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, underground 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 from 1st April to 30th September at 5.30
Cost £6, children 16 and under free, but must be accompanied by an adult.


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Project categories: Schools & Groups, Walks

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