant distances to communicate. In earlier times, telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs, or audio messages via coded...

, insurance
Insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

 and electronics.

Geography and administration


Situated in a valley through the North Downs
North Downs
The North Downs are a ridge of chalk hills in south east England that stretch from Farnham in Surrey to the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent. The North Downs lie within two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty , the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs...

 at an average altitude
Altitude
Altitude or height is defined based on the context in which it is used . As a general definition, altitude is a distance measurement, usually in the vertical or "up" direction, between a reference datum and a point or object. The reference datum also often varies according to the context...

 of 88 m (289 ft), Basingstoke is a major interchange between Reading
Reading, Berkshire
Reading is a large town and unitary authority area in England. It is located in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway, some west of London....

, Newbury
Newbury, Berkshire
Newbury is a civil parish and the principal town in the west of the county of Berkshire in England. It is situated on the River Kennet and the Kennet and Avon Canal, and has a town centre containing many 17th century buildings. Newbury is best known for its racecourse and the adjoining former USAF...

, Andover
Andover, Hampshire
Andover is a town in the English county of Hampshire. The town is on the River Anton some 18.5 miles west of the town of Basingstoke, 18.5 miles north-west of the city of Winchester and 25 miles north of the city of Southampton...

, Winchester
Winchester
Winchester is a historic cathedral city and former capital city of England. It is the county town of Hampshire, in South East England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs, along the course of...

, and Alton
Alton, Hampshire
Alton is a historic market town and civil parish in the East Hampshire district of the English county of Hampshire. It had a population of 16,584 at the 1991 census and is administered by East Hampshire district council. It is located on the source of the River Wey and is the highest town in...

, and lies on the natural trade route
Trade route
A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries which may further be connected to several smaller networks of commercial...

 between the southwest of England and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

.

Politics


The Basingstoke parliamentary constituency was formed under the 1885 Act
Redistribution of Seats Act 1885
The Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was a piece of electoral reform legislation that redistributed the seats in the House of Commons, introducing the concept of equally populated constituencies, in an attempt to equalise representation across...

 and is currently served by Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP) Mrs Maria Miller
Maria Miller
Maria Frances Lewis Miller is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Basingstoke since the 2005 general election...

, who was elected in the 2005 general election
United Kingdom general election, 2005
The United Kingdom general election of 2005 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2005 to elect 646 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party under Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, but with a majority of 66, reduced from 160....

.

Basingstoke and Deane
Basingstoke and Deane
Basingstoke and Deane is a local government district and borough in Hampshire, England. Its primary settlement is Basingstoke. Other settlements include Bramley, Tadley, Kingsclere, Overton, Oakley, Whitchurch and the hamlet of Deane, some from Basingstoke....

 is the local Borough Council and has its offices in the town. Elections to the council
Basingstoke and Deane local elections
One third of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in Hampshire, England is elected each year, followed by one year without election. Since the last boundary changes in 2008, 60 councillors have been elected from 30 wards.-Political control:...

 take place in 3 out of every 4 years. After the latest election in 2011
Basingstoke and Deane Council election, 2011
The 2011 Basingstoke and Deane Council election took place on 5 May 2011 to elect members of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in Hampshire, England...

 the council has 34 Conservative, 13 Liberal Democrat
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

, 11 Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 and 2 independent
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

 councillors.

Basingstoke is part of a two-tier local government structure and returns county councillors to Hampshire County Council
Hampshire County Council
Hampshire County Council is the county council that governs the majority of the county of Hampshire in England. It provides the upper tier of local government, below which are district councils, and town and parish councils...

. When the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth
Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...

 attained unitary authority status in 1998, Basingstoke became Hampshire's largest settlement.

Physical geography and 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
Chineham
Chineham is a civil parish in the Basingstoke and Deane district of Hampshire, England. It lies about northeast of central Basingstoke, just north of the A33 road between Basingstoke and Reading.-Demography:...

, Rooksdown
Rooksdown
Rooksdown is a civil parish in the Basingstoke and Deane district of Hampshire, England. The parish was formed on 1 April 2004. It covers a small estate in the north-west of Basingstoke which was previously part of the parish of Sherborne St...

, and Lychpit
Lychpit
Lychpit is now the name of a modern housing development adjacent to Old Basing near Basingstoke, Hampshire. The modern development started in the early 1980s but the area has an ancient past associated with that of Old Basing. The name derives from a wooded dell that still exists at the western end...

. The unparished area includes Worting
Worting, Hampshire
Worting is a large district of Basingstoke, Hampshire, that was formed around 1970 as part of the Basingstoke Town Centre Development Plan. The area is bounded to the south by Hatch Warren and the Worting Junction. To the east is the district of Brighton Hill and the Cranbourne area....

 which was previously a separate village and parish,
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 coterminous with the parish boundaries.

Basingstoke is situated on a bed of cretaceous
Cretaceous
The Cretaceous , derived from the Latin "creta" , usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide , is a geologic period and system from circa to million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the...

 upper chalk with small areas of clayey and loamy soil, inset with combined clay and flint
Clay-with-Flints
In geology, Clay-with-Flints was the name given by W. Whitaker in 1861 to a peculiar deposit of stiff red, brown or yellow clay containing unworn whole flints as well as angular shattered fragments, also with a variable admixture of rounded flint, quartz, quartzite and other pebbles...

 patches. Loam
Loam
Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration . Loam soils generally contain more nutrients and humus than sandy soils, have better infiltration and drainage than silty soils, and are easier to till than clay soils...

 and alluvium
Alluvium
Alluvium is loose, unconsolidated soil or sediments, eroded, deposited, and reshaped by water in some form in a non-marine setting. Alluvium is typically made up of a variety of materials, including fine particles of silt and clay and larger particles of sand and gravel...

 recent and pleistocene
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

 sediments line the bed of the river Loddon. A narrow line of tertiary
Tertiary
The Tertiary is a deprecated term for a geologic period 65 million to 2.6 million years ago. The Tertiary covered the time span between the superseded Secondary period and the Quaternary...

 Reading beds run diagonally from the northwest to the southeast along a line from Sherborne St John
Sherborne St John
Sherborne St John is a village and civil parish near Basingstoke in the English county of Hampshire.-History:The village was named in the Domesday book as Sireburne. It became Shireburna , Schyreburne and Shirebourne Decani, Shireburn St...

 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
London Clay
The London Clay Formation is a marine geological formation of Ypresian age which crops out in the southeast of England. The London Clay is well known for the fossils it contains. The fossils from the Lower Eocene indicate a moderately warm climate, the flora being tropical or subtropical...

.

Divisions and suburbs


Basingstoke's expansion has absorbed much surrounding farmland and scattered housing, transforming it into housing estate
Housing estate
A housing estate is a group of buildings built together as a single development. The exact form may vary from country to country. Accordingly, a housing estate is usually built by a single contractor, with only a few styles of house or building design, so they tend to be uniform in appearance...

s or local districts. Many of these new estates are designed as almost self-contained communities, such as Lychpit
Lychpit
Lychpit is now the name of a modern housing development adjacent to Old Basing near Basingstoke, Hampshire. The modern development started in the early 1980s but the area has an ancient past associated with that of Old Basing. The name derives from a wooded dell that still exists at the western end...

, Chineham
Chineham
Chineham is a civil parish in the Basingstoke and Deane district of Hampshire, England. It lies about northeast of central Basingstoke, just north of the A33 road between Basingstoke and Reading.-Demography:...

, Popley, Winklebury
Winklebury
Winklebury is a large suburb located two miles north-west of central Basingstoke in the UK. Up until the late 1960s Winklebury was a collection of small holdings but Basingstoke's growth as a London Overspill town saw the area developed for housing.-History:...

