Around Bugle Street and Simnel Street you can find the Undercroft vault, Tudor House and Westgate Hall.
“Bugle” and “Simnel” denote food. “Bugle” from the Latin buculus, meaning “ox”, and Simnel, from Simnel flour used to make Simnel cake, which is eaten at Easter time. These street names indicate where the butchers and bakers lived in medieval times.
The Undercroft vault was originally used as a shop and possibly as a show room, where buyers would come to savour the wine.
Tudor House was owned by Sir Richard & Lady Lyster in the 1550s. They had a knot garden, vines and hives for honey bees. Herbs and honey would have been used for cooking (as well as a scent, wax, soap, perfume and cosmetics).
Besides bakers and butchers, there were fishmongers too. Westgate Hall is the former fish market. There were three floors. The fish market, and cloth hall and a floor for finished fabrics. The smell of fish was so bad, especially in summer, that local inhabitants lobbied to have the building moved from St. Michael’s Square to its current location near Westgate.
Drinking in Bugle Street would have taken place at the Duke of Wellington Pub.
Originally built on top of Norman vaults and cellars in 1220, in 1494 it was converted into a public house (Brew House) by Mr Johnson who sold drink and set up the city’s first brewery.
The Medieval Merchant’s House was built around 1290 by John Fortin, a merchant who traded with Bordeaux. He had an undercroft to store wine at a constant temperature.
In High Street, you can find the Red Lion Inn, Oakley & Watling, the Dolphin Hotel and the Star Hotel. Despite having a Tudor façade, the Red Lion contains the oldest vault in Southampton dating back to Norman times. The building next door to it, Oakley & Watling, was a local family-run company which supplied fruit, vegetables and flowers to the White Star Line. The following was supplied to the Titanic for its ill fated maiden voyage; 7.000 heads of lettuce, 1000 lbs of grapes, 36,000 oranges, 4 tons potatoes and 800 asparagus bundles – all transported in horses and carts.
The nearby Dolphin Hotel, would have had its cellars full of fine wine from Gascony in the XIII century, was a place to meet friends. There were shops, including a coffee room called Brimyard’s, where gentlemen could discuss affairs and read newspapers, and a lounge for ladies to take tea.
The Star Hotel was built in the late XVIII century. Scrase’s Star Brewery, which supplied 86 pubs from 1829-1889, was located at the rear of the hotel.