Most interesting landmarks of Hampshire

Below are listed the most amazing landmarks of Hampshire.

Archaeological monuments

  • Calleva Atrebatum – Iron Age settlement and Roman town, abandoned as the Roman era ended. Roman fortification walls still are visible and are some of the best preserved Roman fortifications in the country.
  • Danebury – enormous Iron Age hillfort built around the 6th century BC, with impressive earthen ramparts. Type-site for hillforts.
  • Portchester Castle – enormous, interesting castle serving as fortified port. Castle includes Roman fortifications from the late 3rd century AD – it is best preserved Roman fort north from Alps. Later this structure was extended by Saxons (the 10th century). In the late 11th here was developed Norman fortification, which later was fortified and extended. Nowadays impressive parts of the castle are Roman fortifications and the massive, square keep.
  • Tidpit Common Down Grim’s Ditch – linear bank and ditch earthworks, built around 300 BC. Ditch encloses 41 km2 large area. The function is unclear.

Urban planning monuments

Lymington, Quay Street
Lymington, Quay Street / Gillian Moy, / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Bucklers Hard – historical hamlet from the early 18th century. Here was planned development of a port for trade with West Indies. In the hamlet were built numerous famous naval vessels.
  • Historical center of Lymington – the center of Lymington has numerous old Victorian and Georgian houses lined along the narrow cobbled streets. The town has been affluent due to the port and saltworks and as a result here were built many fine and beautiful houses.
  • Southampton Town Walls – city walls, built in 1175 – 1380. Nowadays remain half of original walls, 13 towers, six gates.
  • Winchester Cathedral Close – city area with numerous very old buildings from the 13th – 15th century. Includes medieval city walls from the 10th century with two gates. One of gates – Westgate – was built in Anglo-Saxon style, rebuilt in the 12th century, the other – Kingsgate – is built in the 14th century.

Country houses and castles

Highclere Castle, Hampshire
Highclere Castle / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Beaulieu Palace House – the 13th century mansion, extended in the 16th century. Unique example of Gothic country house.
  • Bramshill House – impressive Jacobean (late Renaissance) mansion, built in 1605 – 1612 over an older fortified castle from 1327.
  • Breamore House – Elizabethan country house, built in 1583. Contains valuable collection of paintings, tapestries, furniture.
  • Cranbury Park House – stately home, once also a home to Sir Isaac Newton and Chamberlaine family. The pleasant house is built in 1780, it has beautiful interiors.
  • Highclere Castle – very impressive country house, last time rebuilt in 1839 – 1840 in High Elizabethan style. This is somewhat eclectic, interesting building with multiple roof spires.
  • Hurst Castle – massive, unusual fortification on the south coast of England. This enormous fortification was built in the 15th century, extended in the second half of the 19th century.
  • The Grange in Northington – country house in Greek Revival style. Initially built in 1662, rebuilt into "Greek temple" in 1804.
  • Waddesdon Manor – very impressive country house of Rothschild family. Built in Neo-Renaissance style in 1874 – 1889, contains very rich art collections.
  • Warbrook House – large country house in Georgian style, built in 1727.
  • Winchester Castle – medieval fortified building from 1067. Only the Great Hall of castle remains today – it is built in 1222-1235. Interesting feature if Winchester Round Table – imitation of Arthurian Round Table, made in the 13th century and hanging at the wall.

Churches and monasteries

Breamore Church - example of Saxon architecture, Hampshire
Breamore Church – example of Saxon architecture / , Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Alton Church of St Lawrence – old church. Church here might have existed already around 500 AD, but the construction of the current one started around 1070. Contains Norman arch with fine sculpted capitels of pillars. Also later additions have left valuable details, such as paintings on pillar from the 15th century.
  • Breamore Church – practically complete example of Saxon building from the late 10th century. Few alterations. There is large yew next to the church – most likely older than the church.
  • Farnborough St Michael’s Abbey Church – ornate church of Benedictine abbey, built in the late 19th century in flamboyant Neo-Gothic style.
  • Nately Scures St Swithun’s Church – best preserved, unspoilt Norman single-cell apsidal church in England, built of flint and rubble around 1175.
  • Portsmouth Cathedral – enormous church building, gradually developed and extended over the centuries. Initially here was built a chapel in the late 12th century, larger reconstruction works were done in 1683 – 1693, 1902 – 1904, 1933 – 1991.
  • Romsey Abbey – impressive ancient church, built around 1130 – 1140 AD on the foundation of earlier church. For centuries served as church for both monastery and local townspeople.
  • St. Huberts chapel at Rowland’s Castle – this chapel was built in 1053 and contains medieval wall paintings from the 13th century.
  • Titchfield Abbey – unusual monument of architecture – medieval abbey rebuilt into country house. Abbey founded in 1222, closed in 1537 and turned into mansion. Mansion was abandoned in 1781. The impressive building contains many valuable details of architecture and art.
  • Winchester Cathedral – impressive building, one of the largest cathedrals in United Kingdom, longest (169.5 m) Gothic cathedral in Europe. Present cathedral constructed in 1079-1093 in Norman style, rebuilt into Gothic structure in several periods until the 16th century.

