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Southampton's QE2 Mile, Southampton, Hampshire, UK

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The QE2

In Southampton, running through the heart of the historic and contemporary city centre, is the road recently renamed the QE2 Mile. This is a road of two halves - south and below Southampton's Bargate it is known as High Street, above and north of the Bargate it is known as Above Bar Street. The QE2 Mile passes alongside parks, various shopping centres and through pedestrian areas, (which are near to the remaining buildings of the historic town), before ending at Town Quay and the docks. Southampton was the home of the famous Queen Elizabeth II cruise liner, also known as the QE2, for almost 40 years.

Five of Southampton's walking Heritage Trails begin from off the QE2 Mile:

  • The City Walls Trail
  • The Jane Austin Trail
  • The Titanic Trail
  • The Parks Trail
  • The Heritage Trail

The Origin Of The QE2 Mile

The QE2 mile was an idea designed to attract tourists to Southampton and celebrate some of Southampton's features. Edinburgh has a Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Blackpool has a Golden Mile, and so it was decided to name the main road through Southampton City Centre The QE2 Mile.

A competition was organised by Southampton City Council and local newspaper The Daily Echo to find a name for this stretch of Southampton. Over a hundred suggestions were put forward. These were shortlisted to five, the other four were Titanic Mile, Bargate Mile, Ocean Mile and Spitfire Mile. These titles were judged by Southampton FC footballer Matt Le Tissier, Councillor Royston Smith and Daily Echo editor in chief Ian Murray. They announced that QE2 Mile was their final choice, saying that the legendary ship’s name should live on in Southampton for generations to come. Matt Le Tissier went on to say that the QE2 was a defining icon not only of Southampton, but Britain as a whole.

'I have been in Southampton for 24 years, it is my home, and the QE2 has always been associated with this city and will be for many more years to come.'

Neither the High Street or Above Bar Street will be officially renamed, but will also be known as part of the QE2 Mile. Many inhabitants of Southampton feel that the name is rather farfetched, especially as at no point in its cruising history has the QE2 sailed up the QE2 Mile, and with all but one attractions on the route having no connection with the ship at all. Many more are unaware of the fact that High Street and Above Bar Street are now known as the QE2 Mile.

The QE2

RMS Queen Elizabeth II, or QE2 for short, was a luxury ocean-going cruise liner whose home port was Southampton during all of its cruising life, between 1967 and 2008. The QE2 was 963 feet long, 171 feet high and had a maximum recorded speed of 34 knots or 39mph, with 20 knots or 23mph travelling astern, and could carry up to 1,892 passengers on 12 decks with a crew of 1,040. In 2008 she was sold to Dubai, despite a campaign to keep her in Southampton.

The Queen Elizabeth II's successor, the Queen Elizabeth, also has Southampton as its home port.

Attractions On Route:

A composite picture showing sights along the QE2 mile including the Titanic Engineer Officers' Memorial, the Civic centre, the QE2 Mile signpost and a statue of Lord Palmerston and the Bargate

The QE2 Mile runs north-south. Its southernmost point is the Town Quay pier and its northernmost point is at the crossroads where Above Bar Street meets Brunswick Place to the East and Cumberland Place to the West, with London Road above. The first place of significance is the Titanic Musicians' Memorial, which is located just northwest of the start of the QE2 mile, on the corner of London Road and Cumberland Place. This is located on the outside of a law firm office building.

The Titanic Musicians' Memorial

The original Titanic Musicians' Memorial was destroyed during the Second World War, and this is a replacement. Southampton was the ninth most bombed part of Great Britain during the Second World War1. The memorial includes the opening bars of the hymn 'Nearer My God To Thee', a grieving woman and the infamous iceberg. It names all the musicians who died on the RMS Titanic, which set sail from Southampton in 1912. No musicians onboard the Titanic survived.

From the Titanic Musicians' Memorial, cross London Road at the pedestrian crossing, then cross Brunswick Place at the pedestrian crossing and walk south on the East side of the road alongside Andrews Park. This is a restricted access road and is only used by taxis, buses and bicycles.

