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Medieval Studies Archaeology of Southampton
by
David A. Hinton

Introduction

Because of its location in the middle of the south coast of England, Southampton illustrates not only the development of a town in general but also of a port in particular. Some of its medieval buildings survive, and its medieval topography still affects the modern town. Excavations have produced a wide range of artifacts, many of them imported. Although it is not a rural site, Southampton opens the issue of relationships between an urban place and the hinterland that supplied it with food and other commodities and (usually) people. Town and country were subject to comparable pressures of population expansion and decline. Another aspect is Southampton’s relationship with other towns, notably the cathedral city of Winchester to the north. As a port, Southampton had to provide facilities that ships needed, which varied according to their size, their cargo, their loading and unloading methods, their crews, their provisioning, and their need for repairs. Southampton’s changing foci make it unusual and raise issues about responses to slightly differing needs at different times for defense, housing, landing places, and storage space. The wealth of some of its citizens raises the issue of their potential threat to established social structures, but they also created internal conflicts between different groups in the town. No single site or place can be used to examine all the issues and questions relating to the medieval period, but Southampton illustrates how archaeological and historical research has developed, influenced by social and economic pressures.

Primary Sources

A place’s archaeological database is built up from a range of different information, an observation made of a building site by a passerby, the collection of objects or human or animal bones from workers, or full-scale scientific investigation, ideally unhindered by pressures of time and money; in practice, most excavations are done in a short interlude before redevelopment starts and on a tight budget. Morton 1992 demonstrates the variety of ways information on the mid-Anglo-Saxon port, then called Hamwic, has been collected. Excavation reports are published either as monographs, such as Birbeck, et al. 2005, or in journals, such as Garner 2003. Similarly, work on objects may appear in monographs, such as Hunter and Heyworth 1998, or as parts of the reports on excavations during which these objects were found—this is also standard practice for animal-bone and other environmental work. Documentary evidence may include information on topography, or goods carried as cargoes or kept in people’s houses (Roberts and Parker 1992), or building costs that relate directly to the archaeological record. Other matters are not quite so obviously interrelated, such as property ownership, which ultimately affects the archaeology because in the past (just as in the early 21st century) investment may lead to rebuilding. Southampton is fortunate to have an excellent Records Society, which has among much else published a good guide to the sources (James 1983).

  • Birbeck, Vaughan, with Roland J. C. Smith, Phil Andrews, and Nick Stoodley. The Origins of Mid-Saxon Southampton: Excavations at the Friends Provident St. Mary’s Stadium, 1998–2000. Salisbury, UK: Wessex Archaeology, 2005.

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    Report by a full-time archaeological “unit,” Wessex Archaeology, that was contracted to undertake the excavation of an important part of the mid-Anglo-Saxon town and subsequently set a good example by soon producing a full account of the work. There is also discussion of the dig’s implications. Graves, rubbish pits, and other features were discovered. Some of the graves contained weapons and gold ornaments.

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  • Garner, Matt F. “Excavations at St. Mary’s Road, Southampton (SOU 379 and SOU 1112).” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 58 (2003): 106–129.

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    Excavations in towns usually take place before a site is redeveloped and are often of quite small areas. Information may only make sense in relation to previous work nearby, slowly building up a pattern. This report is by a member of a professional archaeological team based within Southampton’s city but nevertheless not having a monopoly on the work carried out within the council’s jurisdiction.

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  • Hunter, John R., and Michael P. Heyworth. The Hamwic Glass. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 116. York, UK: Council for British Archaeology, 1998.

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    Mid-Anglo-Saxon Southampton was a trading place, but many of the imported goods leave no archaeological trace. Wine was presumably drunk from glass beakers and cups, as evidenced by many broken fragments. Their colors and decoration show that they were of high quality, but chemical analyses could not prove where they were manufactured. An issue about the nature of trade concerns who had access to such luxuries.

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  • James, Thomas Beaumont. Southampton Sources 1086–1900. Southampton Records Series 26. Southampton, UK: University of Southampton Press, 1983.

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    A list with brief explanations of the most relevant documents for Southampton’s history, from its Domesday Book entry onward. If Domesday is taken at face value, the port grew rapidly immediately after the Norman Conquest, as it records the arrival of a large number of French people. The record shows the various tenement owners in the town, including some leading aristocrats who owned houses but were mostly renting them out.

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  • Morton, Alan D., ed. Excavations at Hamwic. Vol. 1, Excavations 1946–83, Excluding Six Dials and Melbourne Street. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 84. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1992.

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    This monograph is interesting both for its account of mid-Anglo-Saxon Southampton’s development, activity, and decline and for showing the disparate ways information has been obtained. Observations and collecting—mainly of coins—took place during 19th-century development; after World War II very little money was available for archaeology; since the 1960s standards of excavation have steadily improved.

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  • Roberts, Edward, and Karen Parker, eds. Southampton Probate Inventories 1447–1575. Vol. 1. Southampton Records Series 34. Southampton, UK: University of Southampton Press, 1992.

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    Lists of people’s chattels were drawn up for taxation assessments during their lives and for probate after their deaths. Medieval Southampton has none of the former and few of the latter, but one drawn up in 1447 itemizes the goods of a rich merchant, what he had both in his house and in his warehouse. Little would ever survive, and clay vessels, which might be found as broken shards, were not usually valuable enough to list.

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Secondary Sources

Interpretation of the material found at a place such as Southampton, where discoveries are constantly being made, means that from time to time publications that bring it all together are appropriate. These can take many forms, from academic studies (Platt 1973) to popular booklets (Pay 1987). Computing techniques now allow new forms of reconstruction (Earl 2000). Material also becomes important through its incorporation within overall syntheses: Hamwic was featured in a “picture-essay” within the best-known book on the Anglo-Saxons (Campbell 1982), for instance, and Southampton features prominently in the standard account of the archaeology of medieval towns (Schofield and Vince 2003).

  • Campbell, James, ed. The Anglo-Saxons. Oxford: Phaidon, 1982.

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    Because it was written jointly by three well-known historians and also made good use of its many illustrations, this book is still a good overall introduction. It includes eight “picture-essays,” and that mid-Anglo-Saxon Southampton was chosen to be the subject of one of those essays is evidence of the place’s significance.

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  • Earl, Graeme. Archaeological Computing Research Group. University of Southampton, 2000.

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    Computer techniques are used in various ways in archaeology, for seriation, correspondence analyses, and other statistical applications, for instance. Other programs can produce visualizations: flexible three-dimensional interpretations that offer alternative reconstructions that a single drawing cannot achieve. Light can be varied, textures of materials shown, and colors and reflections added and the models allow the viewer to “walk” around the building or object. For Southampton museums, the university produced visualizations of a medieval church—bombed in the 1940s and now a roofless war memorial—and of a 15th-century market hall building.

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    • Pay, Sharon. Hamwic: Southampton’s Saxon Town. Horndean, UK: Milestone, 1987.

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      A well-illustrated booklet with photographs and color reconstructions, which puts the evidence in a straightforward way for museum visitors, schools, and others with a general interest in the past. Needs updating to include late-20th- and early-21st-century finds, but, alas, few local authorities now seem to have the funds for this sort of thing.

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    • Platt, Colin. Medieval Southampton: The Port and Trading Community, A.D. 1000–1600. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973.

