In medieval times a gaol existed on the north side of St. Michaels Square, opposite the north door of St Michael's chantry. In the 15th century it is recorded as being under the vicarage and the Terrier of 1454 lists on the north side of the square 'the tenement built over the prison of the Mayor and Commonality of the Town of Southampton', both of which suggests the gaol was in the basement or vault. The vault is now preserved.
Documents in subsequent years sometimes mentioned the prison, but were usually specifically referring to the building(s) above it, which was constantly in need of repair.


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