Although from the front , Tudor House looks like one large house, it was originally three separate houses facing on to St Michael’s Square. There were other houses behind them, running down Blue Anchor Lane. The house has been added to and changed many times over the years to suit the owners needs and wants.
Today you can explore the rooms of this fascinating house which give you a glimpse into the lives and times of the the people who lived here.
The Banqueting Hall
This amazing oak-paneled room was once Tudor Banqueting Hall and also Josiah George Poole’s architect office. It’s now the first place to start your tour of the museum. You’ll be greeted by the ghosts of Tudor House in an audiovisual presentation, where you’ll be able to learn a lot about the history of the building.
The Georgian Room
The large bay windows are part of a building that was built after the rest of the house, probably about 400 years ago. Tall sash windows let in lots of light, which was very useful for the man who lived here then. George Rogers was an artist and probably painted his pictures in that very room.
The Rich Room
This was once the master bedroom complete with a tiny servants access to attic. You can use the interactive display to show you how it would have looked a various points in history.
The Rich Room displays artefacts relating to times of prosperity. A glimpse into the attic containing a sedan chair and penny farthing can be gained from this room.
George Pope, who was a tenant here from 1834 to 1888, had his busy cleaning and dyeing workshop in this room.
The workroom was also a 20th Century Education Room. You can use the interactive display to show you how it would have looked.
The Tudor and Victorian kitchens have been recreated to contain the food and equipment that would have been used during those periods. Visitors can smell the herbs and spices that were used and guess at the ‘mystery’ objects on the handling table.
The Air Raid Shelter
Southampton was a strategic target during WWII and was heavily bombed during the blitz. Tudor House still has it’s air raid shelter. Please note the shelter is currently closed to the public as we deal with a damp issue.
There are many more rooms and fascinating stories to be revealed inside this amazing historic house, such as; the Museum Room displays a wonderful array of artefacts relating to the Tudor House as a museum. There is a large oil painting depicting William Spranger, a philanthropist, restorer and collector interested in local history, who bought Tudor House and persuaded Southampton Corporation to open it as the town’s first public museum in 1912.
The Trade Room relates to Southampton’s importance as a martime port, with weights, measures and ship models on display. A wonderful feature in this room is the wall, which has been adorned with graffiti over the years. Interactive touch screen enables visitors to learn more about these special markings and their meanings.
On your way down the stairs, make sure to look at the case containing shoes through time and the oil paintings depicting former residents of the Tudor House: members of the Poole family and the wealthy artist George Rogers. You can go further down to see the basement room, whichcontains artefacts relating to World War Two. A light and sound show recreates what it was like for the Tudor House museum curator and his family to shelter down there as the bombs fell over Southampton.