Henry VIII’s “palace” in Southampton….

Henry VIII’s Palace, illustration published in 1908

While looking into the history of Southampton  I came upon the astonishing illustration above. What an absolutely stupendous building! And in its history there figure some important figures and events from Southampton‘s (and England’s) past.

“….On the west side of St. Michael’s Square is the fine timber-built house now called ‘Henry VIII’s Palace,’ and probably to be identified with that built by Henry Huttoft in the early years of the sixteenth century, and mentioned by Leland. It has four projecting gables towards the square, being of two stories and an attic, with a row of large mullioned windows on the first floor. It runs back some distance from the street, and includes parts of an older building….”

The building (once three adjoining properties) is still there, and still spectacular, but somehow it’s lost the “atmosphere” of the drawing. How much more beautiful must it have been in the 16th century, before the strident black-and-white fashion took over? Today, even though it originated back in the 14th century (see this site), it manages to look like a Victorian imitation.

Maybe the photographs don’t do it justice? I have to hope so, because it’s an architectural masterpiece.

PS: The property is now a museum (the Tudor House & Garden), and I found the following at this site.

“….Reportedly one of the most haunted places in Southampton, the museum is supposedly occupied by a ghost who turns lights on in the night and creates shadows in the windows, triggering excessive police calls due to the fear of intruders. According to locals, a medium was consequently called in, who analysed that an occupant ghost was bored, and left a ball for it to play with – the ball disappeared, and the building immediately became more peaceful. Visitors have also reported phantom figures crossing rooms and walking through bricked up doors. A paranormal investigation team also captured someone sitting in a chair using their thermal imaging camera. Although it is said that former residents wander the house and some witnesses determine one female spectral figure to be the ghost of Anne Boleyn, who allegedly once visited the house as a guest, the paranormal spirits are yet to be confirmed….”

I wonder, was ‘er ‘ead tucked underneath ‘er arm? Oh no, that was the Bloody Tower….

2 comments

  1. Oh dear! Heavily Victorianised! What a lovely place it must have been, but now, the roof line extended over that impractical but idiosyncratic bay, every s*dding piece of wood replaced with machine cut facings… it now looks like Timothy White’s (fifties chemist shop that used to be on Broadgate in Coventry) or a Victorian drinking palace. The brown sepia photo shows it much more as it once was, so maybe the “crime” took place in the 20th century!?!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Do ghosts use cameras? I keep getting an image or Henry or Anne ‘sitting in a chair using a thermal imaging camera,’ and can’t quite take it seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

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