Basingstoke (bāˈzĭngstōk) [key], city (1991 pop. 73,027), Hampshire, S central England, on the North Downs. Formerly a market town trading in silk and woolens, it has developed several industries, including the manufacture of agricultural machinery, precision tools and instruments, leather, clothing, and drugs. The city is growing rapidly, largely because of a population overspill from London. In 871, Alfred defeated the Danes at nearby Basing; in 1645 Oliver Cromwell won a victory there. Basingstoke is mentioned as a royal manor in the Domesday Book.