Monday 16 September 2019

God's House Tower Southampton

Southampton is awash with history and one thing I always say when walking around our beautiful city is to always look up because there is always something to discover. I've lived in the city most of my life and even I find new and interesting things when out and about which was how we stumbled across the secret opening of God's House Tower, the new arts and heritage venue in Southampton. 

The 13th century gatehouse once housed the Museum of Archaeology somewhere I visited on a school trip twenty years ago. It's the one and only time I had ever been inside so when news circulated that A Space Arts would be refurbishing the site over seven years I couldn't wait to see the end result.

God's Tower House can be found on Winkle Street as part of Old Town Southampton, it's somewhere I've walked around many times as it's such a beautiful part of Southampton. Plus the cobbled streets are a dream for getting a cranky baby to sleep so that's where I would walk with a coffee when Joshua was a baby so I've been watching the refurbishment project for some time now. 

By chance, we were walking past on the way to Southampton Boat Show and noticed the sign saying they were open and with Hoxton Bakehouse on site, that's where we headed for lunch on Saturday. At the moment, God's House Tower is just open another three dates this month:

Saturday 21st & 22nd 10am-6pm 
Saturday 28th 12-6pm as part of Music in the City

Once the building has been fully completed, it will be gifted back to the public and be a leading arts and heritage venue featuring two galleries, a permanent exhibition on the history of the building Stories Behind the Stones which is a four floor audiovisual display, a cafe, shop and library.

Once we had enjoyed the best cheese toasties ever and a cup of delicious coffee, we ditched the pushchair and went exploring. The building is accessible so we could've taken the pushchair with us but decided to let Joshua see and do everything too. 

As I said, it's a very long time since I stepped foot in God's House Tower so my memory was sketchy but it was great to see you could still see right up at the windows thanks to the protective coverings as you can see Joshua demonstrating below. The work they've done inside is incredible and working your way up floor by floor was easy thanks to the accessible lift and large gallery spaces. I honestly cannot wait to see it fully completed once the art has been installed. 

Venturing to the rooftop was what we were most looking forward to doing, it gives you 360 degree views over Southampton and we had the perfect day for it with clear blue skies and sunshine. To get to the top, you will need to take the original spiral staircase which is supported with a handrail. I was fine walking up but carrying Joshua back down nearly gave me a heart attack, I really don't get on with spiral staircases but if you're braver than me which won't be hard, you'll be fine. Ha!

You really should head up there though because the views are 100% worth it!

The new heritage attraction really is somewhere to add to your to visit list once it opens. I think it's so important to explore the history of where you live plus children will love it too, rain or shine it's the perfect activity to do with them and teaching them about history young is so important!

Keep an eye on God's House Tower's social media for news on the official opening times. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram

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