Andrews Park

Andrews Park, also known as East Park, started life as medieval town fields or Lammas Lands that were cultivated privately for six months each year until 1 August (Lammas Day), when they became available for common grazing. Andrews Park was originally part of East Marlands field, 'Marlands' being derived over time from 'Mary Lands', named from the St Mary Magdalene Church and Leper Hospital located in this area of Southampton between the 12th and 14th Centuries. Under the 1844 Marsh Improvement Act, Southampton Corporation, as the council was then known, bought the Lammas Lands in order for them to be 'devoted and kept exclusively as open space for the general and public advantage of the inhabitants of Southampton'. Andrews Park is named after Richard Andrews, (1796 - 1859), who was five times Mayor of Southampton. A statue of him was unveiled in 1861. The park also houses The Queen's Peace Fountain which was Southampton's Millennium Project, opened in 2001, to commemorate 56 years of peace granted to the nation under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Andrews Park also holds a Rock Garden, fish pond, tennis courts, putting green, cultural crazy golf course, flower and rose gardens, toilets and a café.

Carry on down next to Andrews Park to the Titanic Engineer Officers' Memorial.

The Titanic Engineer Officers' Memorial

This is the grandest of the Titanic memorials in Southampton. It is dedicated to the engineer officers onboard the Titanic, none of whom survived. The memorial was unveiled in April, 1914 and, built of grey granite and bronze, is 30 feet long and 20 feet high. In the centre a superb winged angel is flanked by representations of engineer officers. The names inscribed on the memorial include Thomas Andrews, designer of the ship, Archibald Frost and Robert Knight all from Harland and Wolff, the builders of the Titanic.

From the Titanic Engineer Officers' Memorial, cross Above Bar Street to see The Cenotaph, located on the outskirts of Watts Park.

The Cenotaph

Southampton's Cenotaph, or War Memorial, was unveiled for Remembrance Day, 11 November, 1920, to commemorate those who died during the Great War. It was paid for by public donations and built by Sir Edwin Lutyens who later also constructed the main Whitehall Cenotaph in London. The names of 2,008 Southampton men who died during the Great War are inscribed on it. Like many cenotaphs it is tall, white and built of Portland stone and topped with a coat of arms, a wreath and a coffin guarded by two lions.

Head south passing the Cenotaph alongside Watts Park.

Watts Park

Second of the original Southampton parks that was the site of the mediæval Lammas Lands, this was the West Marlands field and is now known as the West Park or Watts Park, named after Sir Isaac Watts. Isaac Watts, who was born in Southampton in 1674, was a famous author, educator, philosopher and hymn writer. He is now mainly remembered for his hymns which include 'Our God, Our Help in Ages Past', the tune of which chimes from the Civic Centre clock at 8am, noon and 4pm, and the Christmas carol 'Joy To The World'. He also wrote the poem 'How doth the little busy bee' which was parodied in Alice In Wonderland as 'How Doth The Little Crocodile'. A statue of Isaac Watts was unveiled in the park in 1861.

From here continue South across the zebra crossing over Commercial Road to the Matthews Building, part of Southampton Solent University.

Southampton Solent University - Matthews Building

The Matthews Building, the full name of which is the Sir James Matthews building, is now part of Southampton Solent University. This has been Southampton's second university2 since 2005, although it has been an educational establishment since 1856. The building was formerly the Plummers department store, a South Coast chain later taken over by Debenhams. It now holds the University's conference facilities, an academic bookshop and a cafe, and is named after Sir James Matthews, an eminent educationalist. The side of the building overlooking Watts Park since Remembrance Day 2010 has a splendid painting entitled 360˚ Roll. This shows a series of images of a Spitfire completing a Victory Roll. The Spitfire was designed and built in Southampton and first flew from Southampton Airport.

Continue to walk down the road passed the Matthews Building. You will soon find yourself in Guildhall Square, a large square that stretches across the road into Matthews Park on your left and to the Civic Centre building on your right. This is the focus of the 2010 Southampton Cultural Quarter project.

