Historic monument The Bargate in Southampton set for £250,000 facelift

A £250,000 facelift for the Bargate

A £250,000 facelift for the Bargate

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

SOUTHAMPTON’S most iconic monument is set for a £250,000 facelift.

Civic chiefs have rubberstamped the project to restore the 800-year-old structure the historic Bargate to put a halt to major erosion damage.

And the project could result in the building used by the public once again, with the city council looking for a permanent occupant of the space above the gate.

A survey carried out by the council’s private sector partner Capita revealed the stone structure on the north side is being eroded due to penetration by rain water. And with the extent of the erosion and the damage to the building getting worse, Labour council bosses have decided to spend £250,000 to refurbish the famous landmark.

The work will not result in major changes to the appearance of the building as its main purpose is to preserve the structure.

A timetable of when the work will take place has not yet been decided.

Council leader Simon Letts said: “The Bargate is one of our most iconic structures and it is the duty of the council to preserve it for future generations.”

“We will be actively looking for a permanent user for the space above the gate when the works have been completed."

It is thought the space could be used as an art gallery or community space again, which was its last use until 2012.

HISTORIC SYMBOL OF SOUTHAMPTON

THE Bargate is the symbol of Southampton and has been a familiar sight at the heart of the city since it was built in the late 12th century as the main gateway to the old walled city.

The stone and flint structure has seen many additions over the centuries, with large towers added around 1290 and new archways added in 1764 and 1774.

The room above the gate has had many uses. It was the city’s guildhall until the 1770s and then became a prison after the establishment of Southampton’s police force in 1836.

It was separated from the town walls in the 1930s and was the police headquarters during the Second World War.

It was closed for many years before becoming an art gallery in 2006.

Comments (21)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:50am Tue 26 Aug 14

richieroo says...

Not converting it to student digs then!?!.
Not converting it to student digs then!?!. richieroo
  • Score: 0

11:52am Tue 26 Aug 14

Rjhsoton says...

I know this monument does need to be kept in a good state of repair for the future but how can the council say it has no cash and needs to shut down services for the elderly and disabled and make cuts to other front line services but can always find money for other projects some of which do not benefit the whole community
I know this monument does need to be kept in a good state of repair for the future but how can the council say it has no cash and needs to shut down services for the elderly and disabled and make cuts to other front line services but can always find money for other projects some of which do not benefit the whole community Rjhsoton
  • Score: -24

12:12pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Mr E says...

It made a rather nice little museum back in the late 1970's
It made a rather nice little museum back in the late 1970's Mr E
  • Score: 48

12:13pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Linesman says...

Rjhsoton wrote:
I know this monument does need to be kept in a good state of repair for the future but how can the council say it has no cash and needs to shut down services for the elderly and disabled and make cuts to other front line services but can always find money for other projects some of which do not benefit the whole community
Probably by the same method that Cameron's government used when it claimed that when they took office 'the cupboard was bare' but within a matter of weeks were able to help bail out the Irish Republic with a loan.

£250,000 may seem a massive amount, but it will not be spent all at once, but probably over a couple of years.

Maybe they will use the profits made from the Sea Centre Museum to pay for it.
[quote][p][bold]Rjhsoton[/bold] wrote: I know this monument does need to be kept in a good state of repair for the future but how can the council say it has no cash and needs to shut down services for the elderly and disabled and make cuts to other front line services but can always find money for other projects some of which do not benefit the whole community[/p][/quote]Probably by the same method that Cameron's government used when it claimed that when they took office 'the cupboard was bare' but within a matter of weeks were able to help bail out the Irish Republic with a loan. £250,000 may seem a massive amount, but it will not be spent all at once, but probably over a couple of years. Maybe they will use the profits made from the Sea Centre Museum to pay for it. Linesman
  • Score: 2

1:27pm Tue 26 Aug 14

eurogordi says...

I imagine there will be some match-funding from English Heritage although whether that is £125K (50/50 basis) or another £250K I do not know.