Other landmarks of Hampshire

Breamore Mizmaze, Hampshire
Breamore Mizmaze / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Breamore Mizmaze – medieval turf labyrinth in the middle of yew tree growth. It is possible that this labyrinth was created before the Christian times.
  • Eling Tide Mill – one of the few existing historical tide mills, still powered by tidal forces. The only working tidal mill in United Kingdom. First mills built here before 1086, present buildings from the early 19th century.
  • Exbury Gardens – garden (81 ha in size) with very large collections of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. Created by Rothschild family and open to public.
  • Fordingbridge Old Great Bridge – medieval bridge over Avon, with seven arches.
  • Hospital of St. Cross – the oldest charitable institution in the United Kingdom, established in 1133 – 1136. Largest and oldest medieval almshouse in Britain, still accommodating elderly people. The large complex of buildings contains exquisite church from the 12th or 13th century in Norman/Gothic style, with traces of medieval paintings.
  • Hovercraft Museum – unique collection of more than 60 hovercraft.
  • King John’s House in Romsey – interesting, well preserved medieval building with medieval wall decorations and graffiti. Floor is made of animal bones.
  • National Motor Museum, Beaulieu – one of the best automotive technology museum in Britain. Includes unique collection of 250 important motor vehicles, huge collection of British automotive engineering achievements.
  • Pilgrim’s Hall – oldest existing hammer-beamed building in England, built around 1308. Built as a hostel to house the pilgrims coming to St. Swithun’s shrine.
  • Spinnaker Tower – 170 m high tower in Portsmouth, built in 2005. Tower has highly original form, resembling a sail.

Described landmarks of Hampshire

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Hampshire is rich with many valuable man-made landmarks. Numerous medieval churches and country houses form a varied cultural landscape, enriched with country parks, avenues, graveyards. Several cities and towns, including the ancient ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, still have medieval fortification walls.

Video of Hampshire

Visit Hampshire, January 2012

Featured: Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral rising above the city
Winchester Cathedral rising above the city / Graham Horn, / CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Europe is Winchester Cathedral. This magnificent building is located in the valley of River Itchen, but nevertheless dominates the skyline of Winchester city. Building is 169.5 m long!

The history of this important structure is more than 1300 years long.

Winchester Cathedral is true depository of medieval and later art values, such as Winchester Bible – illuminated manuscript from 1160 – 1175, Pre-Raphaelite stained glass and unique diatonic ring of 14 church bells – the only one in the world.

Recommended books

The Rough Guide to Dorset, Hampshire & the Isle of Wight

From sweeping beaches to medieval forests, country pubs to seaside hotels, The Rough Guide to Dorset, Hampshire & the Isle of Wight is the ultimate guide to this stunning part of England. Our expert authors show you all the region’s highlights and let you in on the secret spots locals love, with the fully updated listings shown on clear, full-color maps. Alongside this you’ll find gorgeous photography, fascinating historical background and vital practical information – everything from how to get around on public transport to when the best festivals are held.

South-East England: Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

Peter Sager, author of Wales, East Anglia, and The West Country, now turns his attention to south-east England. Sager’s journey proceeds geographically east to west. From the hop fields and orchards of Kent, the Garden of England, to the urbane county of Surrey, with its country houses and literary associations, from the village greens of Hampshire to the colorful Isle of Wight, this well-seasoned traveler gives us another invaluable guide. It is handsomely illustrated with photos and diagrams as well as two fold-out maps.

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