Eastleigh is in Hampshire, England, and the main town in the Borough of Eastleigh. The town lies between Southampton and Winchester, and is part of the South Hampshire conurbation.
The first substantial growth was as a railway town. Now it is home to many businesses, including a manufacturing plant owned by Prysmian Cables & Systems (formerly the cables division of Pirelli).
The town lies on the River Itchen, one of England's premier chalk streams for fly fishing, a designated site of Special Scientific Interest.〔(Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust )〕〔(Fact file on the River Itchen )〕
== History ==
The modern town of Eastleigh lies on the old Roman road, built in A.D.79 between Winchester ''(Venta Belgarum)'' and Bitterne ''(Clausentum)''.〔Nicola Gosling: 1986, Page 4〕〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=VENTA BELGARVM )〕 Roman remains discovered in the Eastleigh area, including a Roman lead coffin excavated in 1908,〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Hampshire Treasures: Volume 13 ( Eastleigh), Page 3 - Bishopstoke, Entry 04 )〕 indicate that a settlement probably existed here in Roman times.〔〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Bishopstoke Parish Council: History )〕〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Chandlers Ford - Local History )〕
A Saxon village called ‘East Leah’ has been recorded to have existed since 932 AD.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=A History of Eastleigh )〕 (‘Leah’ is an ancient Anglo-Saxon word meaning ‘a clearing in a forest’).〔 There is additional evidence of this settlement in a survey from the time which details land in North Stoneham being granted by King Æthelstan to his military aid, Alfred in 932 AD.〔〔〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Bishopstoke Parish Council website )〕 The prefix 'Est' or 'East' is thought to refer to its location relative to the established settlement of Baddesley.〔
The Domesday Book of 1086 gives a more detailed account of the settlement, which is referred to as 'Estleie'.〔
In 1838 the London and South Western Railway Company (L&SWR) built a railway from Southampton to Winchester.〔〔Williams, R. A. (1968) ''The London & South Western Railway'', v. 1: The formative years, and v. 2: Growth and consolidation, David and Charles, ISBN 0-7153-4188-X; ISBN 0-7153-5940-1〕 It was decided to build a station near the little village of Barton. This railway station was originally named Bishopstoke Junction.〔 In 1868 the villages of Barton and Eastley were combined into one parish.〔 A parish church, the Church of the Resurrection, was built in the same year, at a cost of £2,300.〔Clarke, Kathleen: 1995, Page 6〕 A local noted author of many novels, Charlotte Yonge, donated £500 towards the building of the church.〔Clarke, Kathleen: 1995, Page 7〕 She was rewarded by being given the privilege to choose a name for the 'new' parish; either Barton or Eastly. She chose Eastly, but with a new modern spelling; Eastleigh.〔 In 1891 the L&SWR Carriage and Wagon Works from Nine Elms in London were transferred to Eastleigh. This was followed by the Nine Elms Locomotive Works which were moved there in 1909.
These Railway Works were closed in 2006 but have since reopened, albeit on a smaller scale.
Eastleigh has seen a rapid and controlled expansion in residential, industrial and commercial development over recent years. The borough of Eastleigh was ranked the "9th best place to live in the UK 2006" by a Channel 4 programme.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=BEST AND WORST PLACES TO LIVE 2006: Eastleigh )〕
The United States Navy established a naval air station on 23 July 1918 to assemble and repair Caproni Ca.5 and Airco DH.4 and DH.9 bombers for the Northern Bombing Group of World War I. The base closed shortly after the First Armistice at Compiègne. Perhaps Eastleigh's best-known 'resident' is the Spitfire aeroplane which was built in Southampton and first flown from Eastleigh Aerodrome (now Southampton International Airport). A replica has recently been placed on the roundabout at the entrance to the airport.
Eastleigh Museum, which is to be found in the High Street holds information about the town and the surrounding villages, including Bishopstoke which had been the largest residential area.
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