Southampton is a city and major port situated on the south coast of England.
It is the closest city to the New Forest and lies at the northern-most point of Southampton Water approximately halfway between Portsmouth and Bournemouth.
Formerly a County Borough within the county of Hampshire (to which it gives its full name, the County of Southampton), the city reverted to independent unitary authority status in local government re-organisations on April 1, 1997.
The city is home to the University of Southampton, Southampton Solent University and West Quay shopping centre.
It is also the headquarters of Ordnance Survey, the UK's national mapping agency.
Southampton has always been strongly connected with maritime history and developments.
In particular, it is a primary port for cruise ships, its heyday being the first half of the 20th Century, and in particular the inter-war years, when it handled almost half the passenger traffic of the UK.
Today it remains home to many luxury liners, as well as being a very important container port.
Although Stone Age settlements are known to have existed in the area, the first permanent settlement was established by the Romans.
Known as Clausentum, it was an important trading port for the large Roman towns of Winchester and Salisbury.
During the middle ages, shipbuilding became an increasingly important industry, which was to remain for centuries to come.
Southampton was awarded city status in 1964 following a royal charter.
Southampton has had a few significant impacts on global history...
It was the original point of departure for the Pilgrim Fathers aboard the Mayflower. A memorial may be found on Town Quay.
In common with most of the luxury liners of the time, the Titanic sailed from here, and it is still an important ocean liner port frequented by luxury ships such as the QE2, the Oriana, and most recently the Queen Mary 2.
A memorial to the crew of the Titanic may be found in Andrews Park, on Above Bar Street.
There is a memorial to the musicians who played on the Titanic just opposite the main memorial.
The history of the area's contribution to aviation is celebrated at the Southampton Hall of Aviation, near Itchen Bridge, and opposite to where the Woolston Supermarine factory was.
The city was the birthplace of hymn writer Isaac Watts.
The Watts memorial in the city's West Park - also known as the Watts Park - was unveiled in 1861.
It was the birthplace of comedian Benny Hill, who lived in the suburb of Shirley, and previously worked as a milkman in nearby Eastleigh.
Another famous comedian, Tommy Cooper lived here for many years.
Southampton is home to the world's oldest surviving bowling green.
For a more information about Southampton see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southampton) November 2005
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in November 2005. E. & O.E.
Sarolta and I visited this place during our trip around the British Isles in 1978.
We, Hui Chin and I paid a visit to this English port city during our trip around England in 2006.
I took some photos, you can see some of them on this page, but apart from that I have nothing else to report.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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