, Oakridge
Oakridge, Hampshire
Oakridge is a village in Hampshire, England, and is located in the north of Basingstoke within the ringroad.-History:The area was built with mansionettes as part of the rapid expansion of Basingstoke....

, Kempshott
Kempshott
Kempshott is a ward of Basingstoke on the western edge of the town, to the south of Pack Lane and north of Winchester Road.The Kempshott estate dates back to the early 18th century A. M.W...

, Brighton Hill
Brighton Hill
Brighton Hill is a district of Basingstoke, England, that was formed around 1970 as part of the Town Centre Development Plan. The area is bounded to the west by the newer housing estate of Hatch Warren and by the A30. To the east of Brighton Hill, the Viables Industrial Estate and Cranbourne...

, Viables
Viables
Viables is a district of Basingstoke, England, that was formed around 1970 as part of the Basingstoke Town Centre Development Plan. The area is mostly made up of industry such as crafting centres, industrial and housing estates and the Jazz Buss Service. The area is bounded to the west by Hatch...

, South Ham
South Ham
South Ham is an district and ward of Basingstoke, to the west of the town centre.It takes its name from what was once the major farm in the area, South Ham farm, which was demolished in the early 1960s. Parts of the area were developed for Council Housing in both the 1930s and 1950s when Western...

, Black Dam and Hatch Warren
Hatch Warren
Hatch Warren is a district and ward of Basingstoke in Hampshire, west of the town centre. Neighbouring housing estates include Kempshott and Brighton Hill...

. The M3 acts as a buffer zone to the south of the town, and the South Western Main Line
South Western Main Line
The South Western Main Line is a railway line between London Waterloo and Weymouth on the Dorset coast, in the south of England. It is a major railway which serves many important commuter areas, as well as the major settlements of Southampton and Bournemouth...

 constrains the western expansion, with a green belt
Green belt
A green belt or greenbelt is a policy and land use designation used in land use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wild, or agricultural land surrounding or neighbouring urban areas. Similar concepts are greenways or green wedges which have a linear character and may run through an...

 to the north and north-east, making Basingstoke shaped almost like a kite. As a result, the villages of Cliddesden
Cliddesden
Cliddesden is a parish in Hampshire, England located 3 miles south of Basingstoke, close to the M3 motorway. In the 2001 census it had a population of 489...

, Dummer, Sherborne St John
Sherborne St John
Sherborne St John is a village and civil parish near Basingstoke in the English county of Hampshire.-History:The village was named in the Domesday book as Sireburne. It became Shireburna , Schyreburne and Shirebourne Decani, Shireburn St...

 and Oakley
Oakley, Hampshire
Oakley is a semi-rural affluent large village and parish situated west of the large town, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. In the 2001 census it had a population of 5,322, verging on 'minor town' status. The village was recorded and mentioned in the Domesday book...

, although being very close to the town limits, are considered distinct entities. Popley, Hatch Warren and Beggarwood are seeing rapid growth in housing.

Nearby towns: Hook
Hook, North Hampshire
Hook is a large village within the Hart district of northern Hampshire, England. It is situated east of Basingstoke and northeast of Southampton, on the A30 national route, just north of Junction 5 of the M3 motorway....

, Tadley
Tadley
Tadley is a town and civil parish in the English county of Hampshire.During the 1950s and 1960s, the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment , now known as AWE, became the area's largest employer, and a large number of houses were built during this period to accommodate AWRE workers...

, Whitchurch
Whitchurch, Hampshire
Whitchurch is a town in Hampshire, England. It is on the River Test, from Newbury, Berkshire, from Winchester, miles from Andover and miles from Basingstoke. Much of the town is a Conservation Area. Because of the amount of wildlife in and near the river, parts of the town are designated as...

,

Nearby villages: Aldermaston
Aldermaston
Aldermaston is a rural village, civil parish and electoral ward in Berkshire, South-East England. In the 2001 United Kingdom Census, the parish had a population of 927. The village is on the southern edge of the River Kennet flood plain, near the Hampshire county boundary...

, Baughurst
Baughurst
Baughurst is a village and civil parish in Hampshire, England. It is located west of the town of Tadley, north of Basingstoke. In the 2001 census it had a population of 2,473....

, Bramley
Bramley, Hampshire
Bramley is a village and parish in Hampshire, UK. In the 2001 census it had a population of 3,348. It has a village shop, bakery, estate agency, pub and a railway station...

, Kingsclere
Kingsclere
Kingsclere is a large village and civil parish in the county of Hampshire, England. Kingsclere is located near to Watership Down, the setting of Richard Adams' 1972 novel Watership Down.-Geography:...

, Oakley
Oakley, Hampshire
Oakley is a semi-rural affluent large village and parish situated west of the large town, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. In the 2001 census it had a population of 5,322, verging on 'minor town' status. The village was recorded and mentioned in the Domesday book...

, Old Basing
Old Basing
Old Basing is a village in the north-east of the English county of Hampshire. It is situated just to the east of Basingstoke, and in the 2001 census had a population of 7,232...

, Overton
Overton, Hampshire
Overton is a village and parish in Hampshire, England located west of the town of Basingstoke, and east of Andover and Whitchurch. The village of Quidhampton lies to the north of the village. The River Test rises 1 km to the east near the hamlet of Ashe....

, Ramsdell
Ramsdell
Ramsdell is a small village in the English county of Hampshire. Ramsdell neighbours with Charter Alley only 1/2 mile up the road. The town of Tadley is away with the nearest shops. Ramsdell lies near other towns the largest being Basingstoke with Newbury only in the other direction...

, Silchester
Silchester
Silchester is a village and civil parish about north of Basingstoke in Hampshire. It is adjacent to the county boundary with Berkshire and about south-west of Reading....

, Sherfield on Loddon
Sherfield on Loddon
Sherfield on Loddon is a village and civil parish in the English county of Hampshire. It is located at , approximately south of Reading and north of Basingstoke...

.

Early settlements



The hillfort at Winklebury
Winklebury
Winklebury is a large suburb located two miles north-west of central Basingstoke in the UK. Up until the late 1960s Winklebury was a collection of small holdings but Basingstoke's growth as a London Overspill town saw the area developed for housing.-History:...

 (2 miles (3 km) west of the town centre), known locally as Winklebury Camp or Winklebury Ring dates from the Iron age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 and there are remains of several other earthworks around Basingstoke including a long barrow
Long barrow
A long barrow is a prehistoric monument dating to the early Neolithic period. They are rectangular or trapezoidal tumuli or earth mounds traditionally interpreted as collective tombs...

 near Down Grange. The site is now home to Fort Hill Community School. Nearby, to the west, Roman Road and Kempshott Lane mark the course of a Roman road
Roman roads in Britain
Roman roads, together with Roman aqueducts and the vast standing Roman army , constituted the three most impressive features of the Roman Empire. In Britain, as in other provinces, the Romans constructed a comprehensive network of paved trunk roads Roman roads, together with Roman aqueducts and the...

 that ran from Winchester
Winchester
Winchester is a historic cathedral city and former capital city of England. It is the county town of Hampshire, in South East England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs, along the course of...

 to Silchester
Silchester
Silchester is a village and civil parish about north of Basingstoke in Hampshire. It is adjacent to the county boundary with Berkshire and about south-west of Reading....

. Further to the east, another Roman road ran from Chichester
Chichester
Chichester is a cathedral city in West Sussex, within the historic County of Sussex, South-East England. It has a long history as a settlement; its Roman past and its subsequent importance in Anglo-Saxon times are only its beginnings...

 through the outlying villages of Upton Grey
Upton Grey
Upton Grey is a village and civil parish in Hampshire, England.-Roman times:The village is on the line of an ancient Roman road, the Chichester to Silchester Way.-Norman times:...

 and Mapledurwell
Mapledurwell
Mapledurwell is a village in Hampshire, England located south east of Basingstoke. The name Mapledurwell means 'maple tree spring.'-History:Recorded in the Domesday Book, the land was held by Anschill for Edward the Confessor. From 1086 it became the sole Hampshire estate of Hugh de Port, covering...

