Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the English county, for the village in the United States of America see Hampshire, Illinois.
|Status:||Ceremonial & (smaller) Administrative County|
|Region:||South East England|
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
- Total (2002 est.)
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
439 / km²
Hampshire County Council
|Members of Parliament|
|James Arbuthnot, David Chidgey, John Denham, Sandra Gidley, Mike Hancock, Mark Hoban, Gerald Howarth, Andrew Hunter, Julian Lewis, Michael Mates, Mark Oaten, Syd Rapson, Desmond Swayne, Peter Viggers, Alan Whitehead, David Willetts, George Young|
Hampshire (abbr. Hants) is a county on the south coast of England. The 2001 census gave the population of the administrative county as 1.24 million; the population including Portsmouth and Southampton was around 1.6 million. It borders on Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey and West Sussex.
Hampshire is a popular holiday area, with tourist attractions including its many seaside resorts, the maritime area in Portsmouth, and the motor museum at Beaulieu. The New Forest lies within the borders, as does a large chunk of the South Downs - there are plans to make both of these areas into national parks.
Geology, landscape and ecology
- Main article: Geology of Hampshire.
Hampshire's geology falls into two categories. In the south, along the coast, are relatively weak Eocene and Oligocene clays and gravels which are protected from sea erosion by the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight. These low, flat lands support heathland and woodland habitats, a large area of which, the New Forest, is largely unspoilt and was designated a National Park in 2004.
In the north of the county the substrate is the southern England Chalk Formation of Salisbury Plain and the South Downs. These are high hills with steep slopes where they border the clays to the south. The downland supports a calcareous grassland habitat, important for wild flowers and insects, as well as arable agriculture. The South Downs are also a candidate for National Park status.
- Main article: History of Hampshire.
The county was recorded in the Domesday Book divided into 44 hundreds. These later consolidated to 37. These were Alton, Andover, Barmanstip , Barton Stacy , Basingstoke, Bedbridge , Bondsborough , Bosmere , Buddlesgate , Christchurch, Chutely , Crondal , East Mean , Evinger , Fawley, Finchdean , Fordingbridge, Hambledon, Heling , Holdsett , Kings Somborn , Kingsclear , Mansbridge , Meanstoke , Micheldever , New Forest, Odiham, Overton , Pastrow , Portsdown , Ringwood, Shelbourn , Sutton , Thorngate , Titchfield, Waltham and Wherwell .
The county has in the past been called "Southamptonshire" and appears as such on some Victorian maps. Its name was officially changed from 'County of Southampton' to 'County of Hampshire' on April 1, 1959. The short form of the name, often used in postal addresses, is Hants.
The Isle of Wight has been for some purposes in the past treated traditionally part of Hampshire, but has been administered separately from Hampshire for over a century, obtaining a county council of its own in 1890. The Isle of Wight became a full ceremonial county in 1974. The Island is excluded from the hundreds given above - it was traditionally divided into East Medina and West Medina hundreds. Apart from a shared police force there are now no formal administrative links between the Isle of Wight and Hampshire.
Cities, towns, and villages
The county town is Winchester, a historic city that was once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Wessex. The cities of Southampton and Portsmouth, both major ports, were split off as separate unitary authorities in 1997, although they are still included in Hampshire for ceremonial purposes.
There is an international airport with its own rail station between Southampton and Eastleigh.
- For the complete list of settlements see List of places in Hampshire.
Places of interest
- Beaulieu Abbey and the National Motor Museum
- HMS Victory
- Mottisfont Abbey
- Netley Abbey
- New Forest Museum
- River Avon
- River Hamble
- Portchester Castle
- River Meon
- River Test
- Romsey Abbey
- Royal Victoria Country Park
- Silchester Roman Town
- Southampton Water
- South Downs Way, a long distance footpath
- Whitchurch Silk Mill
- Hampshire County Council
- iHampshire - The Hampshire Directory - a commercial directory containing links to businesses, services and local organisations
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