Portal:Hampshire

The Hampshire Portal

View over Portsmouth from Portsdown Hill
View over Portsmouth from Portsdown Hill
Hampshire outline map with UK.png

Hampshire (/ˈhæmpʃər/, /-ʃɪər/ (listen); abbreviated to Hants) is a county in South East England on the coast of the English Channel. The county town is Winchester, but the county is named after Southampton. Its two largest cities are Southampton and Portsmouth which are administered separately as unitary authorities; the rest of the county is governed by a combination of the Hampshire County Council and non-metropolitan district councils.

First settled about 14,000 years ago, Hampshire's recorded history dates to Roman Britain, when its chief town was Winchester, then known as Venta Belgarum. The county was recorded in the 11th century Domesday Book, divided into 44 hundreds. From the 12th century, the ports grew in importance, fuelled by trade with the continent, wool and cloth manufacture, fishing and large shipbuilding industries. By the 16th century, the population of Southampton had outstripped that of Winchester. By the mid-19th century, the population was 219,210, double that at the beginning of the century, in more than 86,000 dwellings. Agriculture was the principal industry and 10 per cent of the county was still forest. Hampshire played a crucial military role in both World Wars. The borders of the ceremonial county were created by the Local Government Act 1972 (enacted 1974). Historically part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was made a separate ceremonial county and the towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch were administered as part of the ceremonial county of Dorset.

The geography of the county is varied, with upland rising to 286 metres (938 ft) and mostly south-flowing rivers. There are areas of downland and marsh, and two national parks: the New Forest and part of the South Downs, which together cover 45 per cent of Hampshire.

Hampshire is one of the most affluent counties in the country, with an unemployment rate lower than the national average. Its economy mainly derives from major companies, maritime, agriculture and tourism. Tourist attractions include seaside resorts, national parks, the National Motor Museum and the Southampton Boat Show. The county is known as the home of writers Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Hampshire is also the childhood home of Florence Nightingale and the birthplace of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. (Full article...)

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Clock Tower, Farnborough

Farnborough is a town in northeast Hampshire, England, part of the borough of Rushmoor and the Farnborough/Aldershot Built-up Area. Farnborough was founded in Saxon times and is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name is formed from Ferneberga which means "fern hill". According to the UK-wide 2011 Census, the population of Farnborough is 57,486.

The town is probably best known for its association with aviation, with the Farnborough Airshow, Farnborough Airport, Royal Aircraft Establishment, and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch. (Full article...)

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Selected biography

Isambard Kingdom Brunel FRS MInstCE (/ˈɪzəmbɑːrd brˈnɛl/; 9 April 1806 – 15 September 1859) was an English civil engineer who is considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history," "one of the 19th-century engineering giants," and "one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution, [who] changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking designs and ingenious constructions." Brunel built dockyards, the Great Western Railway (GWR), a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship, and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering.

Though Brunel's projects were not always successful, they often contained innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems. During his career, Brunel achieved many engineering firsts, including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river (the River Thames) and the development of the SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven, ocean-going iron ship, which, when launched in 1843, was the largest ship ever built.

On the GWR, Brunel set standards for a well-built railway, using careful surveys to minimise gradients and curves. This necessitated expensive construction techniques, new bridges, new viaducts, and the two-mile-long (3.2 km) Box Tunnel. One controversial feature was the "broad gauge" of 7 ft 14 in (2,140 mm), instead of what was later to be known as "standard gauge" of 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm). He astonished Britain by proposing to extend the GWR westward to North America by building steam-powered, iron-hulled ships. He designed and built three ships that revolutionised naval engineering: the SS Great Western (1838), the SS Great Britain (1843), and the SS Great Eastern (1859).

In 2002, Brunel was placed second in a BBC public poll to determine the "100 Greatest Britons." In 2006, the bicentenary of his birth, a major programme of events celebrated his life and work under the name Brunel 200. (Full article...)

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More articles: Business in Hampshire | Geology of Hampshire | History of Hampshire | Portsmouth | Recreational walks in Hampshire | Southampton | Winchester

Lists: List of churches in Hampshire | List of further education colleges in Hampshire | List of Parliamentary constituencies in Hampshire | List of places in Hampshire

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