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Hampshire's local pages

Hampshire Placenames and their Meanings

Why is Hampshire sometimes called Hants?

"Hampshire" is often abbreviated in written form to "Hants" and which sometimes gives rise to puzzlement. The abbreviated form is derived from the Old English Hantum plus Scir (meaning a district governed from the settlement now known as Southampton) and the Anglo-Saxons called it Hamtunschire. At the time of the Domesday Book (1086) this was compressed to Hantescire.


In the placenames of Hampshire can be read a great deal of history. The names of places can reflect landscape features, ancient customs, agricultural practices and of course local trade and industry. A name may refer to the size of a place or its geographic location or perhaps a local land-owning family. This page identifies some of the principal placenames in Hampshire together with their origins and meanings.

Where a place was recorded at the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086, the code "DB" has been added, and the earliest recorded spelling of the place is highlighted by italics.


In this section…