Called Stoke-Barehills in
the novels of Thomas Hardy, this is a large
modern town that gave birth to the clothing
company Burberry in the mid 19th century.
Its fascinating museum, Milestones, has real-life recreations of street scenes from Victorian and Edwardian England as well as a collection of cars, buses and steam engines as well as many old domestic items.
Old Basing House is the
evocative ruin of a large fortified mansion
built on the site of a Norman castle but
wrecked by a two-year siege led by Oliver
Cromwell during the English Civil War.
Another historic building is Stratfield Saye House, presented to the Duke of Wellington following his success at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Nearby is the Roman town of Silchester, once known as Calleva Atrebatum.
It’s an archaeological Mecca and has its own museum.