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Basing, Hampshire

Historical Description

Basing or Old Basing, a village and a parish in the county of Hants. The village stands adjacent to the Basingstoke Canal and the S.W.R., 2 miles NW of Basingstoke. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office. Acreage, 5635; population of the civil parish, 1352; of the ecclesiastical, 1399. Ethelred I. was defeated here in 871 by the Danes. A very early castle, adjacent to the village, was held by the family of De Port from the Conquest till the time of Richard II., passed then by marriage to the Poynings, and went in the time of Henry VI. to the Paulets. Sir William Paulet, created Marquis of Winchester by Edward VI., rebuilt the castle in a style of great magnificence, and gave sumptuous entertainment in it to Queen Elizabeth. John, the fifth marquis, garrisoned it in defence of Charles I., and maintained it against a siege by successive Parliamentarian leaders during two years; but it was eventually taken by storm under Cromwell's own leading, with results which made the place a ruin, and gave the victors about £200,000 worth of plunder. Only an ivy-clad gateway, and a few walls and mounds of the castle now remain, and even a subsequent but smaller mansion built near it has passed away. Many balls, skeletons, and other relics of the conflict have been found, and a neighbouring field bears the name of Slaughter-close. Many ancient entrenchments are in the vicinity, and one, called Winklesbury Circle, about 1100 feet in diameter, with a flint-formed vallum, was used by Cromwell as a surveying post preparatory to his attack. The living is a vicarage, united with the vicarage of Up-Nately, in the diocese of Winchester; net value, £393 with residence. Patron, Magdalen College, Oxford. The church is Late Perpendicular, was repaired in 1874 at a cost of £2800, and contains tombs of the Paulets, including the six Dukes of Bolton, descendants of the fifth Marquis of Winchester. There is a Methodist chapel.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyHampshire 
Ecclesiastical parishBasing St. Mary 
Poor Law unionBasingstoke 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1655.


Church of England

St. Mary (parish church)

The church of St. Mary, originally Norman, is an ancient structure of flint and stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles extending to the whole length of the nave and Bolton chapel, and an eastern embattled tower with pinnacles, containing a clock and 2 bells: there is a font of the 15th century, tombs of the Paulet family, and among the monuments is one by Flaxman, to Henry, sixth Duke of Bolton, Admiral of the White, who died 24th December, 1794: in the Bolton chapel is a brass recording the names of members of that family who were interred in the vault from 1682 to 1863. The church was restored in 1874, under the direction of T. H. Wyatt esq. architect, at a cost of £2,800; some tiles of the 13th or 14th centuries were found during the process of the work in the flooring of the church, as well as fragments of Norman carving: the organ was provided in 1878, at a cost of £414: there are sittings for 600 persons.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Basing from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Hampshire (County Southampton) is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Hampshire newspapers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Hampshire, 1530, 1575, & 1622-34 is available to view on the Heraldry page.