However, the Bargate was restored between 15 and 20 years ago when the coats of arms were re=painted in what was supposed to be special heritage paint for stonework which would last a generation or more.

Looking at the coats of arms today (and indeed within a few years of the last restoration) this clearly hasn't happened but I don't think the City Council sought compensation from the previous contractors.

That means the cost of this restoration is potentially higher than it should be and, although I believe in maintaining our heritage, I really think the other contractors caused more damage in the long term!
I imagine there will be some match-funding from English Heritage although whether that is £125K (50/50 basis) or another £250K I do not know. However, the Bargate was restored between 15 and 20 years ago when the coats of arms were re=painted in what was supposed to be special heritage paint for stonework which would last a generation or more. Looking at the coats of arms today (and indeed within a few years of the last restoration) this clearly hasn't happened but I don't think the City Council sought compensation from the previous contractors. That means the cost of this restoration is potentially higher than it should be and, although I believe in maintaining our heritage, I really think the other contractors caused more damage in the long term! eurogordi
  • Score: 9

1:49pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Outside of the Box says...

Linesman wrote:
Rjhsoton wrote:
I know this monument does need to be kept in a good state of repair for the future but how can the council say it has no cash and needs to shut down services for the elderly and disabled and make cuts to other front line services but can always find money for other projects some of which do not benefit the whole community
Probably by the same method that Cameron's government used when it claimed that when they took office 'the cupboard was bare' but within a matter of weeks were able to help bail out the Irish Republic with a loan.

£250,000 may seem a massive amount, but it will not be spent all at once, but probably over a couple of years.

Maybe they will use the profits made from the Sea Centre Museum to pay for it.
Maybe they will use the profits made from the Sea Centre Museum to pay for it. Love it a sense of humour on the first day back in the office after a long weekend.
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rjhsoton[/bold] wrote: I know this monument does need to be kept in a good state of repair for the future but how can the council say it has no cash and needs to shut down services for the elderly and disabled and make cuts to other front line services but can always find money for other projects some of which do not benefit the whole community[/p][/quote]Probably by the same method that Cameron's government used when it claimed that when they took office 'the cupboard was bare' but within a matter of weeks were able to help bail out the Irish Republic with a loan. £250,000 may seem a massive amount, but it will not be spent all at once, but probably over a couple of years. Maybe they will use the profits made from the Sea Centre Museum to pay for it.[/p][/quote]Maybe they will use the profits made from the Sea Centre Museum to pay for it. Love it a sense of humour on the first day back in the office after a long weekend. Outside of the Box
  • Score: 6

2:36pm Tue 26 Aug 14

StevenAus says...

It look like it needs a good clean.
It look like it needs a good clean. StevenAus
  • Score: 11

3:03pm Tue 26 Aug 14

saintsalive1 says...

I have no problem with this but wish there was bigger picture thinking to council revamps. It's too piece-meal
I have no problem with this but wish there was bigger picture thinking to council revamps. It's too piece-meal saintsalive1
  • Score: 4

4:10pm Tue 26 Aug 14

paraboy says...

what a croc of sh*t waste of money council need to open there eyes
what a croc of sh*t waste of money council need to open there eyes paraboy
  • Score: -28

4:33pm Tue 26 Aug 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

richieroo wrote:
Not converting it to student digs then!?!.
No.
[quote][p][bold]richieroo[/bold] wrote: Not converting it to student digs then!?!.[/p][/quote]No. WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: 3

6:12pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Shoong says...

Linesman wrote:
Rjhsoton wrote:
I know this monument does need to be kept in a good state of repair for the future but how can the council say it has no cash and needs to shut down services for the elderly and disabled and make cuts to other front line services but can always find money for other projects some of which do not benefit the whole community
Probably by the same method that Cameron's government used when it claimed that when they took office 'the cupboard was bare' but within a matter of weeks were able to help bail out the Irish Republic with a loan.

£250,000 may seem a massive amount, but it will not be spent all at once, but probably over a couple of years.

