God's House Tower Museum of Archaeology

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Built in 1417, God’s House Tower is the first purpose built artillery fortification in England. Gunpowder, shot and guns were stored on the ground floor and the main firing platform was on the roof. The name comes from the neighbouring God’s House Hospital, founded in 1196.

The building had fallen into disrepair by 1600 but from 1786 to 1855 it was used as the town gaol.

In 1963 God’s House Tower opened as Southampton’s Museum of Archaeology and now displays finds from over fifty years of excavations in the city. The three main galleries tell the story of Southampton in the Roman, Saxon and Medieval periods.

Southampton’s archaeology collection is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Important information: This venue will close to public permanently on Monday 26th September 2011.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

10am - 5pm Saturday and Sunday only

Admission charges

Adults: £2.50
Children aged 7-16: £1.50
Children under 7: FREE
Concessions: £2.00
Family Ticket: £5.50

Additional info

There are stairs to all exhibition floors, ground floor access to museum shop only. There are NO public lavatory facilities available.

The God's House Tower Museum of Archaeology collections are Designated Collections of national importance.

They include spectacular medieval glass, imported pottery collections, and significant Roman, Saxon and medieval material. The size and range of the archaeology collections reflect the importance of Southampton in the past and at present, and the 50 years of systematic archaeological investigations in the City.

Collection details


Key artists and exhibits

  • Archaeological Collections
  • Prehistory
  • Roman
  • Saxon
  • Medieval
  • Designated Collection
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Archaeology On-line!


Explore Southampton's Archaeology Collection with the new Archaeology On-line database. Look at over 15,000 objects from the collection.
Use the database at the Museum of Archaeology.


  • Karen Wardley, Duncan Brown, Curators of Archaeology


  • Southampton City Council

Handling Session at School or the Museum

Handle real museum artefacts with our Education Officer in School or at the Museum. Topics include Egyptians, Romans, Victorians and Titanic.

How to obtain

Contact the Education Officer at museums.education@southampton.gov.uk or telephone 023 8091 5730 for details.

Hands on activities using museum objects

Artefacts for use in the classroom. Loans boxes contain around twelve artefacts with accompanting notes and background information.
Themes: Introducing Archaeology, Medieval Life, Medieval People Cloths and Accessories, Medieval Crafts and Trade, Medieval Religion and Pastimes, Romans, Saxons and Titanic.

How to obtain

Contact the Administrative Assistant at museums@southampton.gov.uk or telephone 023 8063 5904 for hire conditions, bookings and cost.

Teacher Training

INSET service to support use of artefacts in School

How to obtain

Contact the Education Officer at museums.education@southampton.gov.uk or telephone 023 8091 5730 for costs, details and booking.

God's House Tower Museum of Archaeology
Museum of Archaeology
Winkle Street
SO14 2NY






02380 915732

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.