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      Written while the author was a lecturer at the University of Southampton, this book would probably not get written now because “research assessors” might judge it parochial and what publisher would risk investing in something of such seemingly local interest? Both would be wrong, as this book exemplifies how archaeological and documentary information show the contribution of a single place to the overall history of Europe.

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    • Schofield, John, and Alan Vince. Medieval Towns: The Archaeology of British Towns in Their European Setting. 2d ed. London: Continuum, 2003.

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      This synthesis puts Southampton’s archaeology into perspective in relation to other towns and cities. Other towns that have had as much study from excavation include London, Norwich, and Winchester. Southampton has more of its medieval buildings and more of its walls and gates surviving than many towns, but only two of its churches still have medieval fabric.

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    Prehistory and the Roman Period

    Southampton is in a low-lying basin of clays, sands, and gravels. Much of the land was cleared in the Bronze Age; within the modern city limits there used to be several burial barrows, and pottery is occasionally found (Cottrell 2003). Agricultural use probably caused the soils to deteriorate quite rapidly, and they became too acidic for good crop growing. Rough grazing is implied by a few simple Iron Age ditched enclosures that may have been no more than stock pens. It does not seem that there was a port of any sort, despite a location allowing good access north into the more prosperous chalk hinterland. This changed in the 1st century AD; during the Roman occupation of Britain, a promontory within a bend of the eastern river, the Itchen, was used, defended on the landward side by a wall and ditch, later replaced to enclose a smaller area (see Cotton and Gathercole 1958); the implications of the site for the medieval period concern burial, continuity, and defense, and are discussed in The Post-Roman Centuries: (c. 400-c. 700). This site is now called Bitterne. Evidence of Roman occupation has also been found on the west side of the River Itchen (Smith 2002). Elsewhere on and around the peninsula there were Roman roads, enclosures, fields, and villas (Adam 1997, McDermott 1999).

    • Adam, N. R. “Prehistoric and Roman Site at Nursling.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 52 (1997): 1–58.

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      Nursling is just outside the modern city boundary, but this paper looks at the distribution of Roman features in the entire area in relation to the known roads and probable river crossings, and it has a useful distribution map. A good example of a paper putting a site into its wider context.

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    • Cotton, Molly Aylwin, and Peter W. Gathercole. Excavations at Clausentum, Southampton, 1951–1954. Ministry of Works Archaeological Reports 2. London: Stationery Office, 1958.

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      This hardback book with a dustcover, published by a government organization, evokes a different age. Only narrow trenches were excavated, but profiles through the ditches were obtained with a good dating sequence of pottery and coins (but see King 1989). Clausentum is a name in the late-Roman “Antonine Itinerary,” but Southampton does not “fit” with the stated number of miles from Chichester. So the identification is debatable.

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    • Cottrell, Peter R. “Excavation at Coleman Street, Southampton, SOU 1267.” Unpublished Report 620, Southampton City Archaeology Unit, 2003.

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      This is an example of “gray literature,” a report on archaeological work undertaken for a developer as a planning condition. Such reports are sometimes put online, and may in time get summarized as a journal article or a monograph; but meanwhile a report like this can be hard to locate. This excavation unexpectedly found a quantity of Bronze Age pottery and flints and part of a copper-alloy axe.

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    • King, Anthony. “Roman Bitterne in the Third and Fourth Centuries.” Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Newsletter, n.s., 11 (Spring 1989): 19–20.

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      A good example of how later scrutiny can overturn established views. Reanalysis took the main period of the Roman site’s use backward in time, suggesting that there was not much late-4th- to early-5th-century occupation; consequently, despite its defenses, the fort is less likely to have become the stronghold of some form of authority taking control of the local area after the formal withdrawal of the legions in 407–411.

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    • McDermott, J. “Evidence of Roman Southampton’s Hinterland at the New Magistrate’s Court, London Road.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 54 (1999): 183–188.

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      Coins, pottery shards, and field ditches from the 1st to the 4th centuries are scattered across the Southampton Peninsula, presumably from farms supplying the site at Bitterne. Because most of the modern city’s land area has now been built over or is sealed beneath public parks, the evidence is unlikely ever to build up into an entirely coherent settlement pattern of individual farms, dispersed and practicing a mix of arable and stock rearing.

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    • Smith, M. P. “A Roman Settlement and Iron-Working Site at St. Denys, Southampton (SOU 981).” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 57 (2002): 30–37.

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      From as early as the 1st century AD there was activity on the opposite bank of the River Itchen to the defended site at Bitterne. Graveled roads and property boundaries were found, but there was no perimeter ditch. Blacksmithing debris indicates an industrial suburb. Out into the river, remains of timber jetties were found, presumably for regular crossings by boats and ferries. The site reverted to agriculture after the 4th century.

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    The Post-Roman Centuries (c. 400–c. 700)

    Southampton can be used to illustrate the difficulty of gaining a coherent idea of what happened in the three centuries after the Roman Empire ceased to rule Britain. Within the Roman site at Bitterne, no buildings of the period have been found nor evidence that the streets were maintained. There is, however, a late-5th- or early-6th-century brooch found within it that hints at either continuous use or reuse after a hiatus (Welch 1975, Russel n.d.). Then there are burials; Roman cemeteries were always outside the walls of their settlements, so a few skeletons found outside the inner defense were assumed to have been some of Bitterne’s later occupants after its contraction; this easy assumption had to be reviewed when radiocarbon dates were obtained (Cherryson 2007). Even the Roman area on the east side of the Itchen plays a part in the story (see Prehistory and the Roman Period), since it was abandoned but not allowed simply to deteriorate into scrub and wood—as agricultural use shows that the population did not simply disappear altogether. Later the area is known to have belonged to the bishop of Winchester, who had a manor house within the Bitterne walls: could this medieval estate in some way have perpetuated a Roman boundary? Further rethinking has also been needed about the foundation of the new site, which is downstream from Bitterne. Because that site had not yielded any coins dated earlier than c. 700, it was broadly assumed that occupation began around then; one author had already challenged that (Scull 2001), even before the stadium site produced conclusive evidence (Birbeck, et al. 2005).

    • Birbeck, Vaughan, with Roland J. C. Smith, Phil Andrews, and Nick Stoodley. The Origins of Mid-Saxon Southampton: Excavations at the Friends Provident St. Mary’s Stadium, 1998–2000. Salisbury, UK: Wessex Archaeology, 2005.

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      This excavation, downstream from the Roman sites, to everyone’s surprise found cremation burials as well as inhumations. Objects in the graves included the two earliest Anglo-Saxon coins from Hamwic, dated to just before c. 700, gold pendants, one probably Frisian, and other things probably from overseas. Where had these people come from? Who had allowed or encouraged them to settle in South Hampshire?

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    • Cherryson, Annia. “Disturbing the Dead: Urbanisation, the Church, and the Post-Burial Treatment of Human Remains in Wessex, c. 600–1100 AD.Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 14 (2007): 130–143.

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      A paper that summarizes a major research project that has included obtaining radiocarbon dates. Three from a cemetery within the Roman site at Bitterne unexpectedly turned out to be post-Roman; they were not quoted in this paper but were calibrated at AD 562–1010 in the original report; one was a bit later than the other two, but they could “fit” a 7th- to 8th-century range.

