Basingstoke Guide

Basingstoke Guide


Basingstoke is a town in Hampshire, England, located primarily on the western bank of the River Loddon, which flows through the town centre. Basingstoke is situated 50 miles (80 km) southwest of London, 20 miles (30 km) northeast of Southampton and 22 miles (35 km) east northeast of Winchester. It is within the borough of Basingstoke and Deane and part of the parliamentary constituency of Basingstoke. Contemporary Basingstoke generally falls within the bounds of the North West Hampshire parliamentary constituency.


The Borough of Basingstoke and Deane was formed in 1974 by the amalgamation of the former borough of Basingstoke with part of the neighbouring borough of Odiham, Hampshire List (hampshire-list.co.uk). The Borough Council has 48 councillors, elected from 20 wards. Since 1994 elections have been held to all seats of the council in three out of four years, with one year having no election. Elections are held in three out of four years, with one year having no election.

In elections for Parliament, Basingstoke is within the Basingstoke constituency; however, it is represented at Hampshire County Council as part of the authority's two-member Queen's Park ward. Dover District Council is responsible for services within Basingstoke and is based in the town: it was formed in 1997 under the Local Government Act 1992. In March 2012, Conservative Matthew Barber became Leader of the Council, holding the post until May 2015. He was replaced by Jeremy Moulton, also a Conservative, who retained his position at the May 2017 elections.

The town's MP is Maria Miller (Conservative). She won a narrow victory at the 2005 general election when she ousted Labour MP Anthony Steen by just over 600 votes. Basingstoke and Deane borough council has managed the town's local affairs since 1974.  There are a total of 19 wards in two tiers; Basingstoke has a town council and each ward is represented by three councillors who make up the borough council. For electoral purposes, the borough is divided into three divisions: North, East, and West.

Councillors are elected or co-opted to fill vacant seats or vacancies arising between elections. Basingstoke borough is divided into 21 wards, each returning two county councillors to the seventy-member Hampshire County Council. The borough's current second tier of local government is a six-member town council; it appoints one of its number to be mayor for one year, and has responsibility for the allotment gardens and cemeteries in and around Basingstoke. The Civil parish of Basingstoke used to exist.


The single-storey pavilion-style Willis Museum has a large collection of exhibits depicting the town and district, in particular Basingstoke's industrial heritage, and includes further collections for archaeology, local natural history and other various topics. The building also houses a local reference library and a public lounge area on the first floor. The Top of Town has undergone a multimillion-pound redevelopment, which included the widening of pedestrianised High Street and the diversion of traffic into Queen Street below.

The scheme also saw a new purpose built Arts Centre being built on the top of the hill. The current plans are much more ambitious than before. The surrounding roads maintain the area's old-world, quaint, village character with several traditional local pubs. The 'old town hall'(built 1832) is now Wil's Museum of Local History and houses many records and artefacts as well as a permanent Royal Hampshire Regiment exhibition. Around the Willis Museum is a small shopping precinct containing a branch of Caffè Nero, several independent retailers and two banks.

There is also a small market square. Top of Town is a reference to the hilltop location of the town centre. It has the Willis Museum and a main shopping precinct established in Victorian times. In 1986 it was merged with the Municipal Borough of Basingstoke and Deane, to form the Basingstoke and Deane district. The district was abolished in April 2009, forming a new unitary authority known as Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

Victorian history

The London and South Western Railway opened a railway station at Botley on 1 May 1859 on its Southampton to Dorchester line. The new line the South Western Main Line was completed in 1856 between Basingstoke and Salisbury. In 1857, another branch, the Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway was built from East Junction (near Alton) with this new line as far as Alton. The following year this was extended to the town of Grateley where it connected with another branch from Andover which served the Alton Line.

In 1862 the LSWR opened a line from St Denys along the south coast via Poole to Weymouth, for connection with their ferry terminal. The London and South Western Railway obtained powers in 1844 to make railways from Reading to Taunton, and Southampton to Dorchester. The first section from Reading to Basingstoke was opened in 1848, and from Basingstoke to Winchester in 1849. The line reached Salisbury in 1854, with a branch continuing westward to Yeovil (1856) and a coast route being completed via Ringwood and Christchurch (1857).

