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Basingstoke Canal

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nearly parallel to Railway.

s Frimley, 2 miles.

Sandhurst College, 31 miles. trenchment.

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City on left: Cathedral,

College. St. Cross,


Winchester ..


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Village on left

74 .. Bishopstoke..


(Branch on right to Salisbury, 12 iniles.)

80 ..Southampton..


Botley, } mile


Botley ..


Fareham, a place of con

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85 l.. Fareham


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Bishop's Waltham, 2}

miles; ruins of castle.

siderable trade

Tichield, 2 milis.

94 ... PORTSMOUTH ..

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Op all our old cities, Winchester is perhaps the most often mentioned in our ancient chronicles. In British, Roman, Saxon, and Norman times, it was the dwellingplace of princes, and the seat of government; and it was the place of sepulture of the Saxon, Danish, and Norman kings of England. Its origin is lost in the mist of antiquity, unless indeed the account given in the fabulous British History of Geoffrey of Monmouth be acoepted, which makes it to have been built by Hudibras, “ in whose time reigned Capys, the son of Epitus; and Haggai, Amos, Joel, and Azariah were prophets in Israel!” Without, however, going quite so far back, it appears pretty certain that a British town was situated here, and that it was wrested from them by the Belgæ when they made themselves masters of the South of Britain. The British name of the town was Caer Gwent; and this name, as modified and corrupted by its successive possessors, it has retained to the present day. It is curious, and not without use, to trace the changes which the name of a city may undergo without quite losing its original form. The Belgæ were a Teutonic race, and Gwent would be somewhat altered to suit their organs of speech. What they called it is not precisely known : but the alteration could not have been very great, as by the Romans the city was named Venta Belgarum, the Venta (pronounced Wenta) of the Belgæ. The Saxons called the city at first Wintanceaster, the city of Winta ; and afterwards Winceaster; whence the present name is of course immediately derived.

It is with the Romans that the historical importance of Winchester really commences. It was their chief station in these parts, and several main roads from the coast and the interior met here. The city appears to have been rebuilt by them, the streets being laid out, according to their custom, at right angles, the two main streets intersecting in the centre of the town, and four gates, named respectively the east, west

, north, and south gates, giving entrance and egress to the citizens. The present walls are believed to be formed partly on the foundations, and out of the materials of those constructed by the masters of the world. As long as they retained possession of the island, Uenta, or, as it is commonly written, Venta Belgarum was a flourishing place. When Cerdic the Saxon conquered this part of Britain, in 519, he made " Winta the capital of his kingdom of the West Saxons; and it continued to be the seat of government of the West Saxon princes until the reign of Egbert, when it became in reality the capital of England, and so continued to be till the reign of Stephen.

Of the events of which during this period Winchester was the scene or the centre, it would manifestly be impossible to give even an outline. It was about 648 that Coinwalch, the second Christian king of the West Saxons, erected Wintanceaster into

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