. The Harrow Way
Harrow Way
The Harrow Way forms the western part of the Old Way, an ancient trackway in the south of England, dating from the Neolithic period, which can be traced from Rochester and the Channel ports in the Straits of Dover along the North Downs and through Guildford, Farnham, Andover and Basingstoke to...

 is an ancient route
Ancient trackway
Ancient trackway can refer to any track or trail whose origin is lost in antiquity. Such paths existed from the earliest prehistoric times and in every inhabited part of the globe...

 that runs to the south of the town.

Etymology


The name Basingstoke (A.D 990; Embasinga stocæ, Domesday
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

; Basingestoches) is believed to have been derived from the town's position as the outlying, western settlement of Basa's people. Basing, now Old Basing
Old Basing
Old Basing is a village in the north-east of the English county of Hampshire. It is situated just to the east of Basingstoke, and in the 2001 census had a population of 7,232...

, 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.

Market town


Basingstoke is recorded as being a market site in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

, and has held a regular Wednesday market since 1214.
During the Civil War
First English Civil War
The First English Civil War began the series of three wars known as the English Civil War . "The English Civil War" was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations that took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1651, and includes the Second English Civil War and...

, and the siege
Siege
A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit". Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static...

 of Basing House
Basing House
Basing House was a major Tudor palace and castle in the village of Old Basing in the English county of Hampshire. It once rivaled Hampton Court Palace in its size and opulence. Today only its foundations and earthworks remain...

 between 1643 and 1645, the town played host to large numbers of Parliamentarians. During this time, St. Michael's Church
St. Michael's Church, Basingstoke
St. Michael's Church is the Anglican parish church in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. It is located in the lower part of the town, near its centre, towards the northern end of Church Street....

 was damaged whilst being used as an explosive store and lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

 was stripped from the roof of the Chapel of the Holy Ghost, Basingstoke leading to its eventual ruin. Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

 is believed to have stayed in the town towards the end of the siege and wrote a letter to the Speaker
Speaker (politics)
The term speaker is a title often given to the presiding officer of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body. The speaker's official role is to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like. The speaker decides who may speak and has the...

 of the House of Commons addressed from Basingstoke.

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

Brewing
Brewery
A brewery is a dedicated building for the making of beer, though beer can be made at home, and has been for much of beer's history. A company which makes beer is called either a brewery or a brewing company....

 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
London and South Western Railway
The London and South Western Railway was a railway company in England from 1838 to 1922. Its network extended from London to Plymouth via Salisbury and Exeter, with branches to Ilfracombe and Padstow and via Southampton to Bournemouth and Weymouth. It also had many routes connecting towns in...

 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
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway was a British railway company that linked London with the south-west and west of England and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament in 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838...

 built a branch from Reading, and in 1854 a line was built to Salisbury
Salisbury
Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England and the only city in the county. It is the second largest settlement in the county...

. In the 19th century Basingstoke began to move into industrial manufacture, Wallis and Haslam (later Wallis & Steevens
Wallis & Steevens
Wallis & Steevens of Basingstoke, Hampshire, England produced agricultural equipment, traction engines and steam and diesel road rollers.-History:...

), began producing agricultural equipment including threshing machines in the 1850s, moving into the production of stationary steam engines in the 1860s and then traction engine
Traction engine
A traction engine is a self-propelled steam engine used to move heavy loads on roads, plough ground or to provide power at a chosen location. The name derives from the Latin tractus, meaning 'drawn', since the prime function of any traction engine is to draw a load behind it...

s 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
Burberry
Burberry Group plc is a British luxury fashion house, manufacturing clothing, fragrance, and fashion accessories. Its distinctive tartan pattern has become one of its most widely copied trademarks. Burberry is most famous for its iconic trench coat, which was invented by founder Thomas Burberry...

 in 1856 and Alfred Milward in 1857. Burberry became famous after he invented Gabardine
Gabardine
Gabardine is a tough, tightly woven fabric used to make suits, overcoats, trousers, uniforms, windbreakers, and other garments. The fibre used to make the fabric is traditionally worsted wool, but may also be cotton, texturized polyester, or a blend. Gabardine is woven as a warp-faced steep or...

 and Milward founded the Milwards chain of shoe shops, which could be found on almost every high street until the 1980s.

Ordinary citizens were said to be shocked by the emotive, evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 tactics of the Salvation Army
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries....

 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 culminating on Sunday 27 March 1881 with troops being called upon to break up the conflict after the Mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

 had read the Riot Act
Riot Act
The Riot Act was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain that authorised local authorities to declare any group of twelve or more people to be unlawfully assembled, and thus have to disperse or face punitive action...

. The riot and its causes led to questions in Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 and a period of notoriety for the town.

In 1898 John Isaac Thornycroft
John Isaac Thornycroft
Sir John Isaac Thornycroft was a British shipbuilder, the founder of the Thornycroft shipbuilding company and member of the Thornycroft family.-Biography:He was born in 1843 to Mary Francis and Thomas Thornycroft....

 began production of steam-powered lorries in the town and Thornycroft’s
Thornycroft
Thornycroft was a United Kingdom-based vehicle manufacturer which built coaches, buses, and trucks from 1896 until 1977.-History:Thornycroft started out with steam vans and lorries. John Isaac Thornycroft, the naval engineer, built his first steam lorry in 1896...

 quickly grew to become the town’s largest employer.

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
Swindon
Swindon is a large town within the borough of Swindon and ceremonial county of Wiltshire, in South West England. It is midway between Bristol, west and Reading, east. London is east...

. Basingstoke town centre was completely rebuilt. At this time many buildings of historic interest were replaced by a large red brick shopping centre
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

 and concrete
Concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

 multi-storey car park
Multi-storey car park
A multi-storey car-park is a building designed specifically to be for car parking and where there are a number of floors or levels on which parking takes place...

. Many office blocks and large estates were built, including a ring road
Ring road
A ring road, orbital motorway, beltway, circumferential highway, or loop highway is a road that encircles a town or city...

.

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
The Anvil, Basingstoke
The Anvil is a concert hall with theatre functionality and a performing arts centre in the town of Basingstoke in Hampshire, UK.Built on a site originally set aside for the third phase of Basingstoke's shopping centre, The Anvil was built to tackle what was then seen as a 'cultural desert' in the...

 concert hall.

In 2003 Basingstoke was voted ninth in the Crap Towns
Crap Towns
Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places To Live In The UK and Crap Towns II: The Nation Decides are a series of humorous books edited by Sam Jordison and Dan Kieran and published in association with UK Quarterly The Idler. Towns in the UK were nominated by visitors to The Idler Website for their...

 survey, a humorous, but unscientific guide to the worst places to live in Britain though it was not in the top ten of the 2004 survey.

Later that year, the Basingstoke Gazette
Basingstoke Gazette
The Basingstoke Gazette is a local newspaper for Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK. The newspaper is published three-times weekly, on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, with the Wednesday edition branded as the "Basingstoke Extra", and distributed free of charge....

 launched its "Basingstoke – A Place to be Proud of" campaign, aimed at changing people’s perception of the town. The campaign is ongoing and marked by the presentation of annual awards to individuals, organisations or businesses nominated by the public for commendable local achievement.


The central part of the shopping centre was rebuilt in 2002 and reopened as Festival Place
Festival Place
Festival Place is a shopping centre in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England which opened on Tuesday, 22 October 2002. It houses 165 shops including large department stores such as Bhs, Debenhams, and Marks and Spencer...

