Southampton, England, a city about 70 miles (113 km) southwest of London on Southampton Water, an inlet of the English Channel. It is one of England's chief ports. Industries in or near the city include ship repairing, oil refining, and the manufacturing of cable, electronic equipment, and synthetic rubber. There are several notable historic structures in Southampton, among them a 12th-century house, two medieval churches, and the remains of Norman-built walls and gates. The city has a university chartered in 1952.
The first known settlement on the site of Southampton was the Roman Clausentum, founded in the first century A.D. Later the Saxons established Hamtun, which the Normans rebuilt as a walled castle town in the 12th century. Southampton was a significant port as early as the Middle Ages. In 1620 the Pilgrims sailed for America from here, but difficulties forced them to put in at Plymouth.
After several centuries of decline the city was revived in the 1800's by the introduction of oceangoing steamships and the completion of the railway to London. During both World Wars Southampton was a major military transport station.
Population (district): 196,864.