Cultural Quarter - Guildhall Square

The Cultural Quarter is an effort to link many of Southampton's notable buildings together in one area. These include three organisations not located on the QE2 Mile, the Mayflower theatre, the BBC South Broadcasting House and main campus of Southampton Solent University. The Civic Centre complex, built in the 1930s, at the far end of the Guildhall Square features other interesting edifices, these are the Guildhall, the City Library and Archives, Southampton City Art Gallery and the proposed Sea City Museum. The Sea City Museum is proposed to be located in the Civic Centre complex in the area currently occupied by the Police Station. When the new replacement Police Station, currently under construction, is finished the new museum is due to focus on Southampton's most famous ship, the RMS Titanic, as well as display nautical items in the Art Gallery's collection. This is planned to be opened by April 2012 in time for the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Among the items to be on display in this museum, to be named the Sea City Museum, are likely to be many currently displayed in Southampton's Maritime Museum as well as the Titanic Postal Workers' Memorial3 which was removed from the former Post Office after it was closed.

One of the most notable parts of the Civic Centre complex is the Clock Tower. In 2006 it was proposed to convert the top of the clock tower into a laser lighthouse at a cost of over a quarter of a million pounds, to be named the Laser Gateway. This would emit laser beams in all four compass directions for a distance of 15 miles. After a massive protest from the majority of people living within 15 miles of Southampton, including the inhabitants of the Isle of Wight, Winchester, Portsmouth, Eastleigh and the New Forest as well as Southampton, environmental groups and astronomers, this idea was abandoned.

The Guildhall Square links the site of former department store Tyrrell and Green4 to Andrews Park, although there are suspended plans to build an arts complex there. This it is hoped, will provide easier access between the Civic Centre and Central Parks. It also allows easier movement between the two sections of Southampton Solent University. Also in Andrews Park, as part of the Cultural Quarter scheme, the former bowling green5 is being transformed into a cultural crazy golf course.

Cross the road where the Guildhall Square stretches across Above Bar Street and continue south along the road, passing a pub, shops and restaurants. Across the road you will see a new glass building, built in 2010, built on the site of the former C&A department store which closed in 2001. Continue down to the traffic lights where Above Bar Street meets New Road. The road on the right leads to the Tourist Information Office and Southampton Central railway station. However cross over New Road continuing south down Above Bar Street. You will see Palmerston Park on your left.

Palmerston Park

Palmerston Park, another of Southampton's historic city centre parks, is named after Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, (1784 – 1865). He began his extraordinary political career as MP for Newport, Isle of Wight in 1807 and later became MP for South Hampshire. He was Prime Minister from 1855 to 1858 as leader of the Whigs and later as a Liberal, a political party that he formed, from 1859 until his death. His term in office is famous for his fierce foreign policy matched only by his determination to abolish slavery worldwide. He was the last Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to die in office and his last words were the witty 'Die, my dear doctor? That's the last thing I shall do.'

In the park and visible from Above Bar Street is a seven foot tall white marble and granite statue of Lord Palmerston. Paid for by public subscription it was unveiled by the Earl of Caernarvon in June, 1869. Lord Palmerston lived at Broadlands House in nearby Romsey. Also in Palmerston Park is the Bandstand. This was newly-built in 1999. The original bandstand was erected in 1885 and stood until 1940, when after suffering bomb damage the metal was salvaged to help the war effort.

Continue down Above Bar Street. This stretch is restricted to bus, taxi and bicycle traffic only. You are now entering Southampton's major shopping area. Much of this area was heavily bombed during the Second World War and it is dominated by grey stone and red brick buildings. Across the road is the Marlands Shopping Centre.

The Marlands Shopping Centre

Built on the site of the St Mary Magdalene Church and Leper Hospital, founded in 1173 on this site outside Southampton's town walls, and from which the name 'Marlands' derives, the Marlands Shopping Centre opened in 1991 and was the largest shopping centre in Southampton for almost a decade. It was built on the site of Southampton's bus station and demolished housing, and retains the facades of some of the houses on the original site inside the centre itself. In 2006 an attempt was made to re-name the Marlands 'The Mall' after the group which owns a chain of shopping centres in Britain, however this bland name has been ignored by the people of Southampton who prefer the name 'The Marlands' and the over eight hundred years of history that this name represents.

