6th June 2018 – Basingstoke and its Contribution to World Culture

Basingstoke and its Contribution to World Culture


Wednesday 6th June 2018

Rupert Willoughby

One of the most derided towns in England, renowned for its dullness, Basingstoke is distinguished only by its numerous roundabouts and absurd Modernist architecture.

Rupert explains that the post-war planners, who inflicted such features as “the Great Wall of Basingstoke” on the town, were politically motivated and bent on destroying all traces of its past. He reveals the nobler Basingstoke that is buried beneath the concrete, and the few historic gems that have survived.

It is a story that neatly illustrates the ugliest episode in England’s architectural history.  As Betjeman wrote prophetically, “What goes for Basingstoke goes for most English towns”.