Basingstoke is a large town in northeast Hampshire, in south central England. It lies across a valley at the source of the River Loddon. It is located northeast of Southampton, southwest of London, and northeast of the county town and ancient national capital of Winchester. In 2012 it had an estimated population of 84,275. This does not include the large villages of Chineham, Old Basing or Lychpit, which are now generally considered as outer suburbs. It is part of the borough of Basingstoke and Deane. Basingstoke is often nicknamed "Doughnut City" or "Roundabout City" because of the number of large roundabouts.
Often mistaken for a new town, Basingstoke is an old market town expanded in the 1960s. It was developed rapidly, along with various other towns in the United Kingdom in order to accommodate part of the London 'overspill' as perceived under the Greater London Plan in 1944. Basingstoke market was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and it remained a small market town until the 1950s. It still has a regular market, but is now larger than Hampshire County Council's definition of a market town.
Basingstoke became an important economic centre during the second half of the 20th century, and houses a number of well-known businesses in electronics, publishing, telecommunications and insurance. Two traders who opened their first shops within a year of each other in the town, became household names nationally: Thomas Burberry in 1856 and Alfred Milward in 1857. Burberry became famous after he invented gabardine and Milward founded the Milwards chain of shoe shops, which could be found on almost every high street in Britain until the 1980s.
History of the town
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Basingstoke.