Continue down the road, passing the shops and a row of bus stops and cross Above Bar Street when the road curves round to the right. You should now be entering a pedestrianised area. Every November and December this is used as the location of Southampton's German Christmas market. This area is dominated by Southampton's largest shopping centre - the West Quay.

West Quay

The West Quay is by far the largest shopping centre in Southampton. Opened in 2000 it contains approximately 100 shops and restaurants of various sizes on several floors, and the main entrance is in Above Bar Street. The name derives from the site in the medieval period, being near what was Southampton's western quayside, before land reclamation.

Continue down Above Bar Street to the road, Hanover Buildings. Although pedestrianised, buses and taxis are allowed to use this road. A glimpse left shows nearby Hoglands and Houndwell Parks, Southampton's other central parks. A look right, along the medieval walls, shows access to Arundel Tower next to the West Quay Shopping Centre. Across the road lies the Bargate, Southampton's major medieval north gateway into the old town of Southampton.

The Bargate

The Bargate

The main entrance to the walled town of Southampton was through the Bargate at the northern end of the town. Since the time of Henry II, many of the Kings and Queens of England have passed through the Bargate. By 1175, a simple square stone tower had been built, and the arch completed. There was a ditch in front of the gate with a bridge over it and ramparts on either side. Between 1260 and 1290, the ramparts were replaced by a stone wall. Round drum-towers were built on either side of the gateway and a hall was constructed on the first floor. The façade between the towers was added by 1420, with battlements and machicolations6. The ditch was filled in 1771, when the road through the bargate was paved. The shields were added in the 17th and 18th Centuries, showing crests of the families who ruled Southampton at the time; the shields of St George and St Andrew were also added at this time.

Guarding the Bargate are two lions, reflecting the local legend of Sir Bevis of Hampton, the mythical founder of Southampton. The first lions were put up in 1522, when the Bargate was decorated for the visit of King Charles V of Spain. The original wooden lions were replaced by the current lead lions in 1743. There were also two painted panels hung on either side of the gateway showing Sir Bevis and Ascupart, which are now preserved inside.

On the south side of the Bargate are three archways, a statue of George III dressed as the Roman Emperor Hadrian, made in 1809, and a sundial from 1705. There is also a 17th Century bell, which would be rung in times of emergency. The Bargate was a toll gate, and every cart carrying goods into and out of Southampton had to pay a tax. Inside the Bargate can be found the remains of a cell, as the Bargate's hall was used as a courtroom, until the Magistrate's Court at the Civic Centre was built. It was the Magistrates Court that was later used as a Police Station and is being developed into the Sea City Museum.

It is from the Bargate that the 'Jane Austin' and 'Walk The Walls' trails begin. Walking through the Bargate will take you inside the medieval town of Southampton. This is where Above Bar Street becomes High Street. Until October, 2010 the first floor of the Bargate was used as an art gallery. You can follow the line of the city wall east or west in specially marked paving stones, heading East will take you through a narrow passage in the shops surrounding the Bargate that leads to more of the city wall. Between 1879 to 1949 trams operated down this section of the High Street. The trams had specially shaped roofs to allow them to pass through the gateway of the Bargate, as before 1932, the only route between Southampton High Street and Above Bar was through the Bargate's central arch.

If you wish to see the Bargate at its best avoid Fridays as a market is held around the Bargate's pedestrian area each Friday.

Bargate Shopping Centre

To the left of the Bargate is the Bargate Shopping Centre. This was the first shopping centre to open on the QE2 Mile, opening in the mid 1980s. It has three floors and several shops and attracts younger customers interested in alternative fashions rather than the larger and busier shopping centres of the Marlands and the West Quay.