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    • Russel, Andrew. Hawkeswood Road (Bitterne, Southampton).

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      An example of “gray literature” though contained on the database maintained by the Southampton Archaeological Unit (county council Historic Environment Records are a source of unpublished reports, but not all are online). This site was within the Roman defenses at Bitterne. In the fill of a ditch were some unglazed shards attributed to the 5th–6th centuries.

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    • Scull, Christopher. “Burials at Emporia in England.” In Wics: The Early Medieval Trading Centres of Northern Europe. Edited by David Hill and Robert Cowie, 67–74. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic, 2001.

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      Using his work on cemeteries in and outside Ipswich, a trading-place contemporary with that at Southampton, the author points out that both contain a few objects that are certainly or likely to be 7th century, so occupation probably began while the south coast of Hampshire was subject to the kings of the Isle of Wight before they were violently ousted by the Gewisse, who established the kingdom of Wessex.

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    • Welch, Martin. “Disc Brooch.” In Excavations at Portchester Castle. Vol. 2, Saxon. Edited by Barry Cunliffe, 205–257. London: Society of Antiquaries of London, 1975.

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      The significance of this 5th- to 6th-century brooch is manifold: it is a type frequently found in women’s graves that are Anglo-Saxon (not late Roman) in their cultural leanings; it was found in a Roman fort; and one was also found in the fort at Bitterne, Southampton. Implications are of post-Roman use of forts not necessarily by direct descendants of indigenous Roman Britons and not only (if at all) by warriors/soldiers, as women were present.

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    Hamwic (c. 700–c. 900)

    In the 8th century and for at least a hundred years, Southampton was one of the four maritime trading places in England large enough to be considered towns and known as wics (trading centers), there and on the Continent. Consequently, a number of different issues arise from its study: the nature of exchange, the control of kings, the development of internal and overseas trade, the use of money, the crafts and services in the town, and the investment in its buildings and streets. Some issues are unexplored because the right circumstances have not arisen; very little is known about the shoreline, for instance.

    Names, Sites, and Defenses

    Roman Bitterne may not be Clausentum, but no one doubts that 8th-century Hamwic was the place where archaeological excavation has found so much material, on the west bank of the River Itchen (Addyman and Hill 1968). The name “Hamtun” also occurs; it may have been a separate place, an alternative name, or even an enclave within the wic (trading center) (Rumble 1980). The vicissitudes of the 9th century led to the virtual abandonment of the largest site, though whether Viking raids on it were the main reason or trade was already falling off because of general disruption remains unresolved. Hamtun is listed as a defended burh (fortified town) in documents, but it is disputed as to which site was meant (Hill 1996, Haslam 2009). Trading reappeared on the bank of the River Test to the east (Holdsworth 1984).

    • Addyman, Peter V., and David Hill. “Saxon Southampton: A Review of the Evidence; Part 1: History, Date, and Character of the Town.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 25 (1968): 61–93.

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      This article establishes modern study of the Anglo-Saxon trading place. It summarizes previous work and a large excavation that the authors had just carried out, and it demonstrates the size of the settlement and the quantities of material found there. In addition to streets, buildings, wells, and pits, it was also shown that there were several cemeteries. Occupation tailed off in the second half of the 9th century.

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    • Haslam, Jeremy. “The Development of Late Saxon Christchurch, Dorset, and the Burghal Hidage.” Medieval Archaeology 53 (2009): 95–118.

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      Arguing against Hill 1996, the author suggests that the defended place named Hamtun was to the west of the wic (trading center). The argument derives from an (unpublished) excavation of a substantial ditch, at least 2.5 meters deep, and other finds from the area, notably coins. Was this the administrative center overseeing the activities of the wic?

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    • Hill, David. “Appendix IV: Gazetteer of Burghal Hidage Sites.” In The Defence of Wessex: The Burghal Hidage and Anglo-Saxon Fortifications. Edited by David Hill and Alexander R. Rumble, 189–231. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1996.

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      The series of documents known collectively as the Burghal Hidage lists places defended by walls, meaning both earth banks and ditches, and Roman stone walls. Hill argues that the old fort at Bitterne was brought into use because its wall length is commensurate with the formula given in the Burghal Hidage.

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    • Holdsworth, Philip. “Saxon Southampton.” In Anglo-Saxon Towns in Southern England. Edited by Jeremy Haslam, 331–343. Chichester, UK: Phillimore, 1984.

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      This paper is important for introducing effectively the fifth, perhaps sixth, “Southampton.” Although the 8th-century wic (trading center) was not totally abandoned, the focus shifted southwestward to a ridge on the end of the promontory between the Test and the Itchen. Tenth- and 11th-century coins and pottery showed trade and activity, and excavations found lengths of ditch that if joined together would have made a substantial enclosure.

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    • Rumble, Alexander R. “HAMTVN Alias HAMWIC (Saxon Southampton): The Place-Name Traditions and Their Significance.” In Excavations at Melbourne Street, Southampton, 1971–6. Edited by Philip Holdsworth, 7–20. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 33. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1980.

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      The names used for the medieval town are important not least for understanding its functions. “Wic” in this context means “trading place,” mercimonia in Latin. Ham could be “home(stead)” but is probably hamm, “bend in a river.” Hamton was used in administrative contexts: the shire was Hamtunscire. Were Hamtun and Hamwic separate places? The Burghal Hidage has the Hamton name and indicates something smaller than the wic.

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    Buildings, Streets, Pits, and Wells

    Various reports, both monographs and journal articles, set out the basic data derived from the many excavations conducted within Hamwic. Morton 1992 examines the results from pre-1980 work; the largest modern site was toward the north end of the town and had a wide range of features (Andrews 1997). Graveled streets raise such issues as the topographical layout (Garner 2002) and also the nature of authority within the place. Who supervised the construction and maintenance, ensuring that the houses were built within controlled spaces?

    • Andrews, Philip, ed. Excavations at Hamwic. Vol. 2, Excavations at Six Dials. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 109. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1997.

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      This report is on the largest excavation within Hamwic, although still only around 10 percent of the town has been investigated. Buildings were quite widely spaced along street frontages and had backyard areas. There were domestic and light-industrial hearths. A well had four large waterlogged posts driven in at the bottom, with planks rammed in behind them. Dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) shows that the timbers had been felled between 695 and 733.

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    • Garner, M. F. “Excavation at St. Mary’s Road, Southampton (SOU 379 and SOU 112).” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 58 (2002): 106–129.

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      Excavations north of the large Six Dials site were not really expected to yield much so far from the river, but even there were pits, wells, stake holes, and graveled surfaces. Wheel ruts showed regular use of carts on a road, probably one of three north–south streets, one along the river edge linked by cross streets. It was unclear whether the king or the inhabitants themselves ordered these to be laid out and arranged for maintenance.

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    • Morton, Alan D., ed. Excavations at Hamwic. Vol. 1, Excavations 1946–83, Excluding Six Dials and Melbourne Street. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 84. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1992.

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      This report summarizes what was then known about the wic (trading center), including the nature of its buildings. Most walls were made from the “brick earth” clay that underlies the site: the clay was mixed with animal hair, gravel, and water to bind it, with timber posts to set it around. No structure found has looked grand enough for a king or his reeve to stay in, so where was authority based?

