Southampton and Salisbury Canal: Picture Gallery No 1

Southampton Arm: God's House Tower to the Tunnel

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The canal was to connect with the sea at Gods House Tower via a lock just inland from the defensive work. Gods House Tower was built in early 15th century to protect the sluice gates which controlled the flow of sea water into the town moat. The building was designed for use with artillery and was the headquarters of the Town Gunner, an important official in the 15th century. From 1775 to 1855, the Debtors Prison and Felons Gaol were housed here. It should also be remembered that before the 19th century, tidal water came up to the tower.

The canal company constructed "an arch under the Debtors Gaol in Southampton, wide enough for barges to go out of the lock into open water."

God's House Tower
God's House Tower from the seaward side
12.05.2005
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Medieval Southampton
A bird's eye view of Medieval Southampton
12.05.2005
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Arches under south side of God's House Tower
Arches under south side of God's House Tower
12.05.2005
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Arch under north side of God's House Tower
Arch under north side of God's House Tower
12.05.2005
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The sea-lock was situated on south end of the site of the modern building behind God's House Tower. The canal continued northwards along the town ditches just outside the remains of the town walls. Although the moat has since been filled in and built over, the line lay between the modern roads/paths of Back of the Walls and Canal Walk (although the latter is not continuous). Outside the town walls in 1800, building development was only beginning to spread out from East Street and it was still possible to see fields from the canal.

The sea-lock lay behind God's House Tower
The sea-lock lay behind
God's House Tower
12.05.2005
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Lower Canal Walk
Looking north up Lower Canal Walk
The canal lay to the west of this road
12.05.2005
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Looking south from Briton Street
Looking south along the town wall from Briton Street
12.05.2005
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Bernard Street
Site of canal / Town Ditches crossing
what is known today as Bernard Street
12.05.2005
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View from Back of the Walls
Car parking on site of demolished buildings
between Back of the Walls and Canal Walk
12.05.2005
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South side of East Street
South side of East Street looking west
12.05.2005
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Back of the Walls and Canal Walk do not cross East Street. North of East Street lies the Polymond Tower which was situated at the north east corner of the old town walls. Here the canal left the ditches to continue north across Houndwell.

North side of East Street
North side of East Street looking west
12.05.2005
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Polymond Tower
View from The Strand across the site
of the canal to Polymond Tower
12.05.2005
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Houndwell Park
View north across Houndwell
along approximate course of canal
12.05.2005
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Palmerston Park
Site of east end of tunnel and
junction with Northam Branch
12.05.2005
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The former junction with the Northam Branch lies in the part of Houndwell now called Palmerston Park. The site is just west of Palmerston Road almost opposite the Angel public house. It should be remembered that the canal would have been some 10-12 feet lower than the present ground surface. The canal in this area was filled in with spoil from the railway tunnel in the 1840's. The canal tunnel went off in a north west direction under the rising ground on the left of the picture above whilst the branch to Northam turned east (to the right).


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Page created 22 May 2005 - updated 17 February 2009.

 
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