Hampshire has a rich history and heritage that can be discovered and explored through many of Hampshire’s Top Attractions. From grand Cathedral’s to working mills, ancient farms and homes of royalty; if heritage catches your interest then Hampshire is the place for you.
History is in the making
Did you know that many of Admiral Lord Nelson’s Navy fleet were built right here in Hampshire? Bucklers Hard is an 18th century shipbuilding village where many of Nelson’s vessels were built along with many others. The Maritime Museum at Bucklers Hard gives an insight into the lives of the ship builders and life in this unique and historic village.
Whitchurch Silk Mill is a great place to enjoy some heritage that is still in use today. This working silk mill still creates beautiful silk work and fabrics using Victorian machinery powered by its Georgian water mill. See the machinery in action and enjoy relaxing in this peaceful setting next to the River Test.
The Brickworks Museum provides an authentic experience of how the Victorians industrialised brick making. This factory was one of the first and very successful in its day. You can see the old Victorian machinery in its original building complex and follow the process right through from digging the clay to burning the bricks.
Fun on the farm
Farming in Hampshire is a strong part of Hampshire’s heritage that is very much alive today. Discover farming dating back to the stone age at Butser Ancient Farm and see their prehistory crops and rare breeds of farm animal favourites, such as pigs and sheep. At Manor Farm you will feel part of living history as you explore this Victorian farm which has been working for over 600 years! The old buildings and ancient machinery are brought to life with costumed characters, of course there’s also plenty of farm animals to see and feed.
How the “other-half” used to live
If it’s one thing that Hampshire is not short of then that’s country estates and stately homes previously owned by royalty and lords! Mottisfont was originally founded as an Augustinian priory in 1201, it is now open for you to explore and enjoy its house and gardens, as well as regular exhibitions.
History continues at Gilbert Whites and The Oates Collection, which showcases the lives and explorations in Gilbert White in his own house, and collections from Frank Oates 19th century explorations of Africa and the Americas.
On the Isle of Wight you can see where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert enjoyed their summers at Osborne House. Explore the house which was built between 1845 and 1851, wander around the stunning gardens, see the Swiss Cottage where the kids played, and the private beach where the royal family enjoyed their sunny days.
The Vyne is a 16th century country house built for Lord Sandys, King Henry VIII’s Lord Chamberlain. Discover the history in the house from Kings and Queens, to a loving family home, and walk around the two lakes, a walled garden, formal garden and meadow.
To round up Hampshire’s heritage is a must-visit trip to Winchester Cathedral. In the heart of the historic city of Winchester lies this stunning Church of England Cathedral, with 15 centuries of English history lying within its walls.
Discover Britain’s most-loved writer at Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton. The humble cottage at which Jane Austen lived and wrote is now one of the most important literary sites in the world; home to an unparalleled collection of Austen artefacts.
You could visit Chawton House Library, a romantic 400-year-old manor house once owned by Jane Austen’s brother and known to her as the ‘Great House’. It’s full of historical treasures and fascinating stories, and boasts beautiful gardens and grounds. Situated in 1800 acres of beautifully landscaped parkland and ancient forest on the Hampshire/Sussex border, Stansted House is one of southern England’s best stately homes.
Henry VIII’s flagship, The Mary Rose, Portsmouth, shows life under England’s most famous king. Discover thousands of Tudor objects and personal possessions that were preserved under the sea and be part of a story that began in 1511.
Steeped in centuries of military history is Hurst Castle, commanding the entrance to the Solent on the Hampshire coast. Here you can follow in the steps of Charles I and find out where he was kept prisoner in 1648 before his trail and execution on London.
You can explore HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Follow in the footsteps of Lord Nelson. For the first time since 1928, the world’s most celebrated warship, HMS Victory has undergone her biggest change. A major reinterpretation of her visitor route through the ship enables visitors to follow in the footsteps of Nelson, her most famous Admiral.