Facts about Hampshire
Agriculture had arrived in southern Britain by 4000 BCE, and with it a neolithic culture. Some deforestation took place at that time, although during the Bronze Age, beginning in 2200 BCE, this became more widespread and systematic. Hampshire has few monuments to show from these early periods, although nearby Stonehenge was built in several phases at some time between 3100 and 2200 BCE.
Hillforts largely declined in importance in the second half of the second century BCE, with many being abandoned. Probably around this period, the first recorded invasion of Britain took place, as southern Britain was largely conquered by warrior-elites from Belgic tribes of northeastern Gaul – whether these two events are linked to the decline of hillforts is unknown. By the Roman conquest, the oppidum at Venta Belgarum, modern-day Winchester, was the de facto regional administrative centre.
Hampshire is a county in South East England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Winchester, England’s former capital city. Its two largest cities, Southampton and Portsmouth, are administered separately as unitary authorities; the rest of the county is governed by Hampshire County Council. First settled about 14,000 years ago, Hampshire’s history dates to Roman Britain, when its chief town was Winchester, then known as Venta Belgarum.
First settled about 14,000 years ago, Hampshire’s history dates to Roman Britain, when its chief town was Winchester, then known as Venta Belgarum. The county was recorded in the 11th century Domesday Book, divided into 44 hundred. From the 12th century, the ports grew in importance, fuelled by trade with the continent, wool and cloth manufacture, fishing and large shipbuilding industries. By the 16th century, the population of Southampton had outstripped that of Winchester.