Mahara hands on

by John Savage


HAMWIC (also known as Hamtun) is the Anglo-Saxon name for Southampton. Saxon Hamwic was situated around what are now the Queensland, Belvidere, Chapel and Crosshouse areas of the city. The middle Saxon (c.700-850) town was situated around what are now Northam and St Marys.  It was an important port trading with Scandinavia, France, the Low Countries and the Rhineland and a densely populated community of merchants and craftsmen. It was evidently also of  administrative importance  having given its name to the county Hamtunscire (Hampshire). It declined in the ninth century apparently as a result of economic and political change brought about by the Vikings. hamwic

The ST MARY'S building is named after the nearby St. Mary’s church from which both the area as a whole, and the street the college’s main entrance is on both also take their name. Southampton football club was also originally founded at the church from where they take the nickname “the Saints” and the St. Mary’s stadium name. The present Church is actually the sixth St. Mary’s church on the site of the Saxon town of Hamwick.

 St Marys



Lord PALMERSTON was a Victorian Prime Minister in the 1850’s and 1860’s.

He lived at Broadlands which is a large country house just outside of the town of Romsey. His statue stands in the Market Place at Romsey. Throughout his time in government and later as Prime Minister he was very much disliked by Queen Victoria.


Jane AUSTEN – was a writer born in Hampshire in 1775.

She lived in Southampton with her brother’s family from 1807- 1809 in a house in Castle Square close to the old city walls. From the house Jane had a lovely view of the waterfront. She enjoyed exploring the countryside around the city and  attended dances at the Dolphin Hotel with her sister.  She died in Winchester in 1817. 


 The Supermarine SPITFIRE was a British single-seat fighter aircraft used extensively by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War.

 It was designed by R. J. Mitchell at Supermarine Aviation Works in Woolston with the first prototype being tested at Eastleigh Aerodrome (now Southampton Airport) on 5 March 1936. Between July and September 1940, during the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire played a crucial role in combating the German Luftwaffe in their attempt to gain control of the skies of Britain before launching their much anticipated invasion. A combination of the RAF pilots’ bravery and heroism and the Spitfire’s speed and manoeuvrability struck a devastating blow to the German aircraft ranged against them. On 17th September 1940 Hitler postponed his planned invasion of Britain indefinitely. Tragically Mitchell never lived to see his invention flourish, dying of cancer on 11 June 1937 at the age of just 42.



The MAYFLOWER was a small ship which sailed to America at the time of King James I.  On board the ship were the Pilgrim Fathers who wanted to set up a new home in America. The Mayflower left Southampton on 16th August 1620 and arrived on the east side of America in November 1620.The place where the people landed is now called Plymouth, New England.



Isaac WATTS was a famous song and hymn writer who was born in Southampton in 1674. Every four hours during the day, the bells of Southampton's Civic Centre clock ring out Isaac Watt's hymn, ‘Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past.’ There is statue of Watts in the park named after him.


acknowledgement to Margaret Smith's basic skills students and Learning Centre staff at City College

Tony Pitcher

Very nice. Good to see significant people and achievements in Southampton and Hampshire history commemorated in this way. Hopefully there will be a plaque near the entrance to each building explaining the name of the building. All we need is a college plan here to link the names to the buildings.

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