Work to begin on refurbishing God's House Tower

Image Credit: Thierry Bal

Southampton based arts organisation, ‘a space’ arts has announced that refurbishment work is due to start on God’s House Tower from next month.

Regional contractors, Mountjoy, have been appointed to work on the 700-year-old scheduled ancient monument following an uplift in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Working with Architects and Heritage Consultants, Purcell, the work will begin on site on 18th July 2018 and will include conservation work to the building, removing modern internal walls, installing a lift to make to the building accessible, restoring the original doorway on Town Quay Road, and building a new extension to house facilities. Leon Berger’s 1960s central staircase for Southampton City Architects Department will be conserved.

This welcome news will see the building transformed into a new arts and heritage venue. Once complete the building will include new exhibition spaces, a permanent exhibition of the building’s history located in the Tower itself, a new ground floor café-bar and access to the rooftop views of Southampton Water along with a collections gallery that display works from the city’s nationally designated collection, that depict God’s House Tower.

God’s House Tower is a key element of Southampton’s medieval Town Walls, in previous years being a gatehouse, a fortification - one of the earliest in the country specifically designed for canons, and during the 1700s being used as the Town Gaol.

Specialist interpretation designers, HKD, are working a permanent exhibition in the Tower to bring the building’s rich history to life.

Meanwhile ‘a space’ arts Programme & Exhibitions Manager, Tony Spencer, is developing an engaging artistic programme for the collections gallery and contemporary exhibition space.

"It’s an exciting time to be part of Southampton’s cultural scene and a privilege to present a vibrant exhibitions programme which retells the forgotten history of Gods House Tower."

The evolving programme will embed local emerging contemporary visual artists at its heart and create a number of opportunities for artists in the region over the coming years.

£2.7 million was raised for the project thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Barker Mill Foundation, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, Southampton City Council, and Friends of Southampton’s Museums, Archives & Galleries.

An anticipated opening in summer 2019 will see the grade II listed monument come back into public use after lying empty since the Archaeology Museum moved out in 2011.


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