World War II Memorial

Outside the entrance to the Bargate Shopping Centre is a large stone containing a plaque commemorating the Second World War. It states:

Southampton In The Second World War 1939 - 1945
During the 1939 - 45 War Southampton suffered great damage from repeated air attacks. The worst raids were on 30 November and 1 December, 1940. The Town Centre was virtually destroyed, 630 Citizens died, nearly 1900 were injured, 3,589 buildings were destroyed and over 40,000 damaged. 2,631 high-explosive bombs and 30,652 incendiary bombs were recorded.
More than 3.5 million members of the Allied Forces including over two million United States Troops embarked from Southampton in 1944 - 45 for the Invasion of Occupied Europe.
Follow the road south away from the Bargate, following the pedestrian area. When the pedestrian zone reaches the road, stay on the left hand side. Keep your eyes open for plaques set into the pavement which tell the story of Southampton. On the corner with East Street, another shopping road, on what is at time of writing the Oxfam Music Shop, there is a plaque.

All Saints Church

This plaque on the corner of High Street and Above Bar Street commemorates the site where All Saints Church stood, until it was destroyed in the war. This is 'site 2' in the Jane Austen trail as the famous author regularly attended the Georgian Church that once stood here.

Continue down the High Street, which was also named English Street in the later Mediæval period, when the Huguenots who had fled from France lived in Southampton's French Street area. On your right, behind the HSBC Bank, you can just get a glance of Southampton Castle's walls, one of the few surviving parts of Southampton Castle. Keep your eyes open for pavement plaques on the left side of the road. Many of the buildings in this area of Southampton that survived the bombing were formerly banks, and are now used as wine bars. Keeping to your left, you will soon reach the Star Hotel with its distinctive coaching inn arch leading to its former stable courtyard.

Star Hotel

This was originally a coaching inn and was one of the best hotels in Southampton when Southampton was a fashionable spa town famous for its chalybeate waters, during Jane Austen's time. Outside there is still a notice informing passers-by that 'every day except Sunday a coach will take passengers to London via Alresford and Alton in ten hours'.

Cross over the road to the right-hand-side and, on the southern corner with West Street is a fenced off area containing steps leading down to Lankaster's Vault.

Lankaster's Vault

Although much of medieval Southampton no longer exists above ground, several medieval stone vaults still survive. These were originally constructed by merchants wishing to store goods that had come in to the port but have been used throughout the centuries, and in particular during the Second World War when they were used as air raid shelters. There are several vaults down the High Street, particularly next to Canute's Palace, some of which are occasionally open to the public. One of these is Lankaster's Vault, which is located behind an iron fence at the south side of the corner of West Street and High Street.

Unfortunately, between 2005 and 2008, when a map of the vaults open to the public was produced, the map incorrectly showed the location of Lankaster's Vault as being on the north side of the corner of West Street and High Street. This location was in fact occupied by a bank, which soon experienced a stream of tourists entering the bank demanding to be allowed access to its vault! Fortunately the staff soon realised the mistake and no-one was arrested for attempted robbery.

Cross the road back to the left-hand-side of the High Street, where you will see the distinctive double-bay windows of the Dolphin Hotel.

Dolphin Hotel

The Dolphin Hotel dates back to a mediæval house constructed in 1250 that first became a hotel around 1550 and was converted into a coaching inn in the 1700s. The Dolphin Hotel was given a Georgian façade and, like the Spa Hotel, it became a fashionable spa hotel that was often the venue for dances, routs and assemblies. Jane Austen, herself, had her 18th birthday celebrations at the Dolphin Hotel, with the arrangements for her ball being made by Florence Nightingale's mother. William Makepeace Thackeray is also known to have lodged here and wrote his novel Pendennis by the light of the window, which claims to be England's largest bay window. Other guests include Queen Victoria, Lord Nelson and Orson Wells, some of whom are claimed to haunt the hotel. William Shakespeare and his performers played in the yard of the Inn for his patron the Earl of Southampton. This is 'site 9' on the Jane Austen trail.

Continue down the High Street on the left-hand-side to the roofless remains of Holyrood Church.

