This is the most complete surviving medieval house in Southampton. The body of the house is 14th century behind a 17th century facade. It is a stone-clad timber structure over a substantial stone vault. It is a classic example of a three-part hall-house. A central two-bay hall originally rose to the roof, and a two-storey chamber block at each end was linked at first floor level by a gallery. The ground floor front room was probably a shop. The house is first mentioned in 1392 when it was owned by John Barfleet. In the 1460s and 1470s it was owned by John Don (or Donne), merchant and mayor of Southampton in 1461-62, who bequeathed it to his son Angel in c.1477. Its subsequent history is unclear until 1820 when it became a beer house called The Flag. In 1874 its name was changed to the Bull's Head. Between 1912 and 1937, when it was sold to Southampton Council, it was a boarding house. It later came into the care of the Department of the Environment and is now a museum. It is Grade I listed.

Medieval Merchant's House, 58 French Street

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Further reading:

Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt, p101-2. (HS/h)
Excavations in Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt (ed), p104-107. (HS/h)
Southampton Occasional Notes, by ‘Townsman’, p1-3. (HS/h)
Southampton’s Historic Buildings, by R. J. Coles, p45. (HS/k)


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