Southampton, United Kingdom
Titchfield Abbey Gatehouse In Sepia
Photograph - Photograph
Looking up from the centre of the now derelict Tudor gatehouse of Titchfield Abbey. The doors that led to the lodgings can clearly be seen in the corners of what were once the upper floors of Place House.
The imposing gatehouse was built from the nave of the abbey after Henry VIII dissolved the abbey in 1537.
Titchfield is a village in southern Hampshire, by the River Meon. The village has a history stretching back to the 6th century. During the medieval period, the village operated a small port and market. Near to the village are the ruins of Titchfield Abbey, a place with strong associations with Shakespeare, through his patron, the Earl of Southampton.
Once home to a community of Premonstatensian canons, Titchfield Abbey was later transformed into a grand mansion called Place House.
In 1537, Titchfield Abbey was granted to Thomas Wriothesley, later earl of
Southampton, who was a loyal servant to King Henry VIII. He played a key part in the king's suppression of the monasteries and was given monastic lands as a reward.
Wriothesley transformed the main abbey building into Place House, a residence fit for a rising courtier.
Several royal visitors were entertained here, including Henry VIII, Edward VI and Elizabeth I. William Shakespeare was a friend of the family and it is thought some of his plays were first performed here.
On the death of the fourth earl of Southampton, Titchfield passed through several families, until it was eventually dismantled in 1781.
May 5th, 2013
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