Hello… last week I was invited to a press event with Southampton Bloggers, which allowed me to learn, explore and uncover all about the newly renovated God’s House Tower [GHT] .
GHT is a 13th century gatehouse can be found at the end of the old historical walls of Southampton, near Town Quay ferry terminals. Originally the waters once lapped against the walls of GHT, it’s actually hard to believe that Platform Road never existed, Ocean Village was just Southampton Water and that cruise ships weren’t greeting Southampton.
From 1961 to September 2011 it home to the Museum of Archaeology, the museum had three main galleries which told the story of Roman, Saxon and Medieval Southampton. In 2011 when the Archaeology Museum closed the exhibition moved to the now Seacity Museum, which can be found near the Guildhall Square.
In 2012 ‘A Space’ embarked on an amazing venture in regenerating GHT with set backs but lots of community support ‘A Space’ managed to secure a significant amount of funding from ‘The National Lottery, through the Heritage Fund’ and ‘Heritage Lottery Fund’. Along with support from; Southampton City Council, Arts Council England, Henry Moore Foundation, Baker-Mill Foundation and many more.
The project went underway in 2018 to renovate the building, costing £3.1 million, finding key historical elements of Southampton history which A Space wanted to include within the GHT attraction. It’s amazing to see the amount of effort, time and culture has come together in one unique building which is part of Southampton’s medieval history. GHT includes; light up interactive maps, a roof top terrace [perfect for watching the sunset, seeing the lovely cruise liners leave Southampton ports and apparently it can be transformed into the perfect rooftop gin bar!
As you enter GHT a lovely Hoxton Bake house café is presented to you, with a cute gift shop featuring arts from local artists including Amy Harwood [a local blogger] along with cute fridge magnets and postcards. There is an array of table which make for a cute ambience to enjoy a coffee whilst catching up with friends or a little space away from the hustle and bustle of Southampton City Centre (especially at Christmas time). As you enter through the stone arch towards the public toilets more seating can be found, along with a super cosy library.
Making your way into the attraction, you are greeted with an amazingly bright and engaging map which lights up telling you a story of ‘ancient’ Southampton, clearly showing GHT and the Old Walls. It’s amazing to see what still stands today and didn’t get destroyed by the bombings.
Over the next two floors you follow a trail which includes light up displays, an old dunny toilet and cannons all whilst peering out of the turret style windows. The fabulous ‘Bloom’ exhibition can be found on the left hand side, second floor of GHT which includes a perspects box and what sounds like fog horns going off… it’s a unique experience.
Dan, Director of A Space gave us an amazing tour and history lesson of the untold facts of Southampton. He’s very knowledgeable and has done a fantastic job of restoring the old Archaeology Museum into GHT, a family friendly contemporary and historical attraction. I always knew Southampton had history to it, like most other cities but visiting GHT really opened up my eyes to how it would have been in the 13th Century to modern day Southampton. Thank you GHT for allowing us to visit & learn all about a lovely new renovated part of Southampton!
So why not check out GHT – it’s now fully open to the general public, GHT also hosts live events, so take a look on their website to see if any events take your fancy!
Open – Monday to Sunday 10am – 5pm
Adults admission £5 which allows you to visit as many times as you like in 3 months.
I hope you enjoyed reading all about God’s House Tower, Southampton.
* this was a gifted press event but all thoughts are my own