Maybe they will use the profits made from the Sea Centre Museum to pay for it.
Only the 2nd paragraph is actually relevant (just about) to the story and of course your personal weird obsession with the Sea Museum had to get in there somewhere.
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rjhsoton[/bold] wrote: I know this monument does need to be kept in a good state of repair for the future but how can the council say it has no cash and needs to shut down services for the elderly and disabled and make cuts to other front line services but can always find money for other projects some of which do not benefit the whole community[/p][/quote]Probably by the same method that Cameron's government used when it claimed that when they took office 'the cupboard was bare' but within a matter of weeks were able to help bail out the Irish Republic with a loan. £250,000 may seem a massive amount, but it will not be spent all at once, but probably over a couple of years. Maybe they will use the profits made from the Sea Centre Museum to pay for it.[/p][/quote]Only the 2nd paragraph is actually relevant (just about) to the story and of course your personal weird obsession with the Sea Museum had to get in there somewhere. Shoong
  • Score: 6

6:28pm Tue 26 Aug 14

good-gosh says...

It’s a bit risky for any Labour administration to publish a budget.
It’s a bit risky for any Labour administration to publish a budget. good-gosh
  • Score: 4

6:54pm Tue 26 Aug 14

AndyAndrews says...

I'm more concerned about access. Reopen the upstairs room and also the roof like years ago. Health and safety? Nobody ever fell off the roof as far as I can remember so just put up simple signs like "Take care on the steps/roof: Access at own risk".
I'm more concerned about access. Reopen the upstairs room and also the roof like years ago. Health and safety? Nobody ever fell off the roof as far as I can remember so just put up simple signs like "Take care on the steps/roof: Access at own risk". AndyAndrews
  • Score: 11

9:04pm Tue 26 Aug 14

geoff51 says...

AndyAndrews wrote:
I'm more concerned about access. Reopen the upstairs room and also the roof like years ago. Health and safety? Nobody ever fell off the roof as far as I can remember so just put up simple signs like "Take care on the steps/roof: Access at own risk".
King Edwards School Choir used to sing on the roof on May Day for many years
[quote][p][bold]AndyAndrews[/bold] wrote: I'm more concerned about access. Reopen the upstairs room and also the roof like years ago. Health and safety? Nobody ever fell off the roof as far as I can remember so just put up simple signs like "Take care on the steps/roof: Access at own risk".[/p][/quote]King Edwards School Choir used to sing on the roof on May Day for many years geoff51
  • Score: 9

10:10pm Tue 26 Aug 14

highanxiety says...

It would be nice if, Cars buses and trucks were stopped from parking all around it. This is our Photographed attraction and a great selling point for the city......
It would be nice if, Cars buses and trucks were stopped from parking all around it. This is our Photographed attraction and a great selling point for the city...... highanxiety
  • Score: 13

10:13am Wed 27 Aug 14

sotonboy84 says...

highanxiety wrote:
It would be nice if, Cars buses and trucks were stopped from parking all around it. This is our Photographed attraction and a great selling point for the city......
Vehicle overspill from the dreadful tacky market...
[quote][p][bold]highanxiety[/bold] wrote: It would be nice if, Cars buses and trucks were stopped from parking all around it. This is our Photographed attraction and a great selling point for the city......[/p][/quote]Vehicle overspill from the dreadful tacky market... sotonboy84
  • Score: 5

12:39pm Wed 27 Aug 14

southy says...

highanxiety wrote:
It would be nice if, Cars buses and trucks were stopped from parking all around it. This is our Photographed attraction and a great selling point for the city......
Connect the walls up, would be even better
[quote][p][bold]highanxiety[/bold] wrote: It would be nice if, Cars buses and trucks were stopped from parking all around it. This is our Photographed attraction and a great selling point for the city......[/p][/quote]Connect the walls up, would be even better southy
  • Score: 2

2:55pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Jale89 says...