. This has bought a dramatic improvement to shoppers' opinions of the town centre, but it is unclear if it has softened the town's overall image.

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

In the mid 1990s, numerous reports described sightings of the Beast of Basingstoke, a big cat
British big cats
British big cats, also referred to as ABCs , phantom cats and mystery cats, are Felidae which are not native to Britain which are reported to inhabit the British countryside. These sightings are often reported as "panthers", "pumas", or "black cats"...

 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.

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.

Demographics

YearPopulation
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
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

Basingstoke and Deane South East England
South East England
South East England is one of the nine official regions of England, designated in 1994 and adopted for statistical purposes in 1999. It consists of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex...

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
Basingstoke and Deane
Basingstoke and Deane is a local government district and borough in Hampshire, England. Its primary settlement is Basingstoke. Other settlements include Bramley, Tadley, Kingsclere, Overton, Oakley, Whitchurch and the hamlet of Deane, some from Basingstoke....

. 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
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

 for the Borough of Basingstoke and Deane, give a population of 152,573 and a population density of 2.41 persons per hectare
Hectare
The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

. The number of women at 50.48% slightly exceeded that of men.
96.56% of the population were White British
White British
White British was an ethnicity classification used in the 2001 United Kingdom Census. As a result of the census, 50,366,497 people in the United Kingdom were classified as White British. In Scotland the classification was broken down into two different categories: White Scottish and Other White...

, 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
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

, 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).
Amongst the working population, 64.2% travelled less than 10 km to work. The biggest percentage of employees, 17.67% worked in real estate, renting and business activities.

Facilities



Festival Place
Festival Place
Festival Place is a shopping centre in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England which opened on Tuesday, 22 October 2002. It houses 165 shops including large department stores such as Bhs, Debenhams, and Marks and Spencer...

, a new shopping centre, opened in October 2002, adding a huge boost to the town centre, 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
Vue (cinema)
Vue Entertainment , formerly known as SBC International Cinemas, is a cinema company in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The company was formed in May 2003 when SBC acquired 36 Warner Village cinemas. There are now 69 Vue cinemas, with 654 screens totaling 140,500 seats, including the rebranded...

 cinema (formerly Ster Century
Ster Century
Ster Century was a cinema company in Ireland and the UK. There was one Ster Century cinema in Dublin, Ireland, and six in the UK: Basingstoke, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Norwich, and Romford...

 until their takeover in 2005).

Central Basingstoke has two further shopping areas: The Malls
The Malls, Basingstoke
The Malls, Basingstoke is a shopping centre in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England built between 1978 and 1981.-History and development:Before The Malls were built, the site was occupied by a number of small residential and commercial properties and by the clothing factory of Gerrish, Ames and...

 and the Top of Town. The Malls area has declined since the opening of Festival Place and the closure of its Allders
Allders
Allders is an independent department store in Croydon, established by Joshua Allder in 1862. It is the fourth-largest department store in the United Kingdom.The Croydon store was the flagship of a large chain of department stores in the UK...

 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 The redevelopment of The Malls which started in late 2010, will see the dated looking shopping centre given a major facelift. The existing canopies will be removed and a clear roof canopy will be installed, which will protect the centre from bad weather, but still allows natural light and air in. The whole shopping centre will be repaved and new street furniture will be installed. A new gateway entrance to The Malls will be created and this will give a more desirable first impression of the town when people arrive from the railway station. The redevelopment is due to be completed in the Summer of 2011 but has been delayed until September 2011. The Malls Transformation work has been carried out by Wates Group
Wates Group
The Wates Group is one of the UK’s largest family-owned construction services and development companies.-History:Established by Edward Wates in 1897, the Company expanded into speculative housebuilding and general contracting in the 1920s and 1930s. During World War II it was involved in building...

 using a variety of sub-contractors.

The Top of Town is the historic heart of Basingstoke, housing the town's Willis Museum in the former Town Hall building as well as several locally run shops, as well as the post office, and the market place.

The town's nightlife
Nightlife
Nightlife is the collective term for any entertainment that is available and more popular from the late evening into the early hours of the morning...

 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 which has a subterranean swimming pool, sauna
Sauna
A sauna is a small room or house designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions, or an establishment with one or more of these and auxiliary facilities....

, jacuzzi
Jacuzzi
Jacuzzi is a company that produces whirlpool bathtubs and spas. Its first product was a bath with massaging jets. The term "jacuzzi" is now often used generically to refer to any bathtub with massaging jets.-History:...

 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 is also home to multiple theatrical organisations; a modern concert hall, The Anvil
The Anvil, Basingstoke
The Anvil is a concert hall with theatre functionality and a performing arts centre in the town of Basingstoke in Hampshire, UK.Built on a site originally set aside for the third phase of Basingstoke's shopping centre, The Anvil was built to tackle what was then seen as a 'cultural desert' in the...

., the Haymarket Theatre in the former Corn exchange
Corn exchange
A corn exchange or grain exchange was a building where farmers and merchants traded cereal grains. Such trade was common in towns and cities across Great Britain and Ireland until the 19th century, but as the trade became centralised in the 20th century many such buildings were used for other...

 and Proteus Theatre.

Sports and leisure



Outside the town centre, there is a leisure park featuring the Aquadrome swimming pool, which opened in May 2002. The park also includes an ice rink, bowling alley, Bingo club and a ten screen cinema
Multiplex (movie theater)
A multiplex is a movie theater complex with multiple screens, typically three or more. They are usually housed in a specially designed building. Sometimes, an existing venue undergoes a renovation where the existing auditoriums are split into smaller ones, or more auditoriums are added in an...

, as well as a restaurant and fast food outlets. The leisure park is also home to the Milestones Museum
Milestones Museum
Milestones Museum is a museum located in Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK. It is made up of a network of streets that have been recreated on those found in Victorian and 1930s Hampshire....

 which contains a network of streets and buildings based on the history of Hampshire
Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

.

Basingstoke has its own football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 club, Basingstoke Town F.C.
Basingstoke Town F.C.
Basingstoke Town Football Club is an English football club based in Basingstoke, Hampshire. The club are currently members of the Conference South and play at the Camrose, named after their late benefactor, Lord Camrose. Their motto, 'Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum', means 'No stepping...

 who play in the Conference South
Conference South
Conference South is one of the second divisions of the Football Conference in England, taking its place immediately below the Conference National...

. The Basingstoke Rugby Football Club
Basingstoke R.F.C.
Basingstoke Rugby Football Club is a Rugby Union club based in Basingstoke, Hampshire, in southern England. The club was formed in March 1948, with two matches being played during that season, and a full fixture list for two fifteens the following season...

 play in Rugby Football Union's Powergen South West League 1, and the Basingstoke Bison
Basingstoke Bison
The Basingstoke Bison are an English Ice Hockey club from Basingstoke. They currently compete in the English Premier Ice Hockey League and have previously been members of the Ice Hockey Superleague and its successor the Elite Ice Hockey League- History :...

 ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 team play in the Elite Ice Hockey League
Elite Ice Hockey League
Several competitions fall under the jurisdiction of the Elite League. In 2006–07, the EIHL ran a total of four competitions: the league, playoffs, Challenge Cup and Knockout Cup. The league consists of a single division, each team playing three home games and three away games against the other...

 until the end of 2008/2009 season. From the 2009/2010 season, the team will play in the English Premier Ice Hockey League
English Premier Ice Hockey League
The English Premier Ice Hockey League commonly abbreviated to EPIHL, or simply EPL, is a senior ice hockey league in England, and is run and administered by the English Ice Hockey Association...

