Southampton, United Kingdom
Titchfield Abbey Gatehouse
Photograph - Photograph
The Gatehouse from inside the cloister of the derelict Titchfield Abbey.
When the buildings were converted into a Tudor house the cloister became the courtyard and the nave became its gatehouse.
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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