Also known as Prince Edward's Tower, Catchcold Tower is the second tower southward (the next after Arundel Tower) on the west wall of the town. It is a fine specimen of an early 15th century gun tower, circular with machicolations and gun ports serving an internal stone chamber, thus providing gun defences on two levels. It was built larger and more prominent than earlier towers in order to accommodate the larger guns. The name is almost certainly a folk comment on the tribulations of watch and ward when the prevailing wind is south west.

In the early 16th century this name was applied to a plot of land measuring 339 feet by 30 feet adjoining the town wall between Arundel Tower and the Castle wall. It was almost certainly named from Catchcold Tower on its perimeter.

Catchcold Tower

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An engraving by an unknown artist, c.1840

Catchcold Tower

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Photograph, 1941

Further reading:
Historic Buildings of Southampton, by Philip Peberdy, p50. (HS/k)
Southampton Occasional Notes, 2nd Series, by ‘Townsman’, p10. (HS/h)
History of Southampton, by Rev. J. S. Davies, p72-73. (HS/h)


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