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Southampton Town Information

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Southampton Docks Photo © Simon Barnes
Southampton Docks - Photo: Simon Barnes CCL

  Southampton is a bustling, modern city with a thrilling history and a number of ancient buildings that escaped bomb damage in World War 11.

Parts of the city walls have also survived along with several old city gates.

The natural harbour has a double tide which makes it suitable for large ships.

Today it plays host to great passenger liners but it was from here that the Titanic sailed in 1912.

More than 5000 city residents perished when the ship sank.

Earlier, the Pilgrim Fathers set out for America in the Mayflower in 1620 and English armies left here for the Battles of Crecy and Agincourt.

In 1016 the Viking King Canute commanded the sea to retreat at Southampton.

The city has a number of museums.
The Museum of Archaeology, which is housed in God’s House Tower, has a collection of artefacts which tell the story of Southampton from the Stone Age to the present day.

The Solent Sky Museum has a large display of aircraft and aims to educate the visitor on the rich history of aviation in the Solent area.

Located a short drive to the north of the city is the Intech Science Centre, an Interactive science and technology centre for the whole family.

Medieval Merchant's House Photo © Tim Knight
Medieval Merchant's House -
Photo: Tim Knight CCL

Bargate Photo © Michael Grant
Bargate - Photo: Michael Grant CCL

  The West Quay Shopping Centre is one of the largest shopping centres in the UK and hosts a number of major shopping brands.

The Fourteenth and Fifteenth century towers have been restored, and God’s House Tower is now home to a museum of local archaeology.

Several city gates can still be seen, Bargate, built by the Normans is a fine example.

St. Michael’s Church the oldest in the city, dates back to Norman times, it contains a rare font of black marble imported from Tourni.

The nearby Tudor House (now a museum) is a magnificent example of 16th century architecture, with a banqueting hall and reconstructed Tudor garden.
The Civic Centre with its distinctive clock tower, is home to the excellent City Arts Gallery.

The Hall of Aviation tells the story of the Spitfire, designed by the local aviation pioneer R.J. Mitchell.

With such a rich history there is an abundance of things to see and do in and around the city.

There are a number of historic buildings.

These include the City Wall built in 1338, St. Michaels Church built in 1070, God’s House Tower built 1417 and the 12th century Red Lion Pub where the Southampton plotters were tried and sentenced to death.

Southampton is located on the door step of the New Forest.

This is a large national park of about 570 km2.

Southampton offers the best shopping on the South Coast; you can browse small specialist shops, search out the ‘high street’ names or explore the three major shopping malls – WestQuay, Marlands and the Bargate centres.

Clock Tower Photo © Colin Smith
Clock Tower - Photo: Colin Smith CCL