University of Southampton

The University of Southampton is a British Russell Group university located in the city of Southampton, United Kingdom. The origins of the university can be dated back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 by Henry Robertson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed into the Hartley University College, with degrees awarded by the University of London. On 29 April 1952, the institution was granted a Royal Charter to give the University of Southampton full university status.

The university is a member of the Russell Group of research universities and the Worldwide Universities Network. It currently has over 17,000 undergraduate and 7,000 postgraduate students, making it the largest university by higher education students in the South East region. The main campus is located in the Highfield area of Southampton. Four other campuses are located throughout the city alongside the School of Art based in nearby Winchester.

The university has a strong emphasis on research, having one of the highest proportions of income derived from research activities in Britain. Southampton is highly regarded as a centre for educational excellence, ranking nationally as a top 20 university in various tables, and regularly rated in the top 10 of the National Student Survey. The university is also noted for its large array of indoor and outdoor sports facilities.


City of Southampton


Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated 120 kilometres (75 mi) south-west of London and 30 kilometres (19 mi) north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest. It lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the River Test and River Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area. The local authority is Southampton City Council, which is a unitary authority.

The city represents the core of the Greater Southampton region, and the city itself has an estimated population of 239,700 Southampton combines with Portsmouth to form a single metropolitan area; with a population of over a million this makes the region one of the United Kingdom’s most populous metropolitan areas.

Significant employers in Southampton include the University of Southampton, Southampton Airport, the Ford Transit factory, Ordnance Survey, BBC South, the NHS, ABP and Carnival. Southampton is noted for its association with the RMS Titanic, the Spitfire and more recently a number of the largest cruise ships in the world.

Marwell Hotel


Marwell Hotel was built in 1989, the architect taking inspiration from Treetops in Africa to bring a colonial safari lodge to Hampshire. Being next door to the Wildlife Park the Hotel looked surprisingly at home in its woodland backdrop. The intention was always for the Hotel to be attractive to both leisure guests visiting the many attractions in the local area and business guests who could make use of the unique conference facilities and pleasant setting.

The Hotel was bought by the Bastian family in 1999 who had already built several other family businesses including farms, fish and chip shops, butchers shops and a large golf complex. The same simple rules of business were applied to Marwell and the Hotel was restored to its opening glory. Over the next 10 years the family employed experienced managers to front the Hotel under the watchful eye of hotel management company Bespoke Hotels. In 2010 it was decided that the family would take a more hands-on involvement in the day to day running of Marwell Hotel.

In July 2010, Oliver Bastian was appointed as the Resident Manager bringing with him an unsurpassed passion and commitment to customer service excellence. Marwell Hotel has since gone from strength to strength, offering a truly unique service that can only be expected from a family-owned and operated hotel.


Marwell Zoo



Marwell Wildlife, formerly known as Marwell Zoological Park, is a 140-acre zoo and registered charity situated at Owslebury near Winchester, in the English county of Hampshire. It is home to over 1,200 animals of 235 different species.

The zoo was founded by John Knowles, opening in 1972. It was one of the earliest zoos in Europe to place an emphasis on animal conservation. Within a few years of its establishment, it became an important breeding centre for several species, some (e.g. the Mongolian Wild Horse) already extinct in the wild, others (e.g. the Snow Leopard and Siberian Tiger) close to extinction.

The park is situated in the estate of Marwell Hall, a Grade I listed building originally built in 1320 by Walter Woodlock and largely rebuilt in 1816 by William Long. In the 1500s, the Hall belonged to the Seymour family, and there is a local tradition that Henry VIII married Jane Seymour there. Between September 1941 and March 1944, Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft used the area (part of the Managing Director’s personal estate) as an airfield to support the manufacture of military aircraft at its nearby factory in Eastleigh. After the end of World War II, the area was returned to agricultural use until the establishment of the zoo. In 2007, the park was voted in an online poll of Hampshire residents as the place they were most proud of.

The zoo’s exhibits include:

  • 449 mammals of 81 species, including kangaroos, lemurs, tamarins, meerkats, leopards, tigers, cheetahs, snow leopards, zebras and giraffes.
  • 309 birds of 42 species; including penguins, ostriches, Rheas, ibis and flamingoes
  • 61 reptiles of 24 species; tortoises, chameleons and a West African Dwarf Crocodile
  • 31 amphibians of seven species; including salamanders and Poison Dart Frogs
  • 18 fish of seven species; including catfish and Red-bellied piranha
  • 839 invertebrates of 27 species; including Partula Snails, Black Widow Spiders and Leafcutter Ants

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