"BASINGSTOKE, a parish, market-town, and municipal borough, in the hundred of Basingstoke-Infra-Hundred, in the county of Southampton, 19 miles to the N.E. of Winchester, 46 miles to the S.W. of London by the old road, and 48 by railway. It is a station on the London and South-Western railway, and is connected with the Great Western railway by a branch line from Reading. Basingstoke is a very ancient town, being referred to in Domesday Book as a royal manor, which had never paid tax or been distributed into hides, with the privilege of a market worth 30s. It is there named Basingtoches. The conjecture that at an earlier period the town was of inferior rank to Basing is founded on the addition "stoke" signifying hamlet. It is seated in a fertile and beautiful country, with fine woods and rich pasture land, near the source of the river Loddon, which flows by the town, and is called the Town Brook. "
[From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]