Located on the east side of French Street, between St. John's School and Broad Lane, the Weigh House was known in medieval times as the Peysage or Poysage House, from the French word peser which means to weigh. Probably built in the mid 13th century, the Weigh House was originally owned by the town corporation and housed the royal tron, or weighing beam, and a set of weights, used for weighing merchandise to assess the amount of customs due. It was originally a tall single storey building with stone vault below, the wooden first floor being added later. The doorway in the west wall was added in the 15th century. It was cut into an earlier window, the arch of which can be seen above the doorway. At some stage after the medieval period it was converted for storage and by 1801, when Sir Henry Englefield visited the town, it was used to store coal.
In 1927 the building was acquired by the council for use by St John's school. Badly damaged during the Blitz, its walls were reconstructed in 1975. It is Grade II* listed.

Weigh House, French Street

Image Unavailable

Photograph, c1941

Weigh House, French Street

Image Unavailable

Photograph, c2000

Further reading:
Southampton’s Historic Buildings, by R. J. Coles, p44. (HS/k)
Historic Buildings of Southampton, by Philip Peberdy, p27-28. (HS/k)
Excavations in Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt (ed), p78, 104. (HS/f)
St John’s School, Medieval Cellar and the Weigh House, by Southampton Education Committee. (HS/k)
Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt, p111, 143. (HS/h)


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