The Norman House lies south of Blue Anchor Lane at the rear of Tudor House Museum and is now incorporated into the museum’s garden. It was built 1150-75 and is one of the finest examples of Norman domestic architecture in England. It was a substantial two-storey merchant's house, the ground floor being used for storage with domestic quarters above. A round-headed archway in Blue Anchor Lane, possibly inserted in the 14th century, allowed access to the lower floor after the quay had been blocked off. The west wall of the house was incorporated into the town wall in the mid 14th century, the windows and doorways blocked off as the wall was made complete.

By the 19th century the house had become a ruin and was being used as a storeroom by Beavis’s coal merchants. It was bought, together with Tudor House, by William Francis Gummer Spranger who restored the remaining fabric. In 1953 the Norman Chimney formerly attached to 79a High Street was re-erected on one of the walls of the house.

The house is sometimes erroneously called King John's Palace. It is Grade I listed.

Norman House

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The interior of the west wall of the Norman House photographed in 1941

Further reading:

History of Southampton, by Rev. J. S. Davies, p90-91. (HS/h)
Southampton Occasional Notes, by ‘Townsman’, p10-11. (HS/h)
Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt, p41-2, 46, 260. (HS/h)
Excavations in Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt (ed), p78-9, 83-87. (HS/f)
Historic Buildings of Southampton, by Philip Peberdy, p32-33. (HS/k)


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