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Southampton’s Hidden History Walks

Southampton’s Hidden History Walks start by the guarding Lions at the Bargate. There are 4 walking tours, each of which lasts 90 minutes and covers 0.75km, illustrating the lives of the people and city of Southampton in an informative but light-hearted way, from the time of the Romans, through Henry VIII to the present day. The City’s important maritime and commercial history is also covered, as is its role in conflicts, from the Battle of Agincourt, through to the Normandy Landings on D-Day.

All walks provide extensive information on many different subjects, but each has its own special flavour, and concentrates a little more on certain eras, and certain parts of the City. They all include visits to some of the City’s many medieval vaults.
Our current schedule runs from 1st April to 1st October 2017.

The Western Walls and the Vaults. A stroll around the ancient West walls of the City, and an exploration of the town area inland to the High Street, including at least two of the medieval vaults.

From about 1100, Southampton was a walled city, the walls being finally completed in the 1300s. Starting from the Bargate, we visit sections of the North and West walls, and many parts of the old city, including its oldest Church, St Michael’s.
Our route enables us to include many famous aspects of the city’s varied history.
Places associated with Jane Austen are visited, and the City’s Spa Period from 1750-1830 is described. The Mayflower and Speedwell departed from Southampton. Therefore important locations associated with the Pilgrim Fathers are also visited The City’s important maritime and commercial history is also described as is its role in conflicts from the Battle of Agincourt through to the Normandy Landings on D-Day. This includes a visit to the unique American Wall.

Tours depart the statues of the Lions at the north side of the Bargate, on Saturdays and Sundays at 10.30 a.m. from 1st April to 30th September 2017.
Cost £6, accompanied children under 16 free.

Either Book and pay directly via our Ticket agency or Reserve and Pay on the day via our Calendar
                                       
BOX OFFICE: 023 8067 1771
boxoffice@nstheatres.co.uk

The High Street, Eastern Walls and the Vaults. 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 at 1.30 p.m. from 1st April to 30th September 2017.
Cost £6, accompanied children under 16 free.

Either Book and pay directly via our Ticket agency or Reserve and Pay on the day via our Calendar
                                       
BOX OFFICE: 023 8067 1771
boxoffice@nstheatres.co.uk

The Mayflower and the Vaults. In 1620 The Mayflower left to take the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers, to America. This walk explains the background to the Pilgrims’ voyage, and describes the town they would have found in 1620.

This is an interesting and informative 90 minute walking tour that describes the town of Southampton in 1620 by visiting various locations from that time including some of Southampton’s famous vaults. The many trades of the town as well as key residents are described and locations associated with the Mayflower passengers are visited. The arrival in the town of several key individuals is explained and the many important events that took place in the town are described. The Mayflower was joined in Southampton by the Speedwell and aboard the two vessels were sailors, settlers, separatists and servants and they remained here for two weeks. Others arrived in the town to join the ships having been busy making arrangements for the voyage or hiding from arrest. Learn about the fugitive who joined the ship in Southampton, the two men responsible for purchasing the supplies for the voyage, the young Southampton man who signed on at the last minute and the role that the 3rd Earl of Southampton played in the settling of North America as well as many other interesting characters. Hear about the disputes and arguments that took place in Southampton before the ships sailed for North America. This is a fascinating walk that puts Southampton right at the centre of this world changing event.

Tours depart the statues of the Lions at the north side of the Bargate, on Sundays at 1.30 p.m. from 1st April to 30th September 2017.
Cost £6, accompanied children under 16 free.

Either Book and pay directly via our Ticket agency or Reserve and Pay on the day via our Calendar
                                       
BOX OFFICE: 023 8067 1771
boxoffice@nstheatres.co.uk

The Bargate and the Vaults. For the first time for many years, Tourist Guides have been allowed access to the Bargate. We start there, up steep stone steps to the main hall, and onto the roof. Then we visit several of the most famous medieval vaults.

Experience the highs and lows of Southampton in this intriguing 1 ¾ hour walk, visiting the interior of the iconic and rarely open Bargate, and a number of Southampton’s medieval, Castle Vault Southamptonunderground wine vaults. Your tour will lead you to the roof of the Bargate for spectacular views to the north ‘Above Bar’ and to the ‘High Street’ to the south.
Both an entrance and exit to the medieval walled town of Southampton, hear tales of how the Bargate has played a pivotal role in the town’s history, welcoming the Kings and Queens of England from Henry II to Elizabeth I. Explore the Bargate interior and learn of its role as a Guildhall, Prison and Museum, seeing the famous Queen Anne statue (why is she missing an arm?!) and age-worn paintings of Southampton’s legendary Bevis and Ascupart.
After ascending the steps of the Bargate, prepare to descend below street level to explore a collection of Southampton’s wine vaults. Built from the 12th century onwards as Southampton’s wine trade with France boomed, hear tales of medieval merchants; crime and punishment and how the vaults saved hundreds of lives when they were requisitioned as air raid shelters during the second world war.
Bring a torch, comfortable footwear and a sense of expectation!

Unfortunately, the Bargate and Vaults present access issues for anyone with mobility issues. Please note – owing to safety requirements at the Bargate, only children over 12 can be accepted on the Bargate and Vaults tour.

Tours depart the statues of the Lions at the north side of the Bargate on Wednesdays at 5.30 from 1st April to 30th September 2017
Cost £6, children 16 and under free, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Either Book and pay directly via our Ticket agency or Reserve and Pay on the day via our Calendar
                                       
BOX OFFICE: 023 8067 1771
boxoffice@nstheatres.co.uk

Project categories: Schools & Groups, Walks

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