Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for BASINGSTOKE

BASINGSTOKE, a town, a parish, a subdistrict, a district, a hundred, and a division in Hants. The town stands on a headstream of the river Loddon, and on the Southwestern railway, 15 ½ miles SSW of Reading, and 45½ SW by W of London. A canal goes from it to the Thames; five roads from the S and the W meet at it to proceed to London; and two branch railways go off from its vicinity, the one to Reading, the other to Andover and Salisbury. The town dates from the Saxon times; and was a royal possession and a market-town at Domes day. It consists of several streets; and contains neat well-built houses. The town hall is a handsome edifice of 1832, and cost £9,695. The corn exchange was built in 1865, at a cost of upwards of £3,000. The parish church is late perpendicular, large, and handsome; consists of nave, chancel, and side aisles, with a square tower; was built chiefly in the reign of Henry VIII., by Bishop Fox; was recently repaired and new-seated; and contains a parochial library and the monument of Thomas Warton. An hospital for aged priests, founded in 1261 by Walter de Merton, adjoined the churchyard, but has disappeared. A picturesque ruin, known as the Holy Ghost chapel, founded, in the time of Henry VIII., by the first Lord Sandys, stands adjacent to the railway station; shows characters of very late perpendicular, with debased and Italian details; and is believed to occupy the site of some previous religious edifice or edifices, dating back to the times of the Saxons. A burying ground around it, now disposed as a new cemetery, contains two funeral chapels in decorated Gothic, each with tower and spire about 70 feet high, founded in 1857; and contains also some interesting ancient monuments. The town has four dissenting chapels, a grammar school with endowed income of £158, a blue-coat school with £170, other charities with £607, a mechanics' institute, a head post office,‡ 3 banking offices, and 5 chief inns; and it is a seat of petty sessions and a polling-place. A weekly market is held on Wednesday; and fairs, on Easter Tuesday, Whit-Wednesday, the last Thursday of May, 23 Sept., 11 Oct., and the last Thursday of Nov. The manufacture of druggets and shalloons was once extensive; but malting and the corn trade are now the chief employments. The town sent members to parliament in the times of Edward I. and II.; was chartered by James I. and Charles I.; and is now governed by a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors. John de Basingstoke, a celebrated Greek scholar of the 13th century; Sir James Lancaster, the eminent navigator in the time of Elizabeth; Richard White, the author of a History of Britain, in the time of James I.; and the brothers Joseph and Thomas Warton, the former headmaster of Winchester, the latter the well-known poet, were natives of Basingstoke; and Thomas Warton, the father of these Wartons, and Sir George Wheeler the Eastern traveller, were vicars.—The parish is politically conterminate with the town; and comprises 4,036 acres. Real property, £17,663. Pop., 4,654. Houses, 945. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Winchester; and, till 186 4, was united with Basing and Up-Nately. Value, £572.* Patron, Magdalene College, Oxford.

The subdistrict comprises the parishes of Basingstoke, Worting, Eastrop, Basing, Tunworth, Weston-Patrick, Upton-Gray, Maplederwell, Up-Nately, Nately-Scures, and Newnham, and the extra-parochial tracts of And well and Weston-Corbett. Acres, 19,884. Pop., 7,784. Houses, 1,577. The district comprehends also the sub district of Bramley, containing the parishes of Bramley, Sherborne-St. John, Sherfield-upon-Loddon, Hartley Westpall, Stratfield-Turgis, Silchester, Pamber, West Sherborne, and Stratfieldsaye,-the last partly in Berks; and the subdistrict of Dummer, containing the parishes of Dummer, Nutley, Woodmancott, Popham, North Waltham, Church-Oakley, Steventon, Deane, Wootton-St. Lawrence, Cliddesden, Farleigh-Wallop, Ellisfield, Winslade-with-Kempshot, Herriard, Bradley, and Preston-Candover. Acres, 73,852. Poor-rates in 1866, £13,979. Pop. in 1861, 17,429. Houses, 3,546. Marriages in 1866, 120; births, 530,-of which 32 were illegitimate; deaths, 298,-of which 89 were at ages under 5 years, and 15 at ages above 85 years. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,001; births, 5,139; deaths, 3,284. The places of worship in 1851 were 37 of the Church of England, with 6,943 sittings; 8 of Independents, with 1,090 s.; 1 of Baptists, with 100 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 159 s.; 8 of Primitive Methodists, with 927 s.; and 1 of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, with 325 s. The schools were 27 public day schools, with 1,988 scholars; 19 private day schools, with 373 s.; 26 Sunday schools, with 1,518 s.; and 3 evening schools for adults, with 26 s. The workhouse is in Basing; was erected at a cost of £7,500; and has capacity for 400 inmates.-The hundred comprises seventeen parishes; and is cut into the two parts of Lower Half and Upper Half. Acres, 18,964 and 14,108. Pop. in 1851, 4,211 and 2,969. Houses, 840 and 554.-The division comprehends the hundreds of Basingstoke, Lower and Upper, Bermondspit, Lower and Upper, and Holdshott, Lower. Acres, 70,906. Pop. in 1851, 13,560; in 1861, 12,790. Houses, 2,616.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a subdistrict, a district, a hundred, and a division"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Basingstoke CP/AP/Ch       Basingstoke Hundred       Basingstoke SubD       Basingstoke PLU/RegD       Hampshire AncC
Place: Basingstoke

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