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    Religion and Churches

    The stadium site is the first Hamwic cemetery (Birbeck, et al. 2005). Eighth- and 9th-century burials have been found in various parts of the town. St. Mary’s Church, at its southern end, was to be the “mother church” of Southampton throughout the Middle Ages (Hase 1988), but its foundation date is not known nor anything of its original building or graveyard size. Outside its modern perimeter, excavations have found a number of graves, including some inside ring ditches (Garner 2001). The small cemeteries had different dates; several graves contained objects, suggesting that the people were buried before the furnished burial practice had died out (Morton 1992). Groups of burials have been found at several other sites, and occasional human bones or parts of skulls uncovered at others (Andrews 1997). What does this imply for urbanization and belief (Morton 1992, Cherryson 2007)? Males, females, juveniles, and children were all buried, so early suggestions that the town would have been peopled predominantly by traders and not settlers have not been borne out (Andrews 1997).

    • Andrews, Philip, ed. Excavations at Hamwic. Vol. 2, Excavations at Six Dials. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 109. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1997.

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      A highlight of this large excavation was the discovery of skeletons, some in graves that had disturbed older graves, which might suggest constraints of space or little respect for the dead. Some had been dug into the upper layers of filled-in pits and in the gravel of a road. So the cemetery was a relatively late innovation, not used until the 9th century. Recognizable were five males, three females, and four juveniles within a typical demographic.

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    • Birbeck, Vaughan, with Roland J. C. Smith, Phil Andrews, and Nick Stoodley. The Origins of Mid-Saxon Southampton: Excavations at the Friends Provident St. Mary’s Stadium, 1998–2000. Salisbury, UK: Wessex Archaeology, 2005.

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      Only this site has been shown to have had cremation burials, and no other has such an elaborate range of grave goods. Five graves were orientated north to south, not west to east. Were these people not Christians? The cremations suggest not, but the furnishings and orientations are ambivalent. Later disturbance of some graves suggests that if they contained the founding elite, their memory was not respected.

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    • Cherryson, Annia. “Disturbing the Dead: Urbanisation, the Church, and the Post-Burial Treatment of Human Remains in Wessex, c. 600–1100 AD.Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 14 (2007): 130–143.

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      This paper points to the disturbance of graves within the stadium site and at one site discussed by Morton 1992: disturbances caused not only by later graves but also by the digging of pits and other apparently secular activity. Church teaching at the time allowed for the soul to go to heaven whatever the condition of the bones from which it came, so people were more pragmatic than later, when the wholeness of the body for resurrection seemed to matter more.

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    • Garner, M. F. “A Middle Saxon Cemetery at Cook Street, Southampton (SOU 823).” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 56 (2001): 170–191.

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      Report on part of a cemetery in the south part of the town. Some graves were within small penannular ditches—the incomplete circles left a small causeway presumably for access. The soil from the ditches may have been piled up over the grave, creating a small barrow indicating a social hierarchy otherwise hard to distinguish in the wic (trading center). A furnished burial was perhaps contemporary with the latest graves at the stadium.

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    • Hase, Patrick. “The Mother Churches of Hampshire.” In Minsters and Parish Churches: The Local Church in Transition 950–1200. Edited by John Blair, 45–66. Oxford: Oxbow, 1988.

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      The bishopric was established in Winchester in the middle of the 7th century. Thereafter some churches were associated with royal estates, and their parochial areas may originally have coincided with the areas from which tribute payments were collected to supply the king’s residence. Documentary evidence is patchy, but a sequence of churches along the south coast may have included St. Mary’s in the south part of the wic (trading center).

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    • Morton, Alan D., ed. Excavations at Hamwic. Vol. 1, Excavations 1946–83, Excluding Six Dials and Melbourne Street. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 84. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1992.

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      Among much else, this report drew attention to widespread human burials, or at least parts of human bodies. Despite brief use, these small cemeteries often have examples of graves cutting through earlier ones, and some were later built over. This rarely happened in the countryside; the author suggests that an aspect of urbanization is transient people who do not have long-term family memory and respect for forebears’ resting places.

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    Artifacts and Crafts

    The earliest interest taken in the Anglo-Saxon town was largely because of the objects, especially coins, found in it (Addyman and Hill 1969). Subsequently they have been one of the artifact types given special study (Metcalf 1988). Other work has been on the glass (see Primary Sources), the nonferrous metal (Hinton 1996)—but not yet the iron—and the pottery (Hodges 1981, Timby 1988). The extent to which coins show that a money-using economy flourished in the wic (trading center), whereas its hinterland still used barter, tribute, and gift as the principal means of exchange, leads to questions about the nature of society in general and whether its modes of behavior were adapting rapidly to new circumstances. The evidence of the crafts raises the issue of whether production was solely of things for use within the wic or for export and sale in the hinterland because a market distribution system was beginning to develop. Craft specialization is seen as integral to the development of urbanization, so the need to understand the mode and scale of production is essential for evaluating the role of the wic sites in that process.

    • Addyman, Peter V., and David Hill. “Saxon Southampton: A Review of the Evidence; Part 2: Industry, Trade, and Everyday Life.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 26 (1969): 61–96.

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      This summary shows the range of material imported into and produced within the Anglo-Saxon town and discusses objects of Anglo-Saxon date found in other parts of the Southampton area. Many were not luxury goods but included tools for various crafts and pots from various sources. Subsequent work has refined and enlarged upon this work, but it points to the potential that the material had for understanding trade and the way that it operated.

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    • Andrews, Phil, ed. Excavations at Hamwic. Vol. 2, Excavations at Six Dials. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 109. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1997.

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      As Hamwic was a large site, this report includes information on a range of the crafts carried out in Hamwic: blacksmithing; chalk burning, probably for tanning; gilding and the refining of silver; bone and antler working; textile production; glass bead making. If glass vessels were manufactured within the wic (trading center), there is no evidence, nor is there for the minting of coins, although that almost certainly took place. Large-scale production for export or even many tools and other ironwork for shipbuilding have not been found either.

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    • Hinton, David A. Southampton Finds. Vol. 2, The Gold, Silver, and Other Non-Ferrous Alloy Objects from Hamwic. Stroud, UK: Sutton, 1996.

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      In fact the only gold object from Hamwic was a coin until the stadium site was dug. Silver was hardly represented except for coins. Some of the copper-alloy brooches and pins—of which there were hundreds—were gilded, but basically the small metal items suggested little in the way of different social hierarchies in the town. Metalworking evidence, such as hearths and crucibles, showed the quantity of production within the wic (trading center).

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    • Hodges, Richard. The Hamwih Pottery: The Local and Imported Wares from 30 Years Excavations at Middle Saxon Southampton and Their European Context. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 37. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1981.

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      This monograph has academic interest for its catalogue of the pottery and identification by thin sectioning of the many different geological sources from which it must have derived. But this study is also of interest because the author uses the discussion as a platform for the ideas about trade, middle-range theory, and premarket distributive systems that he later expands on in a series of influential books and papers.

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    • Metcalf, D. M. “The Coins.” In Southampton Finds. Vol. 1, The Coins and Pottery from Hamwic. Edited by Phil Andrews, 17–59. Southampton, UK: Southampton City Museums, 1988.

