Portal:Hampshire

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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 ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in western South East England on the coast of the English Channel. Home to two major English cities on its south coast, Southampton and Portsmouth, Hampshire is the 9th-most populous county in England. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, located in the north of the county. The county is bordered by Dorset to the south-west, Wiltshire to the north-west, Berkshire to the north, Surrey to the north-east, and West Sussex to the south east. The county is geographically diverse, with upland rising to 286 m (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.

Settled about 14,000 years ago, Hampshire's recorded history dates to Roman Britain, when its chief town was Venta Belgarum (now Winchester). The county was recorded in Domesday Book as divided into 44 hundreds. From the 12th century, the ports settlements grew due to increasing trade with the European mainland resulting from the wool and cloth, fishing, and shipbuilding industries. This meant by the 16th century, Southampton had become more populous than Winchester. In 20th century conflicts, including World War One and Two, Hampshire played a crucial military role due to its ports.

At present, the county is divided into 13 non-metropolitan districts. Southampton and Portsmouth are unitary authorities and 7 hold borough status. This means that with the exceptions of Southampton and Portsmouth, the county is locally governed by a combination of the County Council and non-metropolitan district councils. In 1974, The Isle of Wight was made a separate ceremonial county from Hampshire and the towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch were transferred to Dorset.

Hampshire is the home of famed English-people such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Florence Nightingale, and as the birthplace of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. (Full article...)

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Portsmouth montage.png

Portsmouth (/ˈpɔːrtsməθ/ (listen) PORTS-məth) is a port and city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire in southern England. The city of Portsmouth has been a unitary authority since 1 April 1997 and is administered by Portsmouth City Council.

Portsmouth is the most densely populated city in the United Kingdom, with a population last recorded at 238,800. Portsmouth is located 70 miles (110 km) south-west of London and 19 miles (31 km) south-east of Southampton. Portsmouth is mostly located on Portsea Island; the only English city not on the mainland of Great Britain. Portsea Island has the third highest population in the British Isles after the islands of Great Britain and Ireland. Portsmouth also forms part of the regional South Hampshire conurbation, which includes the city of Southampton and the boroughs of Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Havant and Waterlooville.

Portsmouth is one of the world's best known ports, its history can be traced to Roman times and has been a significant Royal Navy dockyard and base for centuries. Portsmouth was first established as a town with a royal charter on 2 May 1194. Portsmouth was England's first line of defence during an attempted French invasion in 1545 at the Battle of the Solent, famously notable for the sinking of the carrack Mary Rose and witnessed by King Henry VIII of England from Southsea Castle. Portsmouth has the world's oldest dry dock, "The Great Stone Dock"; originally built in 1698, rebuilt in 1769 and presently known as "No.5 Dock". The world's first mass production line was established at the naval base's Block Mills which produced pulley blocks for the Royal Navy fleet. By the early-19th century, Portsmouth was the most heavily fortified city in the world, and was considered "the world's greatest naval port" at the height of the British Empire throughout Pax Britannica. By 1859, a ring of defensive land and sea forts, known as the Palmerston Forts had been built around Portsmouth in anticipation of an invasion from continental Europe.

In the 20th century, Portsmouth achieved city status on 21 April 1926. During the Second World War, the city was a pivotal embarkation point for the D-Day landings and was bombed extensively in the Portsmouth Blitz, which resulted in the deaths of 930 people. In 1982, a large Royal Navy task force departed from Portsmouth for the Falklands War. Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia was formerly based in Portsmouth and oversaw the transfer of Hong Kong in 1997, after which, Britannia was retired from royal service, decommissioned and relocated to Leith as a museum ship.

HMNB Portsmouth is an operational Royal Navy base and is home to two-thirds of the UK's surface fleet. The base has long been nicknamed Pompey, a nickname it shares with the wider city of Portsmouth and Portsmouth Football Club. The naval base also contains the National Museum of the Royal Navy and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard; which has a collection of historic warships, including the Mary Rose, Lord Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory (the world's oldest naval ship still in commission), and HMS Warrior, the Royal Navy's first ironclad warship.

The former HMS Vernon shore establishment has been redeveloped into a large retail outlet destination known as Gunwharf Quays which opened in 2001. Portsmouth is among the few British cities with two cathedrals: the Anglican Cathedral of St Thomas and the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Evangelist. The waterfront and Portsmouth Harbour are dominated by the Spinnaker Tower, one of the United Kingdom's tallest structures at 560 feet (170 m).

Southsea is Portsmouth's seaside resort, which was named after Southsea Castle. Southsea has two piers; Clarence Pier amusement park and South Parade Pier. The world's only regular hovercraft service operates from Southsea Hoverport to Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Southsea Common is a large open-air public recreation space which serves as a venue for a wide variety of annual events.

Portsmouth F.C. is the city's professional association football club and play their home games at Fratton Park. The city has several mainline railway stations that connect to London Victoria and London Waterloo amongst other lines in southern England. Portsmouth International Port is a commercial cruise ship and ferry port for international destinations. The port is the second busiest in the United Kingdom after Dover, handling around three million passengers a year. The city formerly had its own airport, Portsmouth Airport, until its closure in 1973. The University of Portsmouth enrols 23,000 students and is ranked among the world's best modern universities.

Portsmouth is the birthplace of notable people such as author Charles Dickens, engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, former Prime Minister James Callaghan, actor Peter Sellers and author-journalist Christopher Hitchens. (Full article...)

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Charles Fryatt IWM Q 066269.jpg

Charles Algernon Fryatt (2 December 1872 – 27 July 1916) was a British merchant seaman who was court martialled by the Imperial German Navy for attempting to ram a German U-boat in 1915. When his ship, the SS Brussels, was captured off occupied Belgium in 1916, Captain Fryatt was court-martialled under German military law and sentenced to death for "illegal civilian warfare". International outrage followed his execution by firing squad near Bruges, Belgium. In 1919, his body was reburied with full honours in the United Kingdom. (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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