Holyrood Church

One of Southampton's five medieval churches, built in 1320, Holyrood Church is a ruin since it was bombed during the Second World War. Now a memorial to the Merchant Navy, it also holds a memorial to the crew of the Titanic, paid for by the friends and relatives of those who died on that ship. Some of the church's treasures, including a 14th Century brass Eagle lectern, were rescued during the blaze and now rest in nearby St Michael's Church. The quarterjacks, figures which strike Holyrood Church's bell every fifteen minutes, are visible beneath the church's clock.

Outside Holyrood Church is a brass cross set in the pavement. There are two stories connected with this. The first is that it marks the spot where King Philip of Spain in 1554, on his way to marry Queen Mary in Winchester Cathedral, knelt to give thanks to God that he survived the sea crossing from Spain. Philip certainly attended a mass in Holyrood Church. The other is that it marks the spot where there was a miraculous escape from harm when, on the opening of the Hartley Institute in 1862, some of the students climbed onto the tower and spire of the church to see the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, declare the institute open. In their zeal to get a perfect view they dislodged a spherical stone ornament which crashed to the crowded street below. Fortunately, this narrowly missed all of the spectators and landing on the spot marked by the plaque.

The Titanic Crew Memorial

A Memorial to the crew, stewards and firemen just inside Holyrood Church, on the right. The Titanic is shown at sea, and the memorial was originally a fountain. Next to the memorial is a 'talking post' where you can listen to the story of the Titanic and its relationship with Southampton.

Look to the South of Holyrood Church, where the QE2 Anchor is located.

QE2 Anchor

Despite selling the ship itself to Dubai, Cunard donated the QE2's 13-tonne anchor to the city of Southampton. It is to be situated outside Holyrood Church. Councillor Royston Smith, leader of Southampton City Council, said:

'It is very important Cunard's generous gift gets a home in Southampton. Not only will it add an important heritage site to the city, it will also raise the profile of the QE2 Mile and attract more people to Southampton's Old Town.... Giving this anchor a home in the city will bring great pride to Southampton's residents.'
After crossing Bernard Street continuing south, look right. Uphill at the top of St Michael's Street, the back and spire of St Michael's Church is visible.

St Michael's Church

Founded in 1070, St Michael's is the oldest of Southampton's churches and the only one to have survived intact. This is despite the 1338 French raid shortly after the start of the 100 years war, when many of Southampton's inhabitants were slaughtered inside the church. The distinctive spire dates from the 15th Century. In 1887, to create a shipping landmark, the spire was made even taller to reach its current 165 feet. The spire was used as a landmark by German bombers during the Second World War, who used it to guide their attacks on Southampton and who were instructed to avoid bombing this distinctive feature at all costs, which is why St Michael's Church was the only Southampton church to come through the war unscathed.

Continue along the left hand side of the road until you reach a distinctive looking pub.

Red Lion Inn

A 15th Century timber framed building which claims to be England's second oldest pub. It is also claimed to be the site of the courtroom where those plotting against King Henry V were tried in 1415, as dramatised by William Shakespeare in Act II of his play Henry V. The traitors were the Earl of Cambridge, Lord Scrope and Sir Thomas Grey.

Continue along the road until you reach the corner of High Street and Briton Street.

Hartley Institute Site

The Corner of Briton Street was the site of the Hartley Institue. This was the educational establishment that the University of Southampton evolved from; the site is now modern flats. The Institute moved to its present site in Highfield in 1914.

Cross over High Street when you reach the corner with Briton Street. Follow High Street south passing two blocks of modern flats.

Medieval Merchant House

The Medieval Merchant's House, owned by English Heritage, is visible between a gap between two modern blocks of flats on the High Street, although the house itself is located on Castle Way, formerly known as French Street. The house dates from 1290 and was built by John Fortin and is equipped with replica period furnishings.

Continue down the High Street on the right-hand-side of the road. You will soon pass the remains of the mediæval mayor's wine vaults, two buildings, one brick and one stone, which are further mediæval vaults, before reaching the remains of another mediæval building known as Canute's Palace, named after King Cnut.