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      When published, this collection was the largest from a single Anglo-Saxon site. It is still one of the largest, but metal detecting has produced some inland places that seem to have as many. They provide evidence of the extent to which Hamwic’s economy was already using coins in the very early 8th century and thereafter, probably with fluctuations, and of its links with Continental and other English trading places.

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    • Timby, Jane R. “The Middle Saxon Pottery.” In Southampton Finds. Vol. 1, The Coins and Pottery from Hamwic. Edited by Phil Andrews, 73–124. Southampton, UK: Southampton City Museums, 1988.

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      Nine types of unglazed coarse wares were identified. One or two might be Continental imports, but most were made somewhere much more local; however, there is no proof that any were made in or on the edge of the town (there are no wasters), and those that have crushed chalk mixed into the clay must have traveled at least 10 miles—evidence of exchange with the local hinterland.

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    Environmental Data

    The rubbish pits and backfilled wells in Hamwic have produced very large quantities of animal bone; indeed 19th-century interest in the site was partly because the bones could be removed and sold for fertilizer. Their analysis reveals that the meat and fish were consumed in the town (Bourdillon and Coy 1980, Bourdillon 1988); oyster shells are also plentiful (Winder 1980), and waterlogging preserves grain, seed, and pollen (Monk 1980, Ellis and Andrews 2006). Questions include whether foodstuffs were brought in as part of a market system by local farmers or were the surplus of renders in kind owed to royal and other estate centers, which were supplied to the town by the king. Most of the animals eaten were no longer wanted for breeding or other uses, and no site within the wic (trading center) stands out as having a better range of (or more tender) meat from younger animals—the signature of a wealthier social element.

    • Bourdillon, Jennifer. “Countryside and Town: The Animal Resources of Saxon Southampton.” In Anglo-Saxon Settlements. Edited by Della Hooke, 177–195. Oxford: Blackwell, 1988.

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      This summary is partly a discussion of the ratios of the various species from various sites within Hamwic and its successor. There is some variation between sites, as the large northern excavation had larger cattle, for instance. Very little venison was eaten, and more than 90 percent of the bird bones came from domestic chickens and geese, not wildfowl; luxury foods were rarely available.

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    • Bourdillon, Jennifer, and Jennie Coy. “The Animal Bones.” In Excavations at Melbourne Street, Southampton, 1971–6. Edited by Philip Holdsworth, 79–121. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 33. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1980.

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      The first modern study of the environmental data from any of the wic (trading center) sites. Cattle provided the most meat, although sheep were slaughtered in larger numbers. Some pigs could have been raised within the town, being fed scraps in backyards. The cattle were much the same size as Roman cattle, so husbandry standards had been maintained. Sheep were smaller, perhaps selectively bred for wool rather than meat. Sea fish were also eaten.

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    • Ellis, Chris, and Phil Andrews. “A Mid-Saxon Site at Anderson’s Road, Southampton.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 61 (2006): 81–133.

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      Analyses of a variety of environmental data from excavation in the south of Hamwic. Soil analysis showed that Anglo-Saxon conditions were drier than in later times, when the area became salt marsh. The pollen was from grasses and so on, typical of cess and other urban waste.

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    • Monk, Michael. “The Seed Remains.” In Excavations at Melbourne Street, Southampton, 1971–6. Edited by Philip Holdsworth, 128–133. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 33. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1980.

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      An early attempt at systematic recovery of plant remains by sieving and floating off the fragments. Survival depends partly on processing; grain that is ground up for bread leaves no trace but passes through the body whole if consumed in porridge or stews. Most other plants were probably growing wild, like brambles, but the blackberries were probably gathered and eaten or they would not have been in the pits.

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    • Winder, Jessica. “The Marine Molluscs.” In Excavations at Melbourne Street, Southampton, 1971–6. Edited by Philip Holdsworth, 121–127. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 33. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1980.

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      Oyster shells survive reasonably well. Those in Hamwic would have been collected from the natural beds nearby along the Solent; oysters there were found in such large numbers that they could have made a useful contribution to people’s diets and not just be consumed as occasional luxuries.

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    Southampton (c. 900–c. 1500)

    The name “Southampton” was in use by the end of the 10th century (Rumble 1980). By then Hamwic on the River Itchen probably consisted only of St. Mary’s Church and a few houses close to it. The landing place may still have been used, at least in the 10th century (Currie 1994), and coins bear both that name and Hamtun (Metcalf 1998). The latter was probably by then only used of the new foci on the ridge to the west of the wic (trading center), close to the River Test (Oxley 1986, Holdsworth 1984). The history of Southampton is their amalgamation and development into the major port known from the 12th century onward. Its seemingly slow late-Saxon growth has implications for the state of development of the economy in the south of England and is something of a contrast to Winchester in the same period.

    • Currie, Christopher K. “Saxon Charters and Landscape Evolution in the South-Central Hampshire Basin.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 50 (1994): 103–125.

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      A few Anglo-Saxon charters about estates and their boundaries date from the 7th century, but most are from the 10th and 11th. The bishops of Winchester owned land around Southampton, and there are charter references to “wichythe” (landing-place at the wic) and “thaet mynster aet wic,” clearly meaning St. Mary’s Church, which reveal something of activity at the wic (trading center) site in the late-Anglo-Saxon period.

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    • Holdsworth, Philip. “Saxon Southampton.” In Anglo-Saxon Towns in Southern England. Edited by Jeremy Haslam, 331–343. Chichester, UK: Phillimore, 1984.

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      Stretches of ditch seen at various points indicate an enclosure at the south end of the Southampton promontory filled in toward the end of the 10th century, although perhaps remaining as a boundary. Streets and churches were constructed inside it. Growth may have been quite slow, however, as the quantities of pottery and other finds are not great; towns in southern England are a stark contrast to those in the Danelaw.

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    • Metcalf, David M. An Atlas of Anglo-Saxon and Norman Coin Finds c. 973–1086. London: Royal Numismatic Society and Ashmolean Museum, 1998.

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      A few late-Anglo-Saxon coins were minted in Southampton, but the names on them are not uniform; some have variants of Hamtun, some Hamwic. This could mean that two different sites were used. Few coins and even fewer moneyers’ names are known, so a minting place Southampton had little significance. That might be because there was little trade or because the kings who issued the coins preferred Winchester.

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    • Oxley, John, ed. Excavations at Southampton Castle. Southampton, UK: Southampton City Museums, 1986.

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      In the north part of what became post-12th-century Southampton was the ditch that some see as the Anglo-Saxon burh (fortified town); slightly to the south, the Norman castle was built, but not necessarily before c. 1100. Traces of a substantial building, interpreted as the hall of a significant Anglo-Saxon resident (possibly the king), were found in excavations, as were iron-smithing residues sealed by some of the castle’s earthworks.

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    • Rumble, Alexander R. “HAMTVN Alias HAMWIC (Saxon Southampton): The Place-Name Traditions and Their Significance.” In Excavations at Melbourne Street, Southampton, 1971–6. Edited by Philip Holdsworth, 7–20. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 33. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1980.

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      The name “Southampton” was probably coined to distinguish it from Northampton; “south” was already being added in a few documents by the late 10th century but was not needed for most purposes, because confusion was not often a problem. It first appears in texts written at a monastery in the Midlands, where it would not be immediately clear which of the two places was referred to.

