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Wonders of Hampshire

Bluebells in Micheldever Forest
Bluebells in Micheldever Forest./ Christopher Mullins, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

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, and graveyards. Several cities and towns, including the ancient ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, still have medieval fortification walls.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Hampshire

Archaeological wonders

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.


This enormous Iron Age hillfort was built around the 6th century BC and hass impressive earthen ramparts up to this day. Type-site for hillforts.

Architecture wonders

Winchester Cathedral

Impressive building, one of the largest cathedrals in the United Kingdom, longest (169.5 m) Gothic cathedral in Europe. The present cathedral was constructed in 1079-1093 in the Norman style, and rebuilt into a Gothic structure in several periods until the 16th century.

Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire, west front
Winchester Cathedral, west front / , Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
Beaulieu Palace House

A 13th-century mansion, extended in the 16th century. A unique example of a Gothic country house.

Bucklers Hard

A historical hamlet from the early 18th century. Here was planned the development of a port for trade with the West Indies. In the hamlet were built numerous famous naval vessels.

Portchester Castle

An enormous, interesting castle that served as a fortified port. The castle includes Roman fortifications from the late 3rd century AD – it is the best-preserved Roman fort north of the Alps. Later this structure was extended by the Saxons (the 10th century). In the late 11th here was developed a Norman fortification that later was fortified and extended. Nowadays impressive parts of the castle are Roman fortifications and the massive, square keep.

Hospital of St. Cross

The oldest charitable institution in the United Kingdom, established in 1133 – 1136. The largest and oldest medieval almshouse in Britain, still accommodating elderly people. The large complex of buildings contains an exquisite church from the 12th or 13th century in Norman/Gothic style, with traces of medieval paintings.

Titchfield Abbey

An unusual monument of architecture – a medieval abbey that has been rebuilt into a country house. The abbey was founded in 1222 and closed in 1537 when it was turned into a mansion. The mansion was abandoned in 1781. The impressive building contains many valuable details of architecture and art.

Highclere Castle

Very impressive country house, last time rebuilt in 1839 – 1840 in High Elizabethan style. This is a somewhat eclectic, interesting building with multiple roof spires.

Highclere Castle, Hampshire
Highclere Castle / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Waddesdon Manor

Very impressive country house of the Rothschild family. Built in Neo-Renaissance style in 1874 – 1889, contains very rich art collections.

Romsey Abbey

An impressive ancient church, built around 1130 – 1140 AD on the foundations of an earlier church. For centuries served as a church for both monastery and local townspeople.

Bramshill House

An 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 a valuable collection of paintings, tapestries, and furniture.

National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

One of the best automotive technology museums in Britain. Includes a unique collection of 250 important motor vehicles, a huge collection of British automotive engineering achievements.

Pilgrim’s Hall

The oldest existing hammer-beamed building in England, built around 1308. Built as a hostel to house the pilgrims coming to St. Swithun’s shrine.

St. Huberts chapel at Rowland’s Castle

This chapel was built in 1053 and contains medieval wall paintings from the 13th century.

The Grange in Northington

A country house in the Greek Revival style. Initially, it was constructed in 1662 and then rebuilt into a "Greek temple" in 1804.

Cranbury Park House

Stately home, once also home to Sir Isaac Newton and Chamberlain’s family. The pleasant house was built in 1780, it has beautiful interiors.

Nately Scures St Swithun’s Church

The best preserved, unspoiled Norman single-cell apsidal church in England, built of flint and rubble around 1175.

Southampton Town Walls

City walls, built in 1175 – 1380. Nowadays remain half of the original walls, 13 towers, and six gates.

King John’s House in Romsey

An interesting, well preserved medieval building with medieval wall decorations and graffiti. The floor is made of animal bones.

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 the gates – Westgate – was built in Anglo-Saxon style, rebuilt in the 12th century, and the other – Kingsgate – was built in the 14th century.

The 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.

Lymington, Quay Street
Lymington, Quay Street / Gillian Moy, / CC BY-SA 2.0
Winchester Castle

A medieval fortified building from 1067. Only the Great Hall of the castle remains today – it was built in 1222-1235. An interesting feature is the Winchester Round Table – an imitation of the Arthurian Round Table, made in the 13th century and hanging on the wall.

Eling Tide Mill

One of the few existing historical tide mills, still powered by tidal forces. The only working tidal mill in the United Kingdom. First such mills were built here before 1086, the present buildings are from the early 19th century.

WorldYellow 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 southeast 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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