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City of Southampton





The city of Southampton is located on the central south coast of the United Kingdom, approximately 60 miles south-west of London. With an estimated population of around 230,000, it is the largest city in the county of Hampshire. Southampton is a major commercial port, being one of the largest in Europe, handling many large goods vessels, and more notably, is home to some of the world’s largest cruise vessels. The city’s close union with the sea has dated back many years, with RMS Titanic setting sail from the port in 1912.

Within Southampton, major employers include the University of Southampton, Southampton Solent University, Ford, British Broadcasting Corportation (BBC), Ordnance Survey and the National Health Service (NHS). Southampton is affectionately known as the “Home of the Ford Transit”, Europe’s best-selling light commercial vehicle, with the Transit production plant sited on the outskirts of the city.

It is thought that settlers have inhabited the locale of Southampton since the stoneage, when it was known as Porth Hamon. Following Roman invasion almost two millennia ago, the fortress settlement of Clausentum was established. Anglo-saxon settlement gave rise to Hampton (formerly Hamwic and then Hamtun), in the current east side of the city. It was not until medieval times that the city gained the name of Southampton. One of the most famous pieces of Southampton’s history that can still be seen today is the presence of the medieval walls and the Bargate, in the city’s centre, something that is reflected in the Southampton City Council identity. The remnants of the city walls are thought to be some of the longest surviving in the UK. In it’s more recent history, Southampton obtained official city status in 1964, and became a unitary authority in 1997.

Interesting facts about Southampton:

  • The Supermarine Spitfire was designed and developed in Southampton

  • In 1912, RMS Titanic set-sail on it’s tragic maiden voyage

  • Former home to Jane Austen

  • Home to West Quay shopping centre, among the UK’s largest indoor shopping centres

  • UK’s only city with a geothermal power-station, helping the city gain the accolade of one of the UK’s lowest carbon-emitting cities

  • Boasts the UK’s largest capacity club, Oceana Southampton, housing Europe’s largest “Saturday Night Fever” illuminated dancefloor

  • One of the host cities of the World Naked Bike Ride!

For more information on the City of Southampton, please visit








(Click on images for enlargement and caption)

Image Permissions: Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 (images 2, 4, 5); Public domain release (image 3)
Image Authors: Christophe Finot (image 2), Alan Ford (image 3), Jim Champion (image 4), George Hutchinson (image 5)

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