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Southaotton is: a seaport, at parliamentary and county and- municipal berougb. and market town = and parish, county court district, petty !sessional division and district registry ofthe High Court of Jusfciee, and a county- of itself, under the designation of " the Town and County of the Town of Southampton," with stations on the London and South Western railway, 75 miles from London by road, y8§ by the London and South Western railway, 13 south-by-west rom Winchester, 61 from Dorchester, 23 jouth-east from Salisbury, 18 north-west from,Portsmouth by road and 26 by rail, / 8 south-east from Romsey, 15 north-east from Lymington, 12 north from Cowes, 27 west from Chichester, 965? from Cheltenham and 140 from Birmingham by Midland and South Western Junction Railway, in the Southern division of the county of Hants, rural deanery of Southampton, and archdeaconry and diocese of Winchester. To the north-east of the present town, on the opposite bank of the Itchen, where Bitterne now stands, the Romans had a military station called " Clausentum," which was succeeded by the Anglo-Saxon town of Hantune. Canute, after his establishment oh the throne, made this town his occasional residence. Southampton derived its importance in Norman times from being the port of Winchester, Richard II. enlarged the castle and strengthened the fortifications which had been erected for the defence of the town and harbour. Henry W previously to the battle of Agincourt, marshalled his army here in August, 1415, for his expedition against France, and during his stay in the town detected a conspiracy formed against him by his cousin, Richard Plantagenet, Earl of Cambridge; Henry, Lord Scroop and Sir Thomas Grey, who were executed for treason and buried in the chapel of an ancient hospital, called (Jrod's House, which is still remaining in Winkle street and used as a church for French Protestants. In the reign of Edward V. the town had materially in-
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creased in extent and importance, and its tra.de: became so flourishing that the Lord. Mayor of London was appointed collector ■ ; of the; duties at this port. Philip, King of Spain, on his. arrival in England to espouse Queen Mary, landed at this port, July 20,. ' 1554, and was entertained at the sheriff's house by the mayor and his colleagues.
The ancient part of the town was formerly ^enclosed with walls nearly a mile and K quarter in circuit, of which considerable t. portions, with their ruined circular towers, \. are still entire, the most important being j that reaching from the West Grate along the / shore northward. Of the ancient gates, the 1 principal now remaining are West Grate, . South Gate and Bar Grate, in relation to the last of which the upper or more modern part , of the town is distinguished by the appellation, of "Above Bar Street," from the other or lower part, which is called High street, a broad and excellent thoroughfare. The Corporation have takenx special steps to uncover and preserve, where possible, all the old walls, which, of course, are a great attraction to visitors.
When the ancient castle became the property of Lord Stafford, the tower which crowned the keep was pulled down : in 1804 the estate was purchased by Henry, third Marquess of Lansdowne k.g. who, at considerable expense, rebuilt the castle on a large scale: on his death, 31st January, 1863, it became the property of several persons, by whom it was taken down and the materials disposed of. The site is now occupied by houses.
One of the great store vaults of the ancient castle was reopened in 1891 ; this dates from the middle of the 12th century, and is some 50 feet long and 20 high, having a vaulted wagon roof with finely moulded ribs supported by wet I-carved corbels, some of which remain in a very perfect state. ■
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