Canute's Palace

This is a Norman merchant's house built between 1196 and 1233, over 100 years after King Cnut's death in 1035. The ground floor was a warehouse that originally was next to Southampton's South Quay's waterfront, yet after the town walls were built in the early 14th Century it was protected by the South walls. The first floor had a hall and two chambers, used as private rooms and bedrooms, as well as a counting-house.

King Cnut (985-1035) did, in fact, visit Southampton following the death of Æthelred II in 1015. It was in Southampton that he was declared King of all England, although he was later crowned in London.


Although most of the south wall was demolished in 1804, much of the Watergate, which was built halfway along the wall, survives. The Watergate was the main entrance onto Town Quay. It was built immediately after the French Raid in 1338, in which a large proportion of the citizens of Southampton were killed. The Watergate had a large drum-shaped tower on its western side. Town Quay, built in 1411, was equipped with a crane, and, like the Bargate, the Watergate had a charge on all imports and exports. In 1403 and again in 1438, the tower was leased for the annual rent of one red rose - though the lessees were responsible for the repair of the building and its defence in time of war. The Watergate is 'site 7' on the Jane Austin trail as she left on a boat journey from here in 1807.

From the Watergate look left down Winkle Street. You can just make out St Julian's Chapel and God's House Tower behind.

St Julian's Chapel

St Julian's Chapel was originally built in 1196 by Gervase le Riche for the use of pilgrims from France travelling through Southampton on their way to visit the tomb of Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The chapel was originally built as a hospice for pilgrims to rest and recover from the exertions of their journey so far before continuing to Canterbury. The chapel was called the God's House, and from this the nearby God's House Tower got its name.

The Earl of Cambridge, Henry V's cousin, was buried beneath the altar of St Julian's Chapel after his execution in 1415. Princess Margaret of Anjou, later Queen Margaret, rested at God's House Hospice in 1445 when on her way to marry King Henry VI.

Later, Protestant refugees from France, the Huguenots, and Belgium, Walloons, emigrated to Southampton. In 1567 they appealed to Queen Elizabeth, asking for a church to hold religious services in. St Julian's Chapel was granted to them.

God's House Tower Archaeology Museum

Visible from the QE2 Mile along Winkle Street is the God's House Tower. This was one of Southampton's gatehouses as well as a two-storey building and tower built after the 1338 French raid. Between 1786 and 1855 this was used as Southampton's Gaol and in 1961 the God's House Tower Museum of Archaeology opened.

Next to the Watergate was the original Southampton shoreline. It was here that King Cnut famously ordered the tide not to come in, proving a point to his sycophantic followers who claimed he could do anything. In front of you is Town Quay, where you can catch a ferry to Hythe or either Cowes or East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Town Quay is also one of the proposed sites for a larger-than-life Spitfire statue.
If you have enjoyed this one-mile walk down the centre of Southampton, why not take the ferry to the Isle of Wight and walk the 80-mile Isle of Wight Coastal Path?
Hampshire, England, UKSouthampton Town Walls and CastleThe Floating Bridge, Southampton, UKThe Frog and Frigate Pub, Canute Road, Southampton, UKSouthampton FCCalshot Castle, Hampshire, UKDublin Statue TrailWalk Around The Walls Of YorkQueen ElizabethStaffordshire
1Over 1,500 Air Raid Warnings were broadcast in Southampton during the Second World War, with 57 heavy bombing attacks inflicted on the city.2The first is the University of Southampton, usually referred to as Southampton Uni.3This is a plaque that commemorates the five Postal Workers who all died on board the Titanic, three of whom were American and the other two British.4A Southampton department store that opened in 1897 and was taken over by John Lewis in 1934. It traded under its original name in Above Bar Street until it relocated to the newly-opened West Quay shopping centre in 2000. In 2010 the Tyrrell And Green building was demolished.5Not to be confused with Southampton Old Bowling Green which is located next to Gods House Tower, Canute Road.6Machicolations are projections in the battlements of a castle's walls with openings through which defensive fire could be directed against attacking forces.

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