The Romans erected a bridge across the River Test at Nursling, and a Benedictine monastery was established here. It became a major seat of learning and at the end of the 7th century, Winfrith (subsequently Saint Boniface) studied here, producing the first Latin grammar to be written in England. He left in 710 for Canterbury, returning briefly around 716 before going to Germany as a missionary.
O. G. S. Crawford lived here during the Second World War, and kept much rare material from the Ordnance Survey office in Southampton in his garage. This foresight saved much important historical material from destruction when the offices were burnt out in an air raid.