RESIDENTS and visitors will get the chance to learn more about the Basingstoke town centre’s fascinating history as it is brought to life as part of a dedicated self-guided trail.

Supported by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Love Basingstoke Presents, the Basingstoke Heritage Society has updated the Basingstoke town trail, a self-guided walk starting in the 800-year-old Market Place at the Top of the Town.

People will be able to follow the trail where they will find out more about the town’s history, from Domesday through to the modern day.

They will also be able to discover the places where Jane Austen came to dance and the humble beginnings of what is now one of the biggest international fashion brands, Burberry, whose founder, Thomas Burberry, owned a number of shops and workshops in the town.

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The trail also documents some of the many visits from notable figures. Oliver Cromwell stayed at the former Falcon Inn in London Street – now occupied by the Tea Bar – in 1645 and Catherine of Aragon lodged overnight in the home of Richard Kingsmill on her way to meet her future husband Prince Arthur in 1501. After Arthur died, she went on to marry his younger brother and became the first of Henry VIII’s six wives.

And learn about one of the town’s most infamous stories on the death of Mrs Blunden who was accidentally buried alive in 1674.

Walking the full trail will take approximately 90 minutes or it can be followed in smaller sections.

Cabinet Member for communities, planning and infrastructure Cllr Simon Bound said: “As a borough, we are incredibly lucky to have a rich and fascinating history which is such an important part of how Basingstoke and Deane has evolved into the place we know now.

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“The updated self-guided trail is a great way to explore the many heritage sites that have been preserved for residents and visitors to enjoy and discover the many hidden secrets in the town centre.”

The Basingstoke Heritage Society added: “Basingstoke Heritage Society was formed in 1989. One of our aims is to make our town’s history better known and widely shared. We have done this through installing 22 Blue Plaques as well as 2 interpretation signs. Work on the town trail began in 2003 and the first version was finally launched in 2006. We welcome this update and the help given by Basingstoke and Deane.”

A guide for the trail can be found on

The heritage trail and associated activities have been supported by the government’s Welcome Back Fund, funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

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