Like Plymouth, Southampton suffered badly from bombing during World War II. However, there are glimpses of the city’s past still on view: the towers of the 14th century town walls, the 12th century Bargate building and the 15th century Tudor House. The city needed its walls, having been on the receiving end of a succession of attacks. The first fortifications were established following the Viking raids of the 9th century. In the 14th century the town was sacked by ships operating under Charles Grimaldi, the proceeds going towards the establishment of the Principality of Monaco. The city was an important centre for shipbuilding, including Henry V’s ship HMS Grace Dieu. Speaking of Henry V, a group of plotters were tried and executed for their part in the Southampton Plot, just before Henry’s departure for the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The trial took place in what is now the Red Lion pub in the High Street, and the executions took place outside the Bargate. Back in the present, alongside the luxury yachts moored at the waterfront development Ocean Village is the SS Shieldhall, built in 1955, the last working coastal passenger and cargo steamer, which is open to the public.
For events in Southampton, see here.
Map of the area.
Photo by Rod Allday, via Wikimedia Commons