Tudor House & Garden

Bugle Street
SO14 2AD


Historic House


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Southampton’s most important historic building, Tudor House reveals over 800 years of history in one fascinating location at the heart of the Old Town. The timber-framed building facing St Michael’s Square was built in the late 15th Century, with King John’s Palace, an adjacent Norman house accessible from Tudor House Garden, dating back a further 300 years.

Tudor House and Garden has a fascinating history and provides us with rich insight into the lives of people in Southampton.

Tudor House and Garden has a fascinating history and provides us with rich insight into the lives of people in Southampton over the last 800 years. This is perhaps best demonstrated by its respective owners.

John Wytegod - Owner of Tudor House from 1348-1369
John Wytegod was a wealthy merchant and Mayor. He owned the part of the property known as King John’s Palace as well as other properties nearby. Blue Anchor Lane, which runs alongside Tudor House, was originally called Wytegod’s Lane. King John’s Palace originally featured fine, large windows looking out over the river. However, when the town wall was built in 1360 to protect Southampton after the raids, these were bricked up for security and some converted to arrow slits.

Walter and Jane William - Owners of Tudor House in the late 15th Century
Walter William, a merchant also known as Watkyn William, inherited Tudor House from his father. Like many other Southampton traders he sent wool and cloth by ship to many countries and imported salt, wine, leather, oil, fish and many other luxury goods including woad – used for dyeing clothes. Becoming Sheriff, and in 1483 Mayor of Southampton, William was involved in a plot against King Richard III, to the extent where some said that he may have been responsible for killing the two young princes in the Tower of London. He was labeled a traitor and to avoid persecution and punishment fled to Beaulieu Abbey where he sought sanctuary. He died shortly afterwards.

Sir John Dawtrey - Owner of Tudor House from 1491 – 1518
Coming from a wealthy family in Petworth, Sussex, Sir John Dawtrey was also a major landowner and merchant, an MP and Sheriff. He was also responsible for maintaining the town’s great defensive wall and ditch in good repair. Dawtrey received large sums of money from Henry VIII to provide food for the navy, at sea in defence of attack by France. Money was also provided for the building and fitting out and provisioning of ships – including The Peter Pomegranate and The Mary Rose. Dawtrey died in 1518.

Lady Isabel Lyster
In 1528 Dawtrey’s widow Isabel married Sir Richard Lyster, one of the richest men in Southampton. Lady Isabel traded in millstones for the many windmills and watermills in England. Both importing and exporting, she rented land at West Quay for storage. Lady Lyster organised the household, having eight servants, who fetched water, cleaned the house, made beds, and washed the clothes. Large houses often also had a bake house, a dairy, and a kitchen often in a separate building to avoid the risk of fire. Following the death of Lady Isabel, Lyster married Elizabeth Stoke. Lyster took part in many important events during the reign of Henry VIII including the trials of Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More and the procession of Anne Boleyn through London prior to her 1533 Coronation, in which he actually rode. Lyster died in 1554 and Lady Elizabeth erected a monument to him in St Michael’s Church.


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