The Bargate is very much ‘The Story of Southampton’ – an iconic landmark that has graced the town then city for over 800 years. On this visit, you will explore the Bargate interior and roof, and learn of its role as a Guildhall, Prison and Museum.
A survivor of the 2nd World War bombing raids that saw over 3500 Southampton buildings and homes destroyed, the Bargate has been described by architectural historian Pevsner as ‘probably the finest town gateway in Britain’. Both an entrance and exit to the medieval walled town, hear tales of how the Bargate has played a pivotal role in Southampton’s history, welcoming the Kings and Queens of England from Henry II to Elizabeth I. In more recent times the Bargate became a thoroughfare for traffic, including Southampton’s much-loved trams, which had to be especially designed to pass through the Bargate’s central arch!
On this visit, you will explore the Bargate interior, seeing the famous Queen Anne statue (why is she missing an arm?!) and age-worn paintings of Southampton’s legendary Bevis and Ascupart.
Your visit will lead you to the roof of the Bargate for views to the north ‘Above Bar’; to the south and the High Street; east to St. Mary’s and west to Arundel Tower. Imagine yourself as a sentry of many centuries ago, defending the town during the 100 Years War, or as a modern-day choir boy singing in the annual May Day celebrations
Tours depart the statues of the Lions at the north side of the Bargate, on Saturday afternoons between 1st April and 30th September at 12.30pm, and can be combined with the High Street and Eastern Walls walk at 1.30pm
Cost £3 per person, children 16 and under FREE, but must be accompanied by an adult. Owing to safety requirements, only children over 12 can be accepted.
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