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Historic England Research Records

Medieval Merchants House

Hob Uid: 1084978
Location :
City of Southampton
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SU4191611179
Summary : A late 13th century merchants house, one of the earliest surviving medieval merchant's houses in England, and the most complete surviving medieval house in Southampton. The house comprises a vaulted cellar and yard at the rear, above which lies an entrance passage leading to a shop and living accommodation. On the ground floor this comprises the hall and an inner room. On the upper floor are two bedchambers linked by a gallery. The main walls are of limestone, for the most part Bembridge stone, although Purbeck stone was used for 14th century alterations. Part of the north wall and all of the cellar are built of ashlar, but the remainder of the building comprises random rubble set in a mass of mortar. The half bay at the street frontage is timber framed. The roof, originally clad with Cornish slate, is now tiled. On stylistic grounds the house appears to have been built in circa 1290, a date confirmed by tree ring dating. Documentary sources indicate it was built by wine merchant John Fortin, and by 1392 was owned by Thomas Fryke and John Barflet (a descendant of Fortin, and town bailiff in 1402). Throughout the 15th century the property was owned by senior burgesses with strong trading and political connections. A second phase can be seen at the west end, where part of the south wall and the west gable wall were rebuilt after the collapse of the south-west corner of the building. Internal alterations were carried out from the 16th century and in the 17th century it was divided into three cottages. It reverted to a single property in circa 1780 as a lodging house, a beer shop in 1883, and later the 'Bulls Head' public house until 1918. It was then a lodging house and brothel. The house was damaged by a bomb in 1940, and after repairs in 1942, was used as a theatrical store until it passed into Stare care in 1972. Investigations in 1983-5 revealed the extent of the surviving medieval structure and restoration has returned the house to its medieval appearance.
More information : Scheduled monument. A late 13th century merchants house, one of the earliest surviving medieval merchant's houses in England, and the most complete surviving medieval house in Southampton. The house comprises a vaulted cellar and yard at the rear, above which lies an entrance passage leading to a shop and living accommodation. On the ground floor this comprises the hall and an inner room. On the upper floor are two bedchambers linked by a gallery. The main walls are of limestone, for the most part Bembridge stone, although Purbeck stone was used for 14th century alterations. Part of the north wall and all of the cellar are built of ashlar, but the remainder of the building comprises random rubble set in a mass of mortar. The half bay at the street frontage is timber framed. The roof, originally clad with Cornish slate, is now tiled. On stylistic grounds the house appears to have been built in circa 1290, a date confirmed by tree ring dating. (1)

Listed building. (2)

Documentary sources indicate that it was built by John Fortin, and by 1392 was owned by Thomas Fryke and John Barflet (a descendant of Fortin, and town bailiff in 1402). Throughout the 15th century the property was owned by senior burgesses with strong trading and political connections. A second phase of building can be seen at the west end, where part of the south wall and the west gable wall were rebuilt after the collapse of the south-west corner of the building. Internal alterations were carried out from the 16th century and in the 17th century it was divided into three cottages. It reverted to a single property in circa 1780 as a lodging house, a beer shop in 1883, and later the 'Bulls Head' public house until 1918. It was then a lodging house and brothel. The house was damaged by a bomb in 1940, and after repairs in 1942, was used as a theatrical store until it passed into Stare care in 1972. Investigations in 1983-5 revealed the extent of the surviving medieval structure and restoration has returned the house to its medieval appearance. (3)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 01-Aug-96
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : City of Southampton, 08-OCT-1981
Page(s) : 45
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 983
Source Number : 3
Source : Medieval Merchant's House
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : c1290
Monument End Date : 1300
Monument Start Date : 1280
Monument Type : Merchants House, Shop, Open Hall House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : From c1290
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1280
Monument Type : Shop, Privy House, Pit, Steps
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Early 20th Century
Display Date : Early 20th Century
Monument End Date : 1918
Monument Start Date : 1901
Monument Type : Public House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : Repaired
Monument End Date : 1942
Monument Start Date : 1942
Monument Type : Merchants House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C14 alterations
Monument End Date : 1400
Monument Start Date : 1301
Monument Type : House, Shop
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Divided into cottages
Monument End Date : 1700
Monument Start Date : 1601
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1882
Monument Start Date : 1770
Monument Type : Lodging House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Beer shop in 1883
Monument End Date : 1883
Monument Start Date : 1883
Monument Type : Beer Shop
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : 20th Century
Monument End Date : 1940
Monument Start Date : 1918
Monument Type : Lodging House, Brothel
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Bomb damage in 1940
Monument End Date : 1940
Monument Start Date : 1940
Monument Type : Lodging House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : 20th Century
Monument End Date : 1972
Monument Start Date : 1942
Monument Type : Storehouse
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Restored 1983-85
Monument End Date : 1985
Monument Start Date : 1983
Monument Type : Merchants House
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HA 185
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 26711
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 135815
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 199
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Hampshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MSH2272
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : J880160
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : J880161
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : J880162
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : J880165
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : J880169
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : J880170
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : J880175
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : J880163
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : J880164
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : J880167
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 41 SW 138
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, 58 FRENCH STREET (SOU 102)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1976-01-01
End Date : 1976-12-31