Recent history

After the war, the town's population rose dramatically. Farms were abandoned as their owners were unable to make a living and people moved in from London to begin commuting. Basildon was designated as one of the new towns, with Basingstoke one of the six major development areas around London built to alleviate housing congestion elsewhere. The first new homes in Basingstoke were built for families evicted by the London County Council from the wartime Beverley Square housing estate near Victoria railway station, where many had been bombed out and kept in temporary accommodation for years after 1941.

The council (by then named Hampshire County Council) built a large estate north of Oakridge Road between Kingsclere Road and the railway line to Liphook, and named. Basingstoke town centre today has a very different shopping experience to that of the pre-War years. Many of its historic buildings have been demolished in recent decades, replaced by new structures in the modern shopping centre style. It suffers from many overlapping flyovers and interchanges. After the Second World War, Basingstoke continued to grow with new housing developments and commercial areas increasing the size.

During the 1960s and 1970s, major building development took place at Roundhill Crescent (modern 'Old Town'), which was expanded as part of a regeneration scheme. People rapidly moved back to the town once basic utilities were restored. During the 1950s, with more housing needed for a growing population, parts of the Municipal Boroughs of Basingstoke and Deane (such as North Waltham) were added to Basingstoke's administrative area. Lymington Market. Southampton Castle was built on an old Roman fort that existed in the area.


Basingstoke is part of the parliamentary constituency of Basingstoke and Deane, which has been held by the Conservative Party since its creation at the 1983 general election, with MP Maria Miller having a majority of 1,571 in 2015. In 2010–15 it was the safest Conservative seat in Hampshire, and one of the ten safest seats in the country. The average for the borough of Basingstoke and Deane in 2001 was 1. 0 persons per room; this rose to 4.

2 persons per room in 2006. In 2008, the average household size in Basingstoke and Deane was 2. 4 people, significantly lower than England's 2. 7. Basingstoke has a significant population over and above the immediate town area. The most populous wards in the borough are Winklebury, Lovedean & Knook which has 26,067 residents; Longmoor with 20,754 residents; and Winnersh with 17,970 residents. Following the end of World War One many Basingstoke men who had fought in the war returned to settle in the town.

Sport and leisure

Cricket is the most popular sport in the town with Corby Cricket Club, Corby Town FC and Corby Ranji's as the town's three main teams. The cricket club plays at Lord Ward's Cricket ground, also home to Corby Town F. C., on Middleborough Road. The first cricket club formed in the area was in 1856 by two local pubs, but this was short-lived. In the 1850s, a group of villages played under the name of Ward family with great success.

Cricket became more organised when a group of cricketers from Trinity Church formed their own team in 1861. This team joined other village teams to form Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, with Lord Broughton. Sport and recreation are important to the town, since it lies at the head of a once important industrial valley. The Locks Heath Harlequins Rugby Club, which nurtured England players such as Will Greenwood and Michael Lipman is based in Shamley Green and caters for various ages from minis (for 5–8 year olds) to veterans.

A short walk away are the Hamptons Stud Farms. Philip Hobbs, who has trained many winners under National Hunt rules, including two Cheltenham Gold Cups. The town also has an indoor sports centre (Stedham Court), golf courses and ten pin bowling alley ("Shammy Bowl"). Sport in Bedford is represented on a national level by the town's two senior football clubs, AFC Rushden & Diamonds F. C. (formerly Rushden & Diamonds). Before 2003 the town had a much more famous football team, Rushden & Diamonds A.

Musical groups

In addition to the main town band there are many other groups in the town including wind bands, youth bands, brass bands and orchestras. The Basingstoke Choral Society is a vibrant musical society which was founded in 1946 when it performed its first concert with 30 singers. The orchestra has developed in recent years to have around 60 members. It also arranges a children's choir, the Basingstoke Youth Choir and a Junior Choir consisting of both boys and girls.

The society has adapted its programme to showcase local talent with the inclusion of "Sing for your supper" held at Popley Community Centre and in September 2012 for their annual concert they collaborated with the Basingstoke Concert Band. Another popular brass band is the Basingstoke Brass Band, founded in 1887. The band plays regularly at the annual Basingstoke Festival and is made up of local players. On 1 March 2012, the band were officially welcomed as "town musicians" by the mayor of Basingstoke, Councillor Patricia Mills.


