This is the north-west corner tower of the medieval town walls. Dating from the mid (or possibly later) 13th century, it is a half drum tower without machicolations designed for defence by archers operating from two fighting platforms. Its spur work (towards the western shore) appears to be of a later date. It occupied an important position in the town’s defences and stood nearly 60 feet high, commanding a view far out to sea. It was first known as Corner Tower, for obvious reasons, and renamed Arundel Tower probably after Sir John Arundel, governor of Southampton Castle 1377-39. Many members of the Arundel family were associated with the town in the Middle Ages, but it is unlikely that any of them were concerned with the tower’s original construction.

In the 16th century it was sometimes referred to as the Shoemaker’s Tower, because shoemakers, curriers, cobblers and saddlers were charged with its defence. Court Leet records show that the tower was in constant need of repair due to damage caused by the sea. Because of its exposed position it was also given the nickname ‘Windwhistle Tower’.

Arundel Tower

Image Unavailable

Photograph, 2015

See also:

Further reading:

Southampton Occasional Notes (2nd Series), by ‘Townsman’, p8, 10. (HS/h)
History of Southampton, by Rev. J. S. Davies, p72-73. (HS/h)
Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt, p127, 173. (HS/h)
Historic Buildings of Southampton, by Philip Peberdy, p52. (HS/k)


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