Southampton's Westgate Hall open after refurbishment

Image caption,
Westgate Hall was built in around 1400 to store merchants' woollen cloth

A historical Southampton building that once housed the city's fish market is opening to the public after an extensive refurbishment.

The 15th Century Tudor Merchants Hall is being renamed Westgate Hall following the £500,000 project which took a year to complete.

Work included sealing the walls with lime plaster and improving mobility access and educational resources.

Councillor John Hannides said it had "transformed this magnificent hall".

Old Town

The Grade II listed building is located beside the city's Westgate, through which Henry V left for Agincourt in 1415 and the Pilgrim Fathers embarked for America on the Mayflower in 1620.

It was originally used for storing woollen cloth while the arcaded ground floor housed the city's fish market.

The work is part of the regeneration of Southampton Old Town, funded by the city council and Heritage Lottery Fund, which also includes the restoration of the Tudor House Museum in Bugle Street.

Westgate Hall will be used by school and community groups as well as being a wedding and conference venue.

Mr Hannides said: "This unique project underlines our continued commitment to protecting and showcasing Southampton's incredibly rich heritage."

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