Portal:Hampshire

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Hampshire outline map with UK.png

Hampshire, sometimes historically Southamptonshire or Hamptonshire, (abbr. Hants) is a county on the south coast of England. The county borders (clockwise from West), Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey and West Sussex. The county has an area of 1,455 square miles (3,769 km²) and at its widest points is approximately 55 miles (90 km) east-west and 40 miles (65 km) north-south. The county town is Winchester situated at 51°03′35″N 1°18′36″W / 51.05972°N 1.31000°W / 51.05972; -1.31000. The 2001 census gave the population of the administrative county as 1.24 million; the ceremonial county also includes the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, which are administratively independent, and has a total population of 1.6 million. Christchurch and Bournemouth, within the historic borders of the county, were made part of the non-metropolitan county of Dorset in 1974.

Hampshire is a popular holiday area, with tourist attractions including its many seaside resorts, the maritime area in Portsmouth, and the motor museum at Beaulieu. The New Forest National Park lies within the borders, as does a large area of the South Downs National Park [1]. Hampshire has a long maritime history and two of England's largest ports lie on its coast. The county is famed as home of the writers Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.

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East facing aerial view of Portsmouth (with Gosport in the foreground)

Portsmouth is a city of about 189,000 people located in the county of Hampshire on the southern coast of England, United Kingdom. The administrative unit itself forms part of the wider Portsmouth conurbation, with an estimated population of 442,252 residents within its boundaries, making it the 11th largest urban area in England. A significant naval port for centuries, it is home to the world's oldest dry dock still in use and to many famous ships.

Portsmouth has declined as a military port in recent years but remains a major dockyard and base for the Royal Navy. There is a commercial port serving destinations on the continent for freight and passenger traffic.

The Portsmouth Urban Area covers an area with a population well over twice that of the city of Portsmouth itself, and includes Fareham, Portchester, Gosport, Havant (which includes the large suburb Leigh Park), Lee-on-the-Solent, Stubbington and Waterlooville.


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Isaac Watts - Project Gutenberg eText 18444.jpg

Sir Isaac Watts (July 17, 1674 – November 25, 1748) is recognised as the "Father of English Hymnody", as he was the first prolific and popular English hymnwriter, credited with some 750 hymns. Many of his hymns remain in active use today and have been translated into many languages.

Born in Southampton, Watts was brought up in the home of a committed Nonconformist — his father had been incarcerated twice for his controversial views. At his local school he learned Latin, Greek and Hebrew and displayed a propensity for rhyme at home, driving his parents to the point of distraction on many occasions with his verse.

Watts, unable to go to either Oxford or Cambridge due to his Nonconformity, went to the Dissenting Academy at Stoke Newington in 1690.

His education led him to the pastorate of a large Independent Chapel in London, and he also found himself in the position of helping trainee preachers, despite poor health.

On the death of Sir Thomas Abney, Watts moved permanently with Lady Mary Abney and her remaining daughter to their second home, Abney House, at Abney Park in Stoke Newington, a property that Lady Mary had inherited from her brother along with title to the Manor itself. The beautiful grounds at Abney Park, which became Watts' permanent home from 1736 to 1748, led down to an island heronry in the Hackney Brook where Watts sought inspiration for the many books and hymns written during these two decades. He died there in Stoke Newington and was buried in Bunhill Fields, having left behind him a massive legacy, not only of hymns, but also of treatises, educational works, essays and the like.


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  1. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7973417.stm
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