Basingstoke, a Brief History

Hey Guys,

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tom Messenger, I study Global History and Politics and I am a new author on this blog. As my post I am going to write about my home town of Basingstoke in the county of Hampshire, not too far from Winchester. Basingstoke has changed quite a lot within the last 50 years or so.

Before the 1950’s the town was a small market town which had changed little since the 16th century or so. There was industry and more people came in to work.One of the famous factories was Thornycroft. They produced trucks and other heavy duty vehicles. The family even have a link to Winchester. The owner’s brother  built the King Alfred Statue in Winchester and the Bocudicca statue in London. The town has also sprawled making several new housing estates, especially with the coming of many from the London over spill.

In detail I would like to talk about a defining feature, the ruins of the Holy Ghost Chapel. It was originally a school and a chapel,which was centred around the medieval guild of the Holy Ghost.The site, visible from the Railway Station was just a field, when in 1216 the Pope suspended all religious services for 6 years due to his dispute with King John. The site was used because no one could be buried on consecrated ground and the hill was used as cemetery until about the 1960’s with a one or two in recent years.There was a famous case where, in 1675 a woman by the name of Mrs Blunden was buried there alive, only to be discovered by two boys who heard knocking from inside the grave. The two boys ran to get help, but it was too late, she had died in the grave. Therefore the town was fined  £100 for gross negligence, quick right.

Within the graveyard it contained two chapels, the main one and one for non-conformists. A name for Protestants who did not adhere to the Church of England. It was pulled down in the 1960’s. The school in the 1920’s moved away from the graveyard to another site and became a grammar school and now a state comprehensive.It is now a quite a peaceful place where one can escape the world for a brief time and contemplate.

I hope this has been informative.




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