City of Southampton Society
Registered Charity No 1006256 England and Wales
caring for our city's heritage and its green open spaces
Webmaster John Avery
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Queen Mary entering KG DOCKOur outdoor visit to Minstead Church in 2011 image Will TempleWarrior who after service on the front in WWI became a Southampton Police Horse. Image by kind permission Bitterne Local History SocietySouthampton CenotaphJohn Melody Town Crier at Tudor Revels 2012 image Arthur Jeffery

A Pilgrimage to The Chapel of our Lady of Grace

By Arthur Jeffery

On 9 August 2012 several CoSS members took part in a walk from St Mary’s Church along Chapel Road, once a causeway which flooded at high tide, down to the site of Our Lady of Grace Chapel.

We were following in the footsteps of King Henry VIII, who made the pilgrimage in August 1510 whilst on his first visit to Southampton as King.  It is said that the King was welcomed to the Chapel by the Town Hermit, a certain William Jeffery.

The Chapel’s remains are under the north entrance of the former Town Depot, adjacent to the American Wharf in Elm Street.  If and when the Town Depot site is redeveloped, archaeologists will have an opportunity to examine the Chapel’s structure in some detail.  Nearby there is a large stone-built grain store which hopefully will also be excavated.

On that hot Sunday afternoon, our pilgrimage began with a service at St Mary’s and then we walked behind the cross bearer down to the Chapel.  A brief second ceremony was held there. 

Remember, that part of the city is still called “Chapel”.

[Interestingly the city archaeology department chose to commemorate the 500th anniversary of walk by the King in 2012 and not in 2010]

Outdoor visit to Minstead Church image courtesy Will Temple Outdoor visit on a Guy Arab open top busTug tender Calshot in preservation