Titanic Tour in Southampton, Southampton

Titanic Tour in Southampton (Self Guided), Southampton

Over a hundred years since the sinking of Titanic, the echo of that tragedy still reverberates throughout Southampton. Indeed, nowhere else was the pain of the Titanic disaster, one of the deadliest in maritime history, felt more intensely than here. The majority of Titanic's 900-strong crew were from Southampton, of whom only a handful returned home. More than 500 local households overnight lost a family member – usually a sole breadwinner – as the ill-fated ship hit an iceberg and foundered with 1,500+ people onboard on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on April 15th 1912.

A century on, throughout the city there are plenty of individual and group memorials to the victims, as well as buildings intimately linked to the events of April 1912. These include places where crew members and passengers spent their last days prior to the fateful voyage, each of them oblivious to the cruel ending ahead. Among such places are:

The SeaCity Museum – opened in 2012 to mark the centenary of the RMS Titanic's departure from Southampton;

Titanic Musician's and Engineers' Memorials – respectively commemorating those who died in the Titanic disaster;

St. Joseph's Catholic Church – houses the memorial dedicated to the staff of the Ritz, one of the restaurants serving Titanic;

South Western House – in 1912, many first-class passengers stayed here the night before the ship sailed;

Canute Chambers – the former company office of White Star Line, the owner and operator of Titanic;

The Grapes Public House – a pub near Dock Gate 4 where Titanic was moored; many of the crew's firemen and trimmers met here for a final drink before sailing.

To learn more about Titanic and its association with Southampton, embark on this self-guided walking tour.
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Titanic Tour in Southampton Map

Guide Name: Titanic Tour in Southampton
Guide Location: England » Southampton (See other walking tours in Southampton)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Author: Maia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • SeaCity Museum
  • Titanic Musician's Memorial
  • Titanic Engineers' Memorial
  • Holyrood Church
  • St. Joseph's Catholic Church
  • Platform Tavern
  • South Western House
  • Canute Chambers
  • The Grapes Public House
SeaCity Museum

1) SeaCity Museum (must see)

SeaCity Museum