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Pocket Guide: Romsey

A pleasant market town that has existed since ancient times, Romsey was once the home of Lord Palmerston, who was one of Britain's most influential 19th century prime ministers and responsible for the installation of numerous Palmerston Forts to protect Britain from the French navy.

A Brief History of Romsey

Known for its abbey by the early 10th Century, long before the Norman Conquest, Romsey was already home to an official market by the era of King Henry I. For years, Romsey was a prosperous textiles centre, exporting large quantities of wool to Southampton until the notorious plague of the 14th century, when much of the local population perished.

Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th Century, many of Romsey's medieval landmarks were destroyed, although the town become an important paper-making and brewery centre by the Georgian period, expanding into a busier boat-manufacturing town by the early 19th Century. Since then, Romsey's industries have mostly disappeared, although the town has become a desirable living destination for Southampton commuters.

Fantastic Places to Stay in Romsey

From value-for-money hotels such as friendly The Mill Arms on Barley Hill, to deluxe establishments like The White Horse Hotel at Market Place, Romsey is an excellent base from which to explore Hampshire's endless array of visitor attractions. Almost all hotels have WiFi access, and many have 24-hour room service and 24-hour receptions so you can always ask any questions or make a special request at any time. A number of deluxe hotels also provide rooms with en-suite bathrooms, and many also have in-room tea and coffee-making facilities, stocked mini-bars, and TVs with satellite channels so you can always catch up with the latest news and sports.

What to See and Do in the Town

See the immaculate Mottisfont Abbey Gardens, a former Augustinian priory dating back to the 12th century that became a grand private residence after the 16th Century. Romsey is also home to the scenic Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, the charming Medieval King John's House, and the Paultons Theme Park Home of Peppa Pig World, which features dozens of family-themed rides and attractions.