A railway line was built between Reading and Basingstoke in 1839, opened on 8 November. The London & South Western Railway had intended to build a railway between Southampton and Basingstoke, but the scheme was abandoned following objections from Basingstoke borough council. A compromise was reached whereby the line would be built as far as Worting Junction, just south of Worting village, with the LSWR then responsible for laying tracks on the final mile into the town centre.

The necessary powers were granted by an act of Parliament in 1845. The line was completed in 1847 when Basingstoke railway station opened. Basingstoke has two major railway stations. Basingstoke station is on the South Western main line, with fast services to London Waterloo, Southampton and Poole (via Bournemouth), as well as a twice-hourly local service to Reading and a less frequent service to Oxford. The other main railway station in the town is Basingstoke and Deane station on the West of England Main Line, offering fast services to Salisbury and to Exeter.

Both stations are managed by South Western Railway. The A30 runs north–south through Basingstoke and hosts the southern terminal of the M3, one of Britain's motorways. M3 traffic is conveniently funnelled directly into Basingstoke's industrial estate via a fly over junction with the A30. The A34 links Basingstoke to both Farnborough and Newbury, while the A303 heads west towards Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Yeovil and Land's End. Basingstoke has its own railway station, which was opened by the Berks and Hants Railway in 1839.

There are 37 departures each weekday, 29 on Saturdays and 25 on Sundays from Basingstoke to London Waterloo station. Services to Bournemouth, Reading, Guildford and Salisbury stop here. It's Basingstoke. Train on the main line railway from London Waterloo to Southampton and Weymouth. Basingstoke railway station is a railway station in Basingstoke, Hampshire. It is 78 miles 46 chains (126. 71 km) down the line from London Waterloo station. There are also regular services to London Heathrow Airport, Oxford and the West of England via Reading.

The main bus station is in the town centre. All local bus services are operated by Stagecoach South, which until 2004 was known as Isle of Wight Buses. F. C., who were members of the Football League from 1992 to 2000 and played at Nene Park stadium. In 2003 that club was moved 85 miles (137 km) north to the larger urban community of Northampton and rebranded as Northampton Town A. F. C.


The station is split into a "lower" and "upper" bus station. The main operators in the lower station are Thames Transit (who run services to Reading via Tadley and Newbury) and Reading Buses (who run services to Burghfield, Mortimer, Pangbourne and Tilehurst). The upper station has most of the other services that link Basingstoke with towns in Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex, including Havant, League Away, Brighton and many more. By 1921 housebuilding was at a peak with 1,879 houses built in 1922.


As a result, before even considering the traffic from the then A1303 (now B1091) roundabout to the west of Stairfoot village centre to Barnsley, a local campaign in 1996 resulted in the formation of an action group. Our concerns centred upon the flooding of the road surface from the local quarries, and also that cyclists were using only blue reflective road tape attached to lamp posts as a mean of priority marking. We also petitioned for more effective road surfacing on our main road – mining spoil was being used to provide covering for this which often led to potholes developing and water runoff problems in wet weather.

The City Council was the custodian of a number of cycle tracks and other routes that led into Chester and these were added to in an attempt to create a through cycle route to link North and South Wales. The initial success was modest with many cyclists having no choice but to contravene the regulations that had been placed on them. The requirement for cyclists to wear helmets was probably the most effective deterrent, which sadly demonstrates the perceived danger of cycling.

. I thought that, as a keen cyclist, I should write something about the very poor facilities for cyclists in Dublin (although my evening commute mostly takes place on a cycle path that was completed in 1998). This does not reflect well on the country that holds the annual presidency of the European Union. What would Carlos P! think?. Uphill there are two lanes for vehicular traffic with no dedicated provision for cyclists. Bicycles are obliged to use the left-hand lane.

Basingstoke Canal

The Basingstoke Canal was built to connect the town of Reading with the River Thames from a basin near what is now Festival Place in Reading, Berkshire. It used the River Loddon as part of its route where it followed what is now Eastrop Way to the Ashridge Estate, and then crossed it on Ashridge Bridge. After that it followed a man-made canalised stretch of the River Kennet called the Caen Hill Lateral for about 11 miles (18 km) until it reached Sulhamstead Abbots.