Southampton's dark history told at new heritage experience


31 October 2019
A new heritage experience in one of Southampton’s most important ancient monuments opens to the public this weekend (2 November 2019). Stories Behind the Stones is one of the key attractions at God’s House Tower, which is opening its doors after a £3.1million makeover.

Stories Behind The Stones tells the story of the medieval Platform Quay gatehouse. Complete with gruesome details of Southampton’s last hanging, the sorry lives of 18th century  prisoners and a whole floor dedicated to gunners and weapons, the exhibition features specially commissioned animations, cutting edge technology and artistic installations.  

Exploring Southampton's history

On the ground floor, projections take the visitor through the turbulent waters of Southampton in 1338, when the city was sacked in a devastating French raid - using Ken Hellyar’s 1980 model of Southampton’s Old Town as a focal point.

The first floor is dedicated to 15th century gunners - who were highly paid and integral to the city’s late medieval defence strategy. Animated tapestries tell the life stories of four gunners, including Peter Breme, who was also employed to paint the original wooden Bargate lions. 

From 2 November, visitors will be able to enjoy the rooftop views from the top of the Tower, as well as displays including a timeline of historic ships, illustrations of Southampton as it was in 1620, and views over the world’s oldest bowling green. 

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For more information, visit the God's House Tower website.

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