A walk around my city.

A walk around Southampton this morning. The Town of Southampton became a city in 1964.

Parking up at Mayflower Park a short walk takes you into the old part of the town.

The view from the park is a great place to watch ship movement in and out of the port.

Just outside the park by the city wall is the Mayflower Memorial It commemorates the sailing of the Pilgrim Fathers to America in the Mayflower and Speedwell in 1620. The monument is a 50 ft high column of Portland Stone, surmounted by a cupola and a copper model of the Mayflower.

The old customs house and the Wool House which is is a medieval building which was built to serve the wool trade

Westgate from Westgate Street (inside the town wall looking out).

Old houses by the Westgate.

The Duke of Wellington pub in Bugle Street is a historic building with some old beams dating back to 1220.

Said to be Southampton’s most important historic building, Tudor House is now a museum. The timber-framed building in St Michael’s Square was built in the late 15th Century. King John’s Palace, an adjacent Norman house is accessible from Tudor House Garden, it dates back a further 300 years. 

Opposite Tudur House is St. Michael the Archangel Church it is said to be the oldest building still in use in the city. The spire was first built in the 15th century and then reconstructed in 1732. In 1887, to make it a better landmark for shipping, a further 9 ft was added to the blunt shape, It is now 165 ft.

Much of Southampton was devastated by the German bombing in WW2. Although the other churches in the central town, Holy Rood and All Saints, were both destroyed in 1940, St. Michael’s escaped with only minor damage. It is said the spire was used by the German bombers as a landmark and their pilots were ordered not to hit it.

The remains of Holy Rood Church now a merchant navy memorial

The church around 1900 before its destruction during the Blitz.

A victorian view of the city – note the church spires

Within the walls of Southampton was a castle but the site today is built on and only parts of the outer wall remain.

The Bargate is another gate to the old town.

Lions guard the gate into the old old town.
The Bargate (inside the town looking back).

Views from the old walls. In the sea in the past came up to the walls but the land now is reclaimed. The views included some nice Victorian House on the walls and the modern shopping centre.

Further away from the old town is an old Gasometer a listed structure but is under threat as the city wants the old gas works land to be redeveloped. A victorian structure to store coal gas. These structures once common in the UK are disappearing from the skyline quickly. These large containers in which coal gas was stored near atmospheric pressure at ambient temperatures. The volume of the container follows the quantity of stored gas, with pressure coming from the weight of a movable cap. As a child they fascinated me how the cap would move up and down. During the Blitz they were kept low due to the risks from bombing if they were hit when full.

An early picture of Gasmeter when full.

Before leaving my walk around the historic parts of the city I had to check if the Parrots were about and they were.

8 thoughts on “A walk around my city.

  1. Great stuff. I love the old buildings and the history. My recent posts have been historical photo journals, and I expect to do more. It’s so interesting to me.

    [I discovered one drawback to linking my photos from Blogger — I can’t edit them in WordPress. That means they have to be cropped, sized and captioned on Blogger.]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So much history! Thanks for the tour, Andy. I love the old buildings and the Mayflower Memorial. I think my favorite, though, is the remains of Holy Rood Church, a stark and needed reminder of the evils of war waged by authoritarian despots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed my tour of some of the old parts of Southampton. Lots of people think the Mayflower left the old world from Plymouth but they started from Southampton and had to call into Plymouth due to the Speedwell taking on water


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