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county (1991 pop. 1,511,900), 1,503 sq mi (3,893 sq km), S central England. WinchesterWinchester
, city and district (1991 pop. 34,127), county seat of Hampshire, S central England. Winchester was called Caer Gwent by the Britons, Venta Belgarum by the Romans, and Wintanceastre by the Saxons. Winchester was the capital of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex.
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 is the county town. The county is divided into the administrative districts of Basingstoke and Deane, Winchester, East Hampshire, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Hart, Havant, New Forest, Rushmoor, and Test Valley. The terrain is undulating and is crossed by two chalk downs, rising in places to more than 800 ft (244 m). The principal rivers are the Test, the Itchen, and the Avon.

Hampshire is an agricultural county, devoted to corn production and dairy farming. Market gardening is also significant. There is oil refining at Fawley and aircraft engineering at FarnboroughFarnborough
, town (1991 pop. 48,063), Hampshire, S England. It is the site of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, which does experimental work in aeronautics. Chemicals, electrical goods, and scientific instruments are produced.
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. GosportGosport
, city (1991 pop. 69,664) and district, Hampshire, S England. The city is a major port and shares its harbor with Portsmouth. There are ship- and yacht-building facilities and various light industries.
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, SouthamptonSouthampton,
city and unitary authority (2011 pop. 236,882), S England, at the head of Southampton Water. Southampton is Britain's second largest port. The London-Southampton railway, finished in 1840, and the double tide of the harbor made Southampton an important shipbuilding,
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, and PortsmouthPortsmouth,
city and unitary authority (2011 pop. 205,056), S England, on Spithead Channel. The city includes Portsea (naval station), Southsea (residential district and resort), and the old town of Portsmouth proper.
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 are three of Britain's leading ports; the last two, although historically part of the county, are now administratively separate. Evidence of prehistoric and Roman settlement is found in the county. Hampshire was once part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of WessexWessex
, one of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England. It may have been settled as early as 495 by Saxons under Cerdic, who is reputed to have landed in Hampshire. Cerdic's grandson, Ceawlin (560–93), annexed scattered Saxon settlements in the Chiltern Hills and drove the
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 and has numerous historical and literary associations.

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Sir Stuart. 1914--2004, British philosopher: his publications include Thought and Action (1959), Two Theories of Morality (1977), and Innocence and Experience (1989)


a county of S England, on the English Channel: crossed by the Hampshire Downs and the South Downs, with the New Forest in the southwest and many prehistoric and Roman remains: the geographical and ceremonial county includes Portsmouth and Southampton, which became independent unitary authorities in 1997. Administrative centre: Winchester. Pop. (excluding unitary authorities): 1 251 000 (2003 est.). Area (excluding unitary authorities): 3679 sq. km (1420 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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