Until the urban re-planning of the 1950s, this street ran continuously north – south parallel with the town’s eastward wall. It might appear to represent the original ‘pomerium’ or open space essential to good defence, on which defending troops can form up and move to action stations on the wall. However, J S Wacher’s excavations in the 1950s suggest that this strip of ground was largely filled by the great earthen banks that preceded, and later reinforced, the stone walls. In the 18th century it was sometimes called Behind-the-Walls.
Upper Back-of-the-Wall is the stretch of Back-of-the-Walls running from East Street to Bernard Street.

Back-of-the-Walls

Image Unavailable

A modern photograph of Back of the Walls, near the southern end of the East Wall.


Further reading:

Southampton Occasional Notes, by ‘Townsman’, p70. (HS/h)
Southampton Archaeological Society Bulletin, No. 16, p19 (HS/f)
Excavations in Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt (ed), p140-170. (HS/f)

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