From the Middle Ages to the end of the 20th century, it was a centre for naval shipbuilding and a departure point for soldiers going to war.The port also played a role in the development of hovercraft, flying boat services, seaplanes and the Spitfire fighter plane.
The name 'Southampton' came into use partly to eliminate confusion between this Hampton (in the kingdom of Wessex) and another Hamtun/Hampton (in the kingdom of Mercia); the latter became Northampton.
The Speedwell had come from Holland to meet the Mayflower before crossing together.
However, she was leaky and put into Dartmouth and Plymouth for repairs.
The (Saxons ) founded a new town (known as Hamwick, later Hamtun) across the river Itchen from the Roman site around 700 AD.
The population reached about 5,000, making it a large town.
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The port traded with France, Greece and the Middle East, exporting wool and importing wines and fine pottery.
Legend has it that while in Southampton (although Bosham, West Sussex makes a similar claim), Viking king Cnut the Great (also known as King Canute) sat on the shore on his throne and commanded the incoming tide to stop and not wet his robes. He was not trying to prove he was all-powerful, but was demonstrating to his courtiers that even he was not all-powerful; they should worship God instead.
They operated a busy port, serving the large towns of Winchester and Salisbury.
The settlement was abandoned when the Romans left Britain in 407 AD.
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