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    Defenses

    As Southampton developed, so its defensive needs changed. The king’s castle helped: by the mid-12th century (if not earlier) the castle had an artificial mound known as a “motte” with a tower on top and an outer bailey defended by a ditch and bank (Oxley 1986). The town’s own defenses built up slowly, starting on the north and east landward sides (Clelland 2006); a document from 1360 demanded construction of a second, outer ditch, presumably to create a wider open space in front of the walls. Three gates and the ruins of a fourth survive (Faulkner 1975). Three stone circular towers, one initially a dovecote, strengthened the bank and gave extra height. The banks had stone walls added to them, with forward-projecting half-round (among other) towers. Many of these features survive but in varying conditions. The king helped the town with the costs by allowing it to forgo customs and other fee revenues that would normally have gone to the Crown (Turner 1971). Whatever was in place by 1338 failed to prevent a raid by French and Italians, and the destruction they caused has been shown in the amount of clearance debris found in some of the excavations near the shore. Even so, it was thirty years before another threatened crisis led to the waterfront being walled; the provisions then made for a new weapon—the gun—makes Southampton one of the key places for seeing the development of warfare in the late Middle Ages (Saunders 1989). The expense of these projects created tensions between king and townspeople and between rich and poor and had an adverse effect on the economy.

    • Clelland, S. “Two Extra-Mural Sites in Southampton.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 61 (2006): 153–159.

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      Several excavations investigated the defenses and their effect. When the banks and ditches were constructed in the late 12th to early 13th centuries, they went over the top of various postholes and other features—so they must have cut across existing properties. The second, outer ditch seems to have been a 14th-century addition. All these costs had to be borne by the town.

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    • Faulkner, P. A. “Gatehouses.” In Excavations in Medieval Southampton 1953–1969. Edited by Colin Platt and Richard Coleman-Smith, 56–72. Leicester, UK: Leicester University Press, 1975.

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      The main road north to Winchester was controlled by the Bargate from the late 12th century onward. Originally round-arched with a flat facade, the Bargate was extended forward in the following century with the addition of two drum towers with arrow slits. In c. 1400 their effectiveness was diminished because a new grandiose front to impress visitors was added. A large, well-lit room above the arch was used as the town’s guildhall.

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    • Oxley, John, ed. Excavations at Southampton Castle. Southampton, UK: Southampton City Museums, 1986.

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      Opportunities to excavate within the perimeter of the royal castle have been limited, but something of a sequence has been established. The king’s interests were not just to defend the town but to provide him with an administrative center and a place to stay and to store his wine. Stone structures survive from the 12th century, and excavation found the very large lime kilns needed for the mortar to build them.

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    • Saunders, Andrew. Fortress Britain. Liphook, UK: Beaufort, 1989.

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      In the 1360s Southampton had at last to build a defensive wall along the previously open waterfront. This involved blocking up the entrances to merchants’ warehouses and changed the town: thereafter entry was only through the gates. In the blockings are “keyhole” ports for small guns. They created a battery, however, possibly the first in England. Further works had to follow, such as the early-15th-century God’s House Tower for more powerful guns.

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    • Turner, Hilary L. Town Defences in England and Wales. London: John Baker, 1971.

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      Still a useful general summary that has a gazetteer that devotes several pages to Southampton, which has one of the best surviving medieval wall circuits; thirteen of the original twenty-nine wall towers remain at least in part. The last one, evocatively nicknamed the “Catchcold” by unhappy sentries, was added to the circuit by 1439; it was more solid than the rest and allowed for heavy cannon.

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    The Port

    Archaeology has not revealed much about the ships that used Southampton, the facilities that were provided to land them at “hards,” jetties, wharves, and quays, or of the cranes and small boats used to load and unload them. Indeed, the only evidence that Italian ships were regular visitors is a flat slate on which someone scratched the outline of one of his or her 15th-century carracks (Rose 2006). More archaeologically visible, and often still visibly surviving, are the storage facilities and commercial buildings (Faulkner 1975). The king also had need of storage (Oxley 1986). Some houses remain, including one that has a claim to be the earliest surviving example of a typical urban house on a long, narrow plot of land (Hinton 1978); for their general context, Platt 1973 remains the key text. Because it was on a ridge, Southampton had no running water and relied on wells and later a piped conduit: this meant that the city was never able to develop as a viable center for crafts such as tanning and dyeing—it effectively existed only as a port. Carts and packhorses took the city’s imports away to local towns and to locations farther afield, dyes going as far as Coventry, and much wine was transported to London in carts, which in good weather could do a three-day roundtrip journey (Lewis 1993).

    • Faulkner, P. A. “Commercial Buildings: Medieval Buildings and Undercrofts.” In Excavations in Medieval Southampton 1953–1969. Edited by Colin Platt and Richard Coleman-Smith, 72–124. Leicester, UK: Leicester University Press, 1975.

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      Definitive account of the medieval structures still standing in medieval Southampton from the 12th century onward, when the richest merchants had stone ground-floor warehouses. Above these warehouses they had grand chambers with windows and fireplaces as elegant as any in a castle or church—as though they were putting themselves on par with the barons. Towns had the potential to challenge the “feudal” structure, but in England they remained acquiescent.

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    • Hinton, David A. “Excavations at 58 French Street, Southampton, 1976.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 34 (1978): 43–47.

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      Restoration of this early-14th-century house led to investigation of its timber framing and stone semisunken undercroft, one of more than a hundred once in the town. Their uses varied from wine taverns to workshops to storage facilities where goods could be shown to customers—it was a testament to the extent of the town’s commercial activity. Above, a rectangular house had two-story front and rear ranges, separated by an open hall.

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    • Lewis, Elizabeth A., ed. The Southampton Port and Brokage Books 1448–9. Southampton Records Series 36. Southampton, UK: University of Southampton Press, 1993.

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      The brokage books record the tolls and fees paid by carts and packhorses passing through the Bargate. The port books recorded what landed or was loaded and paid tolls at the quays. Trade was year-round: even in January, Italian carracks were in the port, and cart journeys took place throughout the winter. So the medieval roads were not that bad.

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    • Oxley, John, ed. Excavations at Southampton Castle. Southampton, UK: Southampton City Museums, 1986.

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      The king’s interest in Southampton and his castle within it was partly because it served as a place to store his imported wine; it was then sent on to royal houses throughout the South of England and was meant for himself, for his guests, and to be given as presents to those he wished to favor. One of two large cellars survives intact. It has a great barrel-vaulted stone roof; the style of the carving of its corbels suggests a date of c. 1180–1190.

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    • Platt, Colin. Medieval Southampton: The Port and Trading Community, A.D. 1000–1600. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973.

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      This history of Southampton traces the ebbs and flows of the port and the buildings within it. It is particularly good on the careers of the better-off citizens who enter the surviving documentary record in the 13th century—citizens who from then on can often be recognized as owning or living in particular properties. Open-hall houses on narrow plots (see Hinton 1978) were for well-to-do burgesses; the very rich had ranges of buildings around courtyards.

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    • Rose, Susan. “The Port of Southampton in the Fifteenth Century: Shipping and Masters.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 61 (2006): 174–181.

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      The cargoes brought into the port during one of its most prosperous eras ranged from silk to cheap cloth kerseys and from Italian and southern French wine to Breton conger eels. Most of the ships were small, able to carry 25 to 30 tuns (wine barrels of 250 gallons each), but a few were upward of 300 tuns. The Italian carracks and galleys were prominent. This brittle economy could be highly profitable but was subject to piracy and disruption by war.