. 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, Basingstoke Bulls Korfball Club and Lasham Gliding Society
Lasham Airfield
Lasham Airfield is located north-west of Alton in Hampshire, England, in the village of Lasham.It was built in 1942 and it was an operational RAF during the Second World War. It was used for recreational gliding from 1951. The airfield is now owned by the world's largest gliding club, Lasham...

. The home ground of Basingstoke & North Hants Cricket Club, Mays Bounty was until 2000 used once a season by Hampshire County Cricket Club
Hampshire County Cricket Club
Hampshire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Hampshire in cricket's County Championship. The club was founded in 1863 as a successor to the Hampshire county cricket teams and has played at the Antelope Ground from then until 1885, before moving to the County Ground where it...

. Players such as Shane Warne
Shane Warne
Shane Keith Warne is a former Australian international cricketer widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the game. In 2000, he was selected by a panel of cricket experts as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century, the only specialist bowler selected in the quintet...

 and Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is an Indian cricketer widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. He is the leading run-scorer and century maker in Test and one-day international cricket. He is the only male player to score a double century in the history of ODI cricket...

 as well as Ashes winners Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan
Michael Paul Vaughan OBE is a retired cricketer who represented Yorkshire and England. A classically elegant right-handed batsman and occasional off-spinner, Vaughan was ranked one of the best batsmen in the world following the 2002/3 Ashes, in which he scored 633 runs, including three centuries...

, Steve Harmison
Steve Harmison
Stephen James Harmison MBE is an English cricketer. Primarily a fast bowler, he represented England in 63 Tests, 58 ODI's, and 2 T20's. He also plays county cricket for Durham....

 and Matthew Hoggard
Matthew Hoggard
Matthew James Hoggard MBE is an English cricketer. The 6' 2" Hoggard is a right arm fast-medium bowler and right-handed batsman. He played international cricket for England cricket team from 2000-2008, playing both Test cricket and One Day International cricket. He is currently the captain of...

 have graced the ground. It was also where celebrated commentator and playwright John Arlott
John Arlott
Leslie Thomas John Arlott OBE was an English journalist, author and cricket commentator for the BBC's Test Match Special. He was also a poet, wine connoisseur and former police officer in Hampshire...

 watched his first match. In August 2008 County Cricket returned to May’s Bounty with Hampshire County Cricket Club
Hampshire County Cricket Club
Hampshire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Hampshire in cricket's County Championship. The club was founded in 1863 as a successor to the Hampshire county cricket teams and has played at the Antelope Ground from then until 1885, before moving to the County Ground where it...

 defeating eventual County Champions Durham County Cricket Club
Durham County Cricket Club
Durham County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the historic county of Durham. Its limited overs team is called the Durham Dynamos. Their kit colours are blue with yellow trim and the shirt sponsor was...

.

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.

Media


Basingstoke is served by regional radio stations Kestrel FM serving North Hampshire and parts of Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

 and Sussex
Sussex
Sussex , from the Old English Sūþsēaxe , is an historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded on the north by Surrey, east by Kent, south by the English Channel, and west by Hampshire, and is divided for local government into West...

 and Heart Berkshire, broadcast from Reading
Reading, Berkshire
Reading is a large town and unitary authority area in England. It is located in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway, some west of London....

 and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 also provide regional coverage in the area. The town also has coverage from digital radio
Digital radio
Digital radio has several meanings:1. Today the most common meaning is digital radio broadcasting technologies, such as the digital audio broadcasting system, also known as Eureka 147. In these systems, the analog audio signal is digitized into zeros and ones, compressed using formats such as...

; the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, Independent National and Now Reading multiplexes
Multiplexing
The multiplexed signal is transmitted over a communication channel, which may be a physical transmission medium. The multiplexing divides the capacity of the low-level communication channel into several higher-level logical channels, one for each message signal or data stream to be transferred...

 can be received in the town, and the outskirts can receive London and South Hampshire stations as well.

There are three local newspapers – the Basingstoke Gazette
Basingstoke Gazette
The Basingstoke Gazette is a local newspaper for Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK. The newspaper is published three-times weekly, on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, with the Wednesday edition branded as the "Basingstoke Extra", and distributed free of charge....

 who also publish the Wednesday Extra, delivered free, and the Basingstoke Observer
Basingstoke Observer
The Basingstoke Observer is a local newspaper for the Basingstoke and surrounding areas of north Hampshire, in England. The newspaper is published weekly, and is available free for readers to 'pick up' from various shops and public outlets in and around Basingstoke...

. The town is also covered by the Hampshire Chronicle
Hampshire Chronicle
The Hampshire Chronicle is a local, broadsheet newspaper, based in Winchester, Hampshire, England. The first edition was published on August 24, 1772, making it one of the oldest publications in England....

.

Education



Education in Basingstoke is co-ordinated by Hampshire County Council
Hampshire County Council
Hampshire County Council is the county council that governs the majority of the county of Hampshire in England. It provides the upper tier of local government, below which are district councils, and town and parish councils...

. Each neighbourhood in the town has at least one Primary school, while Secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

s are distributed around the town on larger campuses.

Basingstoke has two large further education
Further education
Further education is a term mainly used in connection with education in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is post-compulsory education , that is distinct from the education offered in universities...

 colleges: a sixth form college
Sixth form college
A sixth form college is an educational institution in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Belize, Hong Kong or Malta where students aged 16 to 18 typically study for advanced school-level qualifications, such as A-levels, or school-level qualifications such as GCSEs. In Singapore and India, this is...

, Queen Mary's College
Queen Mary's College
Queen Mary's College is a sixth form college in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.-The College:The majority of the college's classrooms are housed in a single, two-storey, wide spread main building with a few smaller buildings and four temporary buildings providing most of the rest of the teaching...

 (QMC) and Basingstoke College of Technology
Basingstoke College of Technology
The Basingstoke College of Technology is a college in Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK. The college's main campus is located either side of Worting Road.-Courses:...

 (BCoT).

Universities


The University of Winchester
University of Winchester
The University of Winchester is a British public university primarily based in Winchester, Hampshire, England. Winchester is a historic cathedral city and the ancient capital of Wessex and the Kingdom of England.-History:...

 had a Campus in Basingstoke (Chute House Campus) which closed in July 2011. It had offered full-time and part-time university courses in subjects including childhood studies, various management pathways, community development and creative industries.

Basingstoke is within 30 miles (48 km) of eight universities
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

, namely Thames Valley University
Thames Valley University
The University of West London is a public university based in London, United Kingdom, with campuses in Ealing and Brentford, London, and Reading, Berkshire....

 (TVU at Reading), the University of Winchester
University of Winchester
The University of Winchester is a British public university primarily based in Winchester, Hampshire, England. Winchester is a historic cathedral city and the ancient capital of Wessex and the Kingdom of England.-History:...

, the University of Portsmouth
University of Portsmouth
The University of Portsmouth is a university in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. The University was ranked 60th out of 122 in The Sunday Times University Guide...

, the University of Reading
University of Reading
The University of Reading is a university in the English town of Reading, Berkshire. The University was established in 1892 as University College, Reading and received its Royal Charter in 1926. It is based on several campuses in, and around, the town of Reading.The University has a long tradition...

, the University of Southampton
University of Southampton
The University of Southampton is a British public university located in the city of Southampton, England, a member of the Russell Group. The origins of the university can be dated back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 by Henry Robertson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed...

, Southampton Solent University
Southampton Solent University
Southampton Solent University is a university of 17,000 students based in Southampton, United Kingdom. Its main campus is located on East Park Terrace near the city centre....

