The Abbey of St Mary and St John the Evangelist was founded in 1231/2. At the Suppression of the Monasteries the abbey was granted in 1537 to Thomas Wriothesley, later 1st Earl of Southampton. He remodelled the abbey into a palace. Over the years Royal guests at the house included Edward VI, Elizabeth I and Charles I.
Thomas Wriothesley’s grandson Henry, 3rd Earl of Southampton, was a friend of William Shakespeare and it is said that some of Shakespeare’s plays were performed at Titchfield Abbey for the first time.
On the death of Henry, the palace passed through several families. Around 1781 in disrepair, most of the building was demolished for its building stone. Today the ruin is a scheduled monument in the care of English heritage.
Medieval Floor tiles the tiles were covered up by the courtyard of the palace house, where they lay preserved for over 400 years. They were rediscovered during excavations in 1923. They are covered up over winter by English Heritage to protect them from the weather.