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    Religion

    St. Mary’s Church in Hamwic was well established by the time that the new commercial area developed, and the clergy based there were able to resist any attempts to allow rival parish churches to take away their lucrative fees, especially for burial. Five churches were built in the new zone, but none had a burial ground, not even St. Michael’s, the largest and probably the earliest church (Patterson 1970). It now stands in front of the market square, a typical urban location, allowing the church to bless its trading and to receive offerings from those using it. It may have had its origins as a chapel at the original north entry through the ditch and bank that enclosed what became only the southwest part of the later town. Another church with market associations was Holy Rood, in the high street, which was demolished in the 1320s and rebuilt to allow the street outside to be wide enough for stalls. St. Mary’s burial monopoly was lost in the 13th century, when the friars were given land in the south of the town: it was a rather favorable location close to the heart of the commercial area. The church took full advantage of this ideal location by offering those who could afford their fees to be buried within their establishment and thus inside the walled area. They were close to God’s House, a charity established in the late 12th century (Kay 1976). Other churches became property owners, usually through gifts and bequests. St. Denys Priory, located about a mile north of the port, had a big stake, and the warehouse called the Wool House built by Thomas Middleton, now a museum, had become the property of Beaulieu Abbey by the middle of the 15th century (Burgess 1976).

    • Burgess, Lawrence A., ed. The Southampton Terrier of 1454. Historical Manuscripts Commission Joint Paper 21. London: Stationery Office, 1976.

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      No division should exist between archaeology and history: edition of a document that lists all the properties and their occupiers in Southampton that had to pay a tax to maintain the walls and gates. By using the 19th-century street map, it was possible to reconstruct the ownership topography of the town.

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    • Kay, J. M., ed. The Cartulary of God’s House, Southampton. 2 vols. Southampton Records Series 19–20. Southampton, UK: University of Southampton Press, 1976.

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      The Domus Dei was founded by a rich Southampton citizen in the 1190s as a hospital for a community whose members seem to have been drawn from the town’s wealthier families. Their duty was to give relief to the poor rather than to care for the sick. The house was integrated into the town through its location in the southeast corner, through the properties it owned and leased out, and also through its network of connections with the citizens. It is still an alms house.

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    • Patterson, A. Temple. Southampton: A Biography. London: Macmillan, 1970.

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      This overview of the town’s history is by an author who had written extensively on its 19th-century government and development. It is still useful background on such matters as the medieval churches.

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    Artifacts

    Southampton is interesting particularly for its imports, including pottery (Brown 1994), which survives in enough quantity for it to be argued that distribution patterns reflect wealth patterns (Jervis 2006–2008). Some citizens displayed their wealth by using opulent glass and pottery (SARC n.d.), and the port has more than its fair share of high-quality French pottery (Brown 2002). Rich townspeople may have set themselves apart from other citizens by purchasing imports—luxury goods they could obtain more easily than any other social group. The range of other finds was shown by Platt and Coleman-Smith 1975, which has been added to subsequently (see, for example, Ramsay 1987).

    • Brown, Duncan H. “Pottery and Late Saxon Southampton.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 50 (1994): 127–152.

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      Tenth- and 11th-century pottery includes wasters that are most likely to have come from a kiln in or immediately adjacent to the town. These were found close to its eastern entrance, and the amounts of pottery in general found there and outside the north gate suggest that goods were landed at the hythe of the old wic (trading center), and they were carted up from there.

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    • Brown, Duncan H. Pottery in Medieval Southampton, c. 1066–1510. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 133. York, UK: Council for British Archaeology, 2002.

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      The Norman Conquest created political links with Normandy, but imported pottery does not suggest much trade increase for Southampton for another century, when decorated jugs from the Seine area were arriving. Very fine white wares from southwestern France painted with heraldic shields, birds, and plant scrolls reflect the Gascon wine trade. A wider range of imports characterized the end of the Middle Ages, notably stonewares.

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    • Jervis, Ben. “For Richer, for Poorer: A Study of Pottery Distribution in Medieval Southampton within its Socio-Economic Context.” Medieval Ceramics 30 (2006–2008): 73–94.

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      Southampton was a port with rich merchants, prosperous burgesses, and a high proportion of poor laborers. The merchants tended to live near the waterfront where they had warehouses, while the burgesses lived along the street frontages in the commercial zone, and the laborers tended to be inland in rear areas. The pottery shows this more clearly in the 14th and 15th centuries than earlier. The poor may therefore have lived among the wealthy to begin with.

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    • Platt, Colin, and Richard Coleman-Smith. Excavations in Medieval Southampton 1953–1969. Vol. 2, The Finds. Leicester, UK: Leicester University Press, 1975.

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      A fine array of pottery, glass, wood, metal—including coins, bone, antler, stone, and textiles—were all studied in this report. A very early example of a pewter saucer (late 13th century) and a sword and other material from a particularly rich collection in a single pit are notable; but in some ways it is the wood that is exceptional, not for being of high quality but for being typical. Most “cups” (“bowls” is a modern term) ended on the fire.

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    • Ramsay, Nigel L. “428. Writing Tablet.” In Age of Chivalry. Art in Plantagenet England 1200–1400. Edited by Jonathan Alexander and Paul Binski, 384–385. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1987.

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      Although not of top quality, this small French-style 14th-century bone panel from a recent Southampton excavation was deemed good enough for a major national exhibition. It was found close enough to the castle to have come from there but is probably from a merchant’s household, illustrating citizens’ aspirations. One side is carved with a scene of two lovers, a romance story; and the other is recessed for wax, so that writing could be practiced.

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    • Southampton Archaeological Research Committee. Luxury Goods from a Medieval Household. Southampton, UK: Southampton Archaeological Research Committee, 1976.

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      This pamphlet illustrates a cache of broken glass and pots found in one of the affluent parts of the late-medieval port. Venetian glass and maiolica (tin-glazed) pottery from Italy and the Low Countries were made to standards not yet attained in England, affordable only by an exceptionally wealthy person or one who had traveled and brought goods home. This could have been an ambassador who had a house in the area during the period 1486–1497.

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    Environmental Data

    By and large the post–Norman Conquest town’s flora and fauna have not received as much attention as mid-Anglo-Saxon Southampton, partly because fewer modern excavation reports have been published. Platt and Coleman-Smith 1975 is a pioneer in some ways, but Bourdillon 1988 shows how the two sites compared and contrasted. One published excavation with environmental data is Walker 1979. Black rat bones found in 12th-century deposits suggest that those animals were establishing themselves, which helps explain why the Black Death was able to spread so quickly in 1348–1349. Studies such as these develop the major theme of a town’s relationship with its hinterland, from which its food was supplied. The richer townspeople may have sought to emulate the aristocracy, but they also sought to develop their own group identity.

    • Bourdillon, Jennifer. “Countryside and Town: The Animal Resources of Saxon Southampton.” In Anglo-Saxon Settlements. Edited by Della Hooke, 177–195. Oxford: Blackwell, 1988.

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      The second part of this paper looks at the animal bone remains from the late-Anglo-Saxon sites. It shows that the assemblages were becoming more like those that would be expected to derive from a market than those in the wic (trading center). The range of choice was wider, with more meat from younger animals but still with a high proportion of tougher joints for stewing.

