Peer back into the day-to-day lives of Southampton’s Norman and Tudor residents at the city’s most important historic house, garden and ruins.
Tudor House and Garden is a museum and historic site which serves as a fascinating window into Southampton’s past. The oldest part of the structure, a Norman dwelling, dates back more than 800 years, while the garden is a recreation of the original Tudor knot garden from the 16th century. A museum offers insight into the day-to-day lives of the Normans and Tudors who once called Southampton home.
Admire the white-and-timber façade of Tudor House then peruse the intriguing objects on display inside, such as Victorian stuffed birds and a medieval jewel casket. Marvel at the intricate images in the Book of Hours, a tiny, fragile 15th-century prayer book written in Flemish and Latin. Check out the 16th-century graffiti on the walls of The Trade Room. These engravings of people, ships and animals are most likely the work of sailors and were uncovered during recent renovations.
At the rear of the house, enjoy the floral scents and ornamental features of the garden. Just beyond the garden lays King John’s Palace, one of the best-preserved examples of Norman architecture in Britain. When it’s time for a break, order a traditional Devonshire Tea at the café and relax under its green roof, made from sedum and wildflowers. Browse the gift shop for books, postcards, liquors and plants.
After your visit, explore the rest of Southampton’s old town. Join a guided walking tour from the medieval walls of Bargate, or take a self-guided walk by following the information panels. Options include the Old Town Walk, the Jane Austen trail or the QE2 Mile.
The Tudor House and Garden is open every day, except Monday, from morning until early evening. There is a discounted admission rate for families and infants enter free. Situated in central Southampton, the house is a pleasant 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) walk from Southampton Central Railway Station.There are plenty of bus stops in the area. Nearby attractions include Mayflower Park, Queen’s Park and the Medieval Merchant’s House.