This walk takes you from the Bargate down the High Street to the waterfront. At the waterfront, we turn East, and explore some of the remaining fortifications and eastern walls.
Southampton’s medieval town stretched on either side of the High Street from the Bargate to the Town Quay. Most historical walks cover the Western half of the Old Town area, where the rich Normans lived, in and around French Street and Bugle Street, with their church St. Michael’s, named after the Patron Saint of Normandy.
The Eastern side of the Old Town is less well-known. The defeated and impoverished English were pushed out, and for many years lived in the High Street, then known as English Street, and on the Eastern half of the Old Town, attending their Church Holyrood, meaning the Holy Cross in Old English. This part of town – its medieval walls and towers less complete, but still to be found – has its own stories; the friars who brought a fresh water supply from Shirley, an old hospital for pilgrims with its Chapel still standing, plots against Henry V and the trial and execution of the traitors, and the days of Jane Austen and the coaching inns.
This walk will visit two vaults. Please note we are not able to enter the old chapel of St Julian’s. There are some steps involved at the beginning of the walk.
Tours depart the statues of the Lions at the north side of the Bargate, on Saturdays from 1st April to 30th September at 1.30 p.m.
Cost £6, accompanied children under 16 free.
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