Mr E wrote:
It made a rather nice little museum back in the late 1970's
Yes, the contents of the museum ended up in God's House Tower museum later on, and then that was shut down when Sea City was opened.
[quote][p][bold]Mr E[/bold] wrote: It made a rather nice little museum back in the late 1970's[/p][/quote]Yes, the contents of the museum ended up in God's House Tower museum later on, and then that was shut down when Sea City was opened. Jale89
  • Score: 1

2:58pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Jale89 says...

eurogordi wrote:
I imagine there will be some match-funding from English Heritage although whether that is £125K (50/50 basis) or another £250K I do not know.

However, the Bargate was restored between 15 and 20 years ago when the coats of arms were re=painted in what was supposed to be special heritage paint for stonework which would last a generation or more.

Looking at the coats of arms today (and indeed within a few years of the last restoration) this clearly hasn't happened but I don't think the City Council sought compensation from the previous contractors.

That means the cost of this restoration is potentially higher than it should be and, although I believe in maintaining our heritage, I really think the other contractors caused more damage in the long term!
The last major remodeling was for the Gallery, and that was done with significant sensitivity to the building, such that no damage would be done to the original structure. The biggest expense was the roof though, which needed to be majorly repaired. I think after that there was little funding left for the other more aesthetic tasks. The coats of arms are lovely and part of the building, but it would be wrong to think of them as truly 'original' - they have been repaired and restored countless times, so it's not really a 'use it or lose it' situation.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: I imagine there will be some match-funding from English Heritage although whether that is £125K (50/50 basis) or another £250K I do not know. However, the Bargate was restored between 15 and 20 years ago when the coats of arms were re=painted in what was supposed to be special heritage paint for stonework which would last a generation or more. Looking at the coats of arms today (and indeed within a few years of the last restoration) this clearly hasn't happened but I don't think the City Council sought compensation from the previous contractors. That means the cost of this restoration is potentially higher than it should be and, although I believe in maintaining our heritage, I really think the other contractors caused more damage in the long term![/p][/quote]The last major remodeling was for the Gallery, and that was done with significant sensitivity to the building, such that no damage would be done to the original structure. The biggest expense was the roof though, which needed to be majorly repaired. I think after that there was little funding left for the other more aesthetic tasks. The coats of arms are lovely and part of the building, but it would be wrong to think of them as truly 'original' - they have been repaired and restored countless times, so it's not really a 'use it or lose it' situation. Jale89
  • Score: 0

2:58pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Jale89 says...

AndyAndrews wrote:
I'm more concerned about access. Reopen the upstairs room and also the roof like years ago. Health and safety? Nobody ever fell off the roof as far as I can remember so just put up simple signs like "Take care on the steps/roof: Access at own risk".
It's more that the stairs up to the roof level from the upstairs space are pretty rickety. To make them more substantial would require significant changes to the roof. It's not impossible, it's just expensive.

And yeah it's really great up there, it would be wonderful for more people to get up!
[quote][p][bold]AndyAndrews[/bold] wrote: I'm more concerned about access. Reopen the upstairs room and also the roof like years ago. Health and safety? Nobody ever fell off the roof as far as I can remember so just put up simple signs like "Take care on the steps/roof: Access at own risk".[/p][/quote]It's more that the stairs up to the roof level from the upstairs space are pretty rickety. To make them more substantial would require significant changes to the roof. It's not impossible, it's just expensive. And yeah it's really great up there, it would be wonderful for more people to get up! Jale89
  • Score: 1

4:20pm Wed 27 Aug 14

richieroo says...

WalkingOnAWire wrote:
richieroo wrote: Not converting it to student digs then!?!.
No.
That's a missed opportunity then, they're sticking them everywhere else!!!. ;-)
[quote][p][bold]WalkingOnAWire[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]richieroo[/bold] wrote: Not converting it to student digs then!?!.[/p][/quote]No.[/p][/quote]That's a missed opportunity then, they're sticking them everywhere else!!!. ;-) richieroo
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree