The Romans
The Civil War
The Plague
Battle of Church Sq
World War Two
Basingstoke Canal
Basingstoke windmill
Alfred the Great

Walter de Merton
Sir James Lancaster
Mrs. Blunden
John May
Thomas Burberry
Lord Sandys
Adam de Gurdon
Thomas Warton
The Light Railway

Witch Trials
Jane Austen


Market days
Street names 

The Roman era

Roman soldierBefore 54 BC  the Atrebates tribe crossed the channel to Britain, they headed northwards and nearly a century later when Claudius invaded in AD 43 they were the most powerful tribe in the area south of the Thames. The tribal capital of the Atrebates was at Calleva (now Silchester) eight miles north of modern Basingstoke.

  Roman soldier  The Romans used local tribes as a form of local government and to romanise the local population. The tribal capital of Atrebates became known as Calleva Atrebatum, the wooded town, Calleva of the Atrebates. This was the seventh largest town of Roman Britain and the centre of government for the surrounding area. From the town main roads went to London, Winchester, Salisbury and Cirencester. One of these roads, the Silchester to Winchester road passed close to where Basingstoke is today, part of this road still exists in the town and is still called Roman Road.

    Roman speaker For the next three and a half centuries Basingstoke enjoyed the highest level of civilisation it had ever known, no inter-tribal warfare and no invasions. The southern part of Britannia knew peace it had never known before. Trade and agriculture flourished and Britannia became one of the granaries of the Empire. Only the leaders of the Celtic society could afford to adopt the Roman ways and live in town houses or villas. A Roman building of some sort existed near where the Wheatsheaf Inn stands today, south of Basingstoke, also at Basing House is a large Roman well.

    With the decline of the Roman Empire, Britain entered the "Dark Ages", a period when civilisation was on a much lower level.