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ARCHITECTURE IN SOUTHAMPTON.
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remains as exist of the wall between God's-house Tower and the Water-gate are now incorporated with the walls of warehouses, &c,
The space behind this stretch of wall is the site of the ancient Maison Dieu or God's House, or Hospital of St. Julien. Mr. William Portal has dealt with this subject in a most interesting book, which is published by Messrs. Jacob and Johnson, of Winchester, under the title " L'Eglise Wallonne."
In the south-west corner of the enclosed town stands the large square building called the Wool House, or the French or Spanish Prison ; and near to it are two fine warehouses. I have often heard people admire the plain look of strength and fitness, the rich warm colourings, and the deep-shadowing eaves of the tall narrow warehouse next to the Pier Hotel. It and its neighbour, similar, but not quite so good, belong in character to the early Georgian period, which gave us many ugly buildings no doubt, but also some that have the great merit of being fit and unpretentious.
These warehouses face each other at the southern end of French Street—so named when the High Street was called English Street; and at the further end is the oldest church in the town, St. Michael's. Although the various parts of the building do not group very well, the spire, which since nine feet were added to it in 1881 is very graceful and well-proportioned, makes one of the most valuable features in the picturesque views of the town one gets from a distance. It was built about the middle of the eighteenth century, and rises from a tower carried by semi-circular arches of the Early Norman period. The interior would be beautiful if it had not been so much meddled with in the last century.
Opposite to the west end of St. Michael's is a large timber-framed house, traditionally called Henry the Eighth's Palace. It occupies part of the site of an ancient stone building, and must, I think, be the house referred to by Leland writing in Henry the Eighth's reign, in the following passage :—" Ther be many very fair marchauntes houses in Hampton, but the chefest is the house that Huttoft, late customer of Hampton, builded in the west side of the town."
A hundred yards or so to the north of St. Michael's is the Undercroft, a stone-vaulted chamber containing the best ancient stone-carving in the town—carving of the Early Decorated period, about 1300. Some years ago the Southampton Corporation decided to widen Simnel Street, some houses of which stood over the Undercroft. This decision, which seemed to involve its destruction, was appealed against and withdrawn. Early this year, however, it was unexpectedly put forward again as a recommendation of the Committee dealing with the site. A meeting of protest was hastily called by Mr. Charles Cooksey, and a plan which happened to occur to me was put forward, showing how if it were really absolutely necessary to keep the new frontage-line quite straight in re-building Simnel Street, it could be done without interfering with the Undercroft. By these means,
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