, the University of Surrey
University of Surrey
The University of Surrey is a university located within the county town of Guildford, Surrey in the South East of England. It received its charter on 9 September 1966, and was previously situated near Battersea Park in south-west London. The institution was known as Battersea College of Technology...

 and University for the Creative Arts, formerly Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University College
Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University College
The Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University College was an art college in the United Kingdom. It merged with the Kent Institute of Art & Design on 1 August 2005 to form the University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester, now the University for...

 in Farnham
Farnham
Farnham is a town in Surrey, England, within the Borough of Waverley. The town is situated some 42 miles southwest of London in the extreme west of Surrey, adjacent to the border with Hampshire...

.

Road



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
Ring road
A ring road, orbital motorway, beltway, circumferential highway, or loop highway is a road that encircles a town or city...

 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
A33 road
The A33 is a major road in England. The road formerly ran from Reading to Southampton, but now consists of three disjoint sections:*Reading to Basingstoke*The A30 road south of Basingstoke to just north of Winchester...

 runs north east to Reading and the M4 Motorway
M4 motorway
The M4 motorway links London with South Wales. It is part of the unsigned European route E30. Other major places directly accessible from M4 junctions are Reading, Swindon, Bristol, Newport, Cardiff and Swansea...

 and south west to Winchester. The A30
A30 road
The 284 miles A30 road from London to Land's End, historically known as the Great South West Road used to provide the most direct route from London to the south west; more recently the M3 motorway and A303 road performs this function for much of the route and only parts of A30 now retain trunk...

 runs east to Hook and west to Salisbury. The A303 begins a few miles south west of Basingstoke to head west towards Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

 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.

Rail



The South Western Main Line
South Western Main Line
The South Western Main Line is a railway line between London Waterloo and Weymouth on the Dorset coast, in the south of England. It is a major railway which serves many important commuter areas, as well as the major settlements of Southampton and Bournemouth...

 railway
Rail transport in Great Britain
The railway system in Great Britain is the oldest in the world, with the world's first locomotive-hauled public railway opening in 1825. As of 2010, it consists of of standard gauge lines , of which are electrified. These lines range from single to double, triple, quadruple track and up to twelve...

 runs east and west through the centre of the town and Basingstoke railway station
Basingstoke railway station
Basingstoke railway station, in the town of Basingstoke in the county of Hampshire in England, is on the South Western Main Line from London Waterloo, with local and fast services operated by South West Trains. It is also the terminus of First Great Western local services on the Reading to...

 linking it to the South West of England
South West England
South West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering and comprising Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. ...

, London Waterloo
Waterloo station
Waterloo station, also known as London Waterloo, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex. The station is owned and operated by Network Rail and is close to the South Bank of the River Thames, and in Travelcard Zone 1....

 (the fastest train Basingstoke to London takes 44 minutes), Winchester, Southampton and Bournemouth, and via the Eastleigh to Fareham Line
Eastleigh to Fareham Line
The Eastleigh-Fareham Line is the railway line from Eastleigh to Fareham in the United Kingdom. At Eastleigh, trains join the South Western Main Line for onward travel to Basingstoke, Reading or to London Waterloo. At Fareham trains join the West Coastway line for onward travel to Portsmouth or...

 and West Coastway Line
West Coastway Line
The West Coastway Line is a railway line in England, along the south coast of West Sussex and Hampshire, between Brighton and Southampton, plus the short branches to Littlehampton and Bognor Regis....

 to Portsmouth and Brighton. The West of England Main Line
West of England Main Line
The West of England Main Line is a British railway line that runs from , Hampshire to Exeter St Davids in Devon, England. Passenger services run between London Waterloo station and Exeter...

 to Salisbury and Exeter diverges at Worting Junction
Worting Junction
Worting Junction is a railway junction on the former LSWR route south of Basingstoke where the line divides to go towards Salisbury or Southampton.-History:...

, to the west. The Basingstoke Branch runs north-east to Reading
Reading railway station
Reading railway station is a major rail transport hub in the English town of Reading. It is situated on the northern edge of the town centre, close to the main retail and commercial areas, and also the River Thames...

, 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
Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway
The Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway was a railway in Hampshire, UK, opened on Saturday, 1 June 1901, with no formal ceremony.It was the first railway to be enabled by an Order of the Light Railway Commission under the Light Railways Act of 1896...

. Current rail services from Basingstoke are operated by South West Trains
South West Trains
South West Trains is a British train operating company providing, under franchise, passenger rail services, mostly out of Waterloo station, to the southwest of London in the suburbs and in the counties of Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Berkshire, and Wiltshire and on the Isle of Wight...

, Crosscountry
CrossCountry
CrossCountry is the brand name of XC Trains Ltd., a British train operating company owned by Arriva...

 and First Great Western
First Great Western
First Great Western is the operating name of First Greater Western Ltd, a British train operating company owned by FirstGroup that serves Greater London, the South East, South West and West Midlands regions of England, and South Wales....

.

Bus



Most bus services in the town operate from Basingstoke Bus Station. The majority are provided by the Stagecoach Group
Stagecoach Group
Stagecoach Group plc is an international transport group operating buses, trains, trams, express coaches and ferries. The group was founded in 1980 by the current chairman, Sir Brian Souter, his sister, Ann Gloag, and her former husband Robin...

 through their Stagecoach in Hampshire
Stagecoach in Hampshire
Hampshire Bus Company Ltd. trading as Stagecoach in Hampshire is an operating sub-division of Stagecoach South, part of the Stagecoach Group.Its main bases of operation are Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester.-Local:...

 sub-division. Newbury Buses also operate over individual routes and cango
Cango
Cango is a demand responsive transport bus operator in Hampshire, UK, owned by Hampshire County Council. The services operate in the localities around main towns, using Optare Solo and Optare Alero buses.-Background:Cango services do not use set routes...

 operate a service linking villages between Basingstoke and Alton.
A Park and Ride
Park and ride
Park and ride facilities are car parks with connections to public transport that allow commuters and other people wishing to travel into city centres to leave their vehicles and transfer to a bus, rail system , or carpool for the rest of their trip...

 service provided by Courtney Coaches
Courtney Coaches
Courtney Coaches are a bus operator baseed in Bracknell, Berkshire, England. They operate a network of commercial and contracted local bus services and school buses in and around Bracknell and Maidenhead...

 links Basingstoke leisure park with Basing View, via Basingstoke Railway Station. This service uses distinctive purple and white Optare Solo
Optare Solo
The Optare Solo is a low-floor midibus manufactured by Optare in Leeds, UK since 1997. The name "Solo" is a play on the low-floor status of the bus, the manufacturer believing its vehicle having an entrance that is "so low" from the floor, namely 200 mm with kneeling suspension.The innovative...

 busses, 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 between Chineham Business Park and the railway station. National Express
National Express
National Express Coaches, more commonly known as National Express, is a brand and company, owned by the National Express Group, under which the majority of long distance bus and coach services in Great Britain are operated,...

 offers direct coach services to London and Southampton from the bus station.

Cycle


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. A Basingstoke Area Cycling Strategy was developed in 1999 and subsequently an extensive cycle network has been developed 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
National Cycle Network
The National Cycle Network is a network of cycle routes in the United Kingdom.The National Cycle Network was created by the charity Sustrans , and aided by a £42.5 million National Lottery grant. In 2005 it was used for over 230 million trips.Many routes hope to minimise contact with motor...

 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.

Air


The closest international airport
International airport
An international airport is any airport that can accommodate flights from other countries and are typically equipped with customs and immigration facilities to handle these flights to and from other countries...

 to Basingstoke is Southampton
Southampton Airport
Southampton Airport is the 20th largest airport in the UK, located north north-east of Southampton, in the Borough of Eastleigh within Hampshire, England....

, about 25 miles (40 km) away. Blackbushe
Blackbushe Airport
Blackbushe Airport , in the civil parish of Yateley in the north-east corner of the English county of Hampshire, comprises an airfield, much reduced in size since its heyday, a British Car Auctions site, a kart track owned by Camberley Kart Club, and a small business park...

 (9 miles (14 km)) and Farnborough
Farnborough, Hampshire
-History:Name changes: Ferneberga ; Farnburghe, Farenberg ; Farnborowe, Fremborough, Fameborough .Tower Hill, Cove: There is substantial evidence...

 (11 miles (18 km)) have Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority
The Civil Aviation Authority is the public corporation which oversees and regulates all aspects of aviation in the United Kingdom. The CAA head office is located in the CAA House on Kingsway in Holborn, London Borough of Camden...

 Ordinary Licences, allowing for the public transport of passengers. Other General Aviation (GA)
General aviation
General aviation is one of the two categories of civil aviation. It refers to all flights other than military and scheduled airline and regular cargo flights, both private and commercial. General aviation flights range from gliders and powered parachutes to large, non-scheduled cargo jet flights...

 airfields in the area for which Prior Permission is Required (PPR) are at Popham Airfield
Popham
Popham is a surname.As a surname Popham may refer to:* Alexander Popham, , MP in the Long Parliament* Alix Popham, Welsh rugby union player* Arthur E...

 (7 miles (11 km)), Lasham
Lasham Airfield
Lasham Airfield is located north-west of Alton in Hampshire, England, in the village of Lasham.It was built in 1942 and it was an operational RAF during the Second World War. It was used for recreational gliding from 1951. The airfield is now owned by the world's largest gliding club, Lasham...

 (5 miles (8 km)), Brimpton Airfield
Brimpton Airfield
Brimpton Airfield is an unlicensed single-runway civilian airfield in Berkshire, United Kingdom.-History:Located close to RAF Greenham Common, the airfield was founded in the 1950s by Sir William Mount, 2nd Baronet, a director at Miles Aircraft in nearby Woodley...

 and Hook. Lasham Airfield is particularly well known for its gliding
Gliding
Gliding is a recreational activity and competitive air sport in which pilots fly unpowered aircraft known as gliders or sailplanes using naturally occurring currents of rising air in the atmosphere to remain airborne. The word soaring is also used for the sport.Gliding as a sport began in the 1920s...

 club.

Canal


There are now no navigable waterways within the immediate area, although there used to be a canal to the centre of Basingstoke, but this fell into disuse and the last five miles of the canal route have now been lost. This section of the canal fell into disuse due to a lack of boat traffic, general neglect and a lack of water levels.
There were no locks on this part of the canal and so the route generally followed the contours of the land with occasional cuttings, tunnels and embankments. The route can be partly determined by noting that the canal falls between the 75m and 80m contours on Ordnance Survey maps.

The Basingstoke Canal
Basingstoke Canal
The Basingstoke Canal is a British Canal, completed in 1794, built to connect Basingstoke with the River Thames at Weybridge via the Wey Navigation....

 started at a canal basin, roughly where the cinema in Festival Place is located. From there the canal ran alongside the River Loddon
River Loddon
The River Loddon is a river in the English counties of Berkshire and Hampshire. It is a tributary of the River Thames, rising within the urban area of Basingstoke and flowing to meet the Thames near the village of Wargrave...

 following the line of Eastrop Way. The old canal route passes under the perimeter ring road and then follows a long loop partly on an embankment to pass over small streams and water meadows towards Old Basing
Old Basing
Old Basing is a village in the north-east of the English county of Hampshire. It is situated just to the east of Basingstoke, and in the 2001 census had a population of 7,232...

, where the route goes around the now ruined palace of Basing House
Basing House
Basing House was a major Tudor palace and castle in the village of Old Basing in the English county of Hampshire. It once rivaled Hampton Court Palace in its size and opulence. Today only its foundations and earthworks remain...

 and then through and around the eastern edge of Old Basing. It followed another loop to go over small streams near the Hatch public house (a lot of this section was built over when constructing the M3) and headed across fields on an embankment towards Mapledurwell
Mapledurwell
Mapledurwell is a village in Hampshire, England located south east of Basingstoke. The name Mapledurwell means 'maple tree spring.'-History:Recorded in the Domesday Book, the land was held by Anschill for Edward the Confessor. From 1086 it became the sole Hampshire estate of Hugh de Port, covering...

. The canal then headed towards a small tunnel under the Andwell Drove and then across another field partly on an embankment towards Up Nately. The section of the canal from Up Nately to the western entrance of the Greywell Tunnel
Greywell Tunnel
The Greywell Tunnel is a 0.6 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Hampshire, England, notified in 1985. When opened in 1794 it was the longest tunnel on the Basingstoke Canal. It was closed due to a roof fall in 1932.-History:...

 still exists and is a nature reserve; there is water in the canal and the canal towpath can be walked. A permissive footpath at the western entrance to the tunnel allows walkers to access public footpaths to get to the eastern entrance of the tunnel. The limit of navigation is about 500m east of the Greywell Tunnel. The renovated sections of the canal can then be navigated east towards West Byfleet
West Byfleet
West Byfleet is a village in Surrey. Forming part of the Greater London Urban Area it lies in the stockbroker belt just outside the M25 motorway, 19 miles from Charing Cross, 8 miles from London Heathrow. The village grew up around the station on the London & South Western Railway. The...

 where it joins the Wey Navigation, which itself can be navigated to the Thames at Weybridge
Weybridge
Weybridge is a town in the Elmbridge district of Surrey in South East England. It is bounded to the north by the River Thames at the mouth of the River Wey, from which it gets its name...

.

The Basingstoke Canal Heritage Footpath roughly follows the canal route for 2 miles (3 km) from Festival Place
Festival Place
Festival Place is a shopping centre in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England which opened on Tuesday, 22 October 2002. It houses 165 shops including large department stores such as Bhs, Debenhams, and Marks and Spencer...

 to Basing House
Basing House
Basing House was a major Tudor palace and castle in the village of Old Basing in the English county of Hampshire. It once rivaled Hampton Court Palace in its size and opulence. Today only its foundations and earthworks remain...

.

Plans to reconnect the town with the surviving section of the Canal have been mooted several times in the past and this remains a long term aim of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society. Another possible idea also considered was to connect the remaining canal to the Kennet and Avon navigation near Reading.

Religious sites


The Anglican church of St. Michael's
St. Michael's Church, Basingstoke
St. Michael's Church is the Anglican parish church in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. It is located in the lower part of the town, near its centre, towards the northern end of Church Street....

 is west of Festival Place
Festival Place
Festival Place is a shopping centre in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England which opened on Tuesday, 22 October 2002. It houses 165 shops including large department stores such as Bhs, Debenhams, and Marks and Spencer...

 and dates from 1464. The nave and isles were added 50 years later by Richard Foxe
Richard Foxe
Richard Foxe was an English churchman, successively Bishop of Exeter, Bath and Wells, Durham, and Winchester, Lord Privy Seal, and founder of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.-Life:...

, Bishop of Winchester
Bishop of Winchester
The Bishop of Winchester is the head of the Church of England diocese of Winchester, with his cathedra at Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire.The bishop is one of five Church of England bishops to be among the Lords Spiritual regardless of their length of service. His diocese is one of the oldest and...

. The Memorial Chapel at the north east corner of the church was completed in 1921.

Nearest places



Cultural references


In the 1887 Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian-era theatrical partnership of the librettist W. S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur Sullivan . The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S...

 comic opera
Comic opera
Comic opera denotes a sung dramatic work of a light or comic nature, usually with a happy ending.Forms of comic opera first developed in late 17th-century Italy. By the 1730s, a new operatic genre, opera buffa, emerged as an alternative to opera seria...

 Ruddigore
Ruddigore
Ruddigore; or, The Witch's Curse, originally called Ruddygore, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It is one of the Savoy Operas and the tenth of fourteen comic operas written together by Gilbert and Sullivan...

, 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.


In 1895, Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, OM was an English novelist and poet. While his works typically belong to the Naturalism movement, several poems display elements of the previous Romantic and Enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural.While he regarded himself primarily as a...

 referred to Basingstoke as "Stoke Barehills" in Jude the Obscure
Jude the Obscure
Jude the Obscure, the last of Thomas Hardy's novels, began as a magazine serial and was first published in book form in 1895. The book was burned publicly by William Walsham How, Bishop of Wakefield, in that same year. Its hero, Jude Fawley, is a working-class young man who dreams of becoming a...

– Part Fifth, Chapter 5
"There is in Upper Wessex
Wessex
The Kingdom of Wessex or Kingdom of the West Saxons was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the West Saxons, in South West England, from the 6th century, until the emergence of a united English state in the 10th century, under the Wessex dynasty. It was to be an earldom after Canute the Great's conquest...

 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."


In Hunter Davies
Hunter Davies
Edward Hunter Davies is a prolific British author, journalist and broadcaster, perhaps best known for writing the only authorised biography of The Beatles.- Early life :...

' 1968 biography of The Beatles, Paul McCartney offers John Lennon "some amazing cake from Basingstoke."

In 1974 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).

In 1978, Carl Barât
Carl Barât
Carl Ashley Raphael Barât is an English musician, actor and author. He was the frontman and lead guitarist of Dirty Pretty Things, and recently debuted a solo album, but is best known for being the co-frontman with Peter Doherty of the garage rock band The Libertines.-Early life:Carl Barât was...

, co-founder of The Libertines
The Libertines
The Libertines were an English rock band, formed in London in 1997 by frontmen Carl Barât and Pete Doherty . The band, centred on the song-writing partnership of Barat and Doherty, also included John Hassall and Gary Powell for most of its recording career...

 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
The Office (UK TV series)
The Office is a British sitcom television series that was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 9 July 2001. Created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the programme is about the day-to-day lives of office employees in the Slough branch of the fictitious...

?".

In 1979, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (book)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the title of the first of six books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction "trilogy" by Douglas Adams . The novel is an adaptation of the first four parts of Adams's radio series of the same name. The novel was first published in...

by Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams
Douglas Noel Adams was an English writer and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a "trilogy" of five books that sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television...

 includes a reference to the town. 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?".

Also in 1979, A Stone in Heaven, part of Poul Anderson
Poul Anderson
Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories...

's Dominic Flandry
Dominic Flandry
Dominic Flandry is the central character in the second half of Poul Anderson's Technic History science fiction. He first appeared in 1951.The space opera series is set in the 31st century, during the waning days of the Terran Empire...

 series, Admiral Flandry uses "Basingstoke" as a password, in an apparent homage to its usage in Ruddigore.

In 1981, in the sitcom Only Fools And Horses
Only Fools and Horses
Only Fools and Horses is a British sitcom, created and written by John Sullivan. Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom between 1981 and 1991, with sporadic Christmas specials until 2003...

, its revealed that the character Rodney Trotter
Rodney Trotter
Rodney Charlton Trotter is a fictional character in the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, played by Nicholas Lyndhurst.-Personality:Rodney's personality was based on the experiences of series creator John Sullivan, who also had an older sibling and, like Rodney, claimed to have been a dreamer and...

 was expelled from Art College in Basingstoke for smoking cannabis.

In the 1984 Robyn Hitchcock
Robyn Hitchcock
Robyn Rowan Hitchcock is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist. While primarily a vocalist and guitarist, he also plays harmonica, piano and bass guitar....

's song "I Often Dream Of Trains
I Often Dream of Trains
I Often Dream of Trains is the third album by Robyn Hitchcock, released in 1984.After the break-up of The Soft Boys, Hitchcock recorded two solo albums — Black Snake Diamond Role and the experimental Groovy Decay — before hitting an artistic slump mitigated only by some collaborations...

", Basingstoke is mentioned as in the following lyric snippet:

I often dream of trains when I'm alone

I ride on them into another zone

I dream of them constantly

Heading for paradise

Or Basingstoke

Or Reading



In the 1990 Broadway musical Jekyll & Hyde
Jekyll & Hyde (musical)
Jekyll & Hyde is a musical based on the novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. The original stage conception was by Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn. The music is by Wildhorn and the lyrics and book are by Leslie Bricusse.The musical ran on Broadway for 1,543...

, based on the novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The original pronunciation of Jekyll was "Jeekul" which was the pronunciation used in Stevenson's native Scotland...

 by Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. His best-known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde....

, His Grace Rupert the 14th Bishop of Basingstoke is a character.

Patrick Wilde's 1993 play, What's Wrong With Angry?
What's Wrong With Angry?
What's Wrong With Angry? is a stage play written in 1992 by Patrick Wilde about a gay love story between two British schoolboys. The play was the basis for the 1998 Paramount Classics feature film Get Real.-History:...

 is set in Basingstoke. It was later adapted into the 1998 film, Get Real.

In the 2005 novel "The Big Over Easy
The Big Over Easy
The Big Over Easy is a novel written by Jasper Fforde and published in 2005. It features Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his assistant, Sergeant Mary Mary....

" by Jasper Fforde
Jasper Fforde
Jasper Fforde is a British novelist. Fforde's first novel, The Eyre Affair, was published in 2001. Fforde is mainly known for his Thursday Next novels, although he has written several books in the loosely connected Nursery Crime series and begun two more independent series: The Last Dragonslayer...

', Detective Mary Mary from hails from Basingstoke, and is continually claiming to not be ashamed of it, a play on the town's public relations campaign that it's "A Place to Be Proud Of."

Filmography


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

Basingstoke’s North Hampshire Hospital
North Hampshire Hospital
Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital was granted Foundation Trust status in December 2006. Now called Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust , it has previously been known as The North Hampshire Hospital, and Basingstoke District Hospital.BNHFT is a 450 bed National Health Service...

 was one of two hospitals used for the filming of Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

's hit comedy Green Wing
Green Wing
Green Wing is a British sitcom set in the fictional East Hampton Hospital. It was created by the same team behind the sketch show Smack the Pony, led by Victoria Pile, and stars Tamsin Greig, Stephen Mangan and Julian Rhind-Tutt....

.

An episode of Top Gear
Top Gear (current format)
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars. It began in 1977 as a conventional motoring magazine show. Over time, and especially since a relaunch in 2002, it has developed a quirky, humorous style...

was filmed in Festival Place in November 2008. The episode was broadcast on BBC2 at 8:00pm on 7 December. Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Charles Robert Clarkson is an English broadcaster, journalist and writer who specialises in motoring. He is best known for his role on the BBC TV show Top Gear along with co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May...

 was testing the new Ford Fiesta
Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta is a front wheel drive supermini/subcompact manufactured and marketed by Ford Motor Company and built in Europe, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, China, India, Thailand and South Africa...

 in the town in the early hours of the morning.

In the first series of Ultimate Force
Ultimate Force
Ultimate Force is a British television drama series that was shown on ITV, which deals with the activities of the fictional Red Troop of the SAS...

, episode 2 "Just a Target", the assassination attempt towards the end of the episode was set in Basingstoke.

Basingstoke is mentioned briefly in a Monty Python sketch where Michael Palin
Michael Palin
Michael Edward Palin, CBE FRGS is an English comedian, actor, writer and television presenter best known for being one of the members of the comedy group Monty Python and for his travel documentaries....

 is in the midst of hi-jacking a plane when the pilot (John Cleese
John Cleese
John Marwood Cleese is an English actor, comedian, writer, and film producer. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report...

) suggest he could drop him off at a "haystack just outside Basingstoke", the footage of Palin falling into the haystack and getting onto a coach is actually filmed on the outskirts of Basingstoke.

External links