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    • Platt, Colin, and Richard Coleman-Smith. Excavations in Medieval Southampton 1953–1969. Vol. 1, The Excavation Reports. Leicester, UK: Leicester University Press, 1975.

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      Priorities for archaeologists change, and only 40 of 350 pages devoted to the environmental reports would now seem very thin. Butchery practice changed: splitting of carcasses began to involve more skill but became less wasteful. Domestic fowl were common. Surprisingly there were sparrow hawks, suggesting that townspeople engaged in an aristocratic pursuit. A monkey was presumably a merchant’s exotic pet.

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    • Walker, John S. F. “Excavations in Medieval Tenements in the Quilter’s Vault Site in Southampton.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 35 (1979): 183–216.

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      Excavation along the main street near the south gate and waterfront was in a well-to-do area, although the site was not where the wealthiest merchants had their houses in the 13th century. Jennifer Bourdillon argues that before that centure the area allowed a few animals to graze, as the proportion of pigs fell off quite sharply thereafter. The presence of younger cattle and sheep (and more skillful butchery) suggest that more meat was being roasted.

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    Images

    Medieval townspeople had a view of themselves that they sought to express in various ways, such as on their town seals (Southampton Corporation 1964) and their gates (Rance 1986). The first pictures of Southampton are on maps, such as the 14th-century Gough map (Millea 2007), but are not likenesses. There is a late-16th-century map of the town and its environs (Welch 1964), and a vignette by John Speed of 1611 is remarkably accurate (Platt 1973).

    • Millea, Nick. The Gough Map: The Earliest Road Map of Great Britain? Oxford: Bodleian Library, 2007.

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      Medieval maps did not usually seek to make recognizable images of places, although sometimes they show realistic detail; more often they just give a general idea. Thus Windsor is shown on the Gough map as a castle but not with identifiable structures. Southampton, labeled “Hamptun,” is pictured as a church with a spire, flanked by two buildings. St. Michael’s indeed had a spire, but the illustration was not drawn from life.

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    • Platt, Colin. Medieval Southampton: The Port and Trading Community, A.D. 1000–1600. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973.

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      Reproduced in this book is John Speed’s bird’s-eye view of Southampton as it looked in 1611. Although small, much of the drawing is accurate: the walls, the double ditch, the churches (including the market stalls in front of Holy Rood), the castle with its motte, even people playing bowls on the salt marsh. The “mother-church,” St. Mary’s, is correctly placed in the old wic (trading center). Therefore Speed’s depiction of two quays is probably accurate as well.

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    • Rance, Adrian. “The Bevis and Ascupart Panels, Bargate Museum, Southampton.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 42 (1986): 147–153.

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      The final stage of medieval development at the Bargate, the main road entry to Southampton, was the screen front of c. 1400, perhaps built because Winchester had recently put up something similar. Carved shields painted with coats of arms flattered the town’s patrons and supporters. The town associated itself with the legendary Sir Bevis of Hanton, a French romance hero, and panels and carved lions illustrated an episode in his story.

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    • Southampton Corporation. Southampton Records 1. Southampton, UK: Southampton Corporation, 1964.

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      As a borough and a staple port, Southampton needed to authenticate documents with seals. It stressed its maritime aspect by using an image of a 14th-century ship—shown on the cover of this booklet—with fore and aft castles, single central sail with a crow’s nest at the top, a strong keel, and almost straight planks. Usually called a “cog,” this type of vessel was the main carrier of coastal, cross-Channel, and North Sea trade.

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    • Welch, Edwin, ed. Southampton Maps from Elizabethan Times. 2 vols. Southampton Records Series 9. Southampton, UK: City of Southampton, 1964.

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      A facet of property ownership is the establishment of boundaries, which increasingly came to rely upon surveyed maps rather than boundary markers and people’s memories collected by such means as annual bound-beating perambulations. Cartography was still rudimentary when Southampton was first mapped in the late 16th or early 17th century, but roads, rivers, and field lines allow its topography to be discernible.

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    The Aftermath of the Middle Ages

    Archaeological sites survive in differing degrees for any number of reasons. A town may be obliterated above ground, but its below-ground archaeology can be good. In Hamwic, for instance, most of the site was grazing land or had other light use until the expansion of the docks and the building of the railways in the first half of the 19th century (Morton 1992). The medieval buildings that still stand in the later town are there partly because the port went into steep decline in the 16th century. Speed’s vignette of 1611 (in Platt 1973) sanitizes it. In the 18th century Southampton was a fashionable spa, surrounded by big houses in large parks and gardens (Stovold 1984). Conflicts of interest with the expanding docks eventually led to the obliteration of most of this aspect of Southampton, and commercial demands led to the loss of many medieval buildings, though some were saved (Leonard 1987). In 1940 bombs destroyed swathes of the main street in particular. But some people realized that this devastation created a need for archaeological investigation, which led to all the work catalogued in this bibliography. In any town such efforts have to continue and must depend upon individuals, civic societies, civic authorities, and central government legislation and guidance (Coles 1981).

    • Coles, Robert J. Southampton’s Historic Buildings. Southampton, UK: City of Southampton Society, 1981.

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      This booklet shows most of Southampton’s more interesting buildings (not just the medieval ones) and how they have been altered over the years. The author had once been the city planning officer and worked to preserve not only individual buildings but also to improve them and life in Southampton generally. Conservation depends upon the efforts of many such people.

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    • Leonard, A. G. K. The Saving of Tudor House, Southampton. Southampton, UK: Paul Cave, 1987.

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      This booklet shows how an early conservation effort saved a grand late-15th-century merchant’s courtyard house that had fallen on hard times by the end of the 19th century. Within its grounds were the remains of one of the equally important late-12th-century warehouses with first-floor chambers built into the walls in the 1360s. Bought and restored by a local resident, it subsequently became a museum.

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    • Morton, Alan D., ed. Excavations at Hamwic. Vol. 1, Excavations 1946–83, Excluding Six Dials and Melbourne Street. Council for British Archaeology Research Report 84. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1992.

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      Railway lines do not have deep foundations, and the housing built close to them is usually of poor quality; so only wells and cesspits penetrate the subsurface. Consequently, within much of Hamwic the archaeological deposits are not deeply sealed. Blocks of flats that have replaced Victorian terraces and underpasses below roads will have left nothing for future archaeologists, however.

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    • Platt, Colin. Medieval Southampton: The Port and Trading Community, A.D. 1000–1600. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973.

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      John Speed’s 1611 picture shows the major buildings in Southampton. But he made the town look too clean and neat, which was done to flatter potential patrons and not to show unpalatable truth. A key is the Friary, which he did show as ruinous; but if Southampton had been prospering, its buildings would have been demolished for their materials and the site redeveloped. This did not happen until the 18th century.

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    • Stovold, Jan. “Southampton in the Eighteenth Century.” Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 40 (1984): 124–168.

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      This article describes Southampton when it was a spa, fashionable for sea bathing and for its mineral spring water. Consequently, there were pressures to preserve it as a quiet but elegant place, and appreciation of some of its antiquity developed. These preservation-related pressures led to the beginning of conservation movements.

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    LAST MODIFIED: 12/15/2010

    DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195396584-0081

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