Southampton is the site of the Roman Clausentum and of the Saxon Hamtune or Suth-Hamtun. Remains of the ancient town walls and reworked Norman structures may be seen. The Crusaders under Richard I, Henry V on his expedition to France (1415), and the Pilgrims all embarked from Southampton. Until the discovery (16th cent.) of a new trade route to India, Southampton had a lucrative trade in goods from the East with Venice. In the 18th cent. it was a fashionable spa. Trade with the United States, the construction of modern docks and the railroad to London (1840), and the coming of the steamboat all worked to convert the spa back into a commercial port. Southampton was one of Britain's chief military transport stations in both world wars. The city suffered considerable damage in World War II, as a result of which there are new dock facilities and shopping districts. The city received a grant of county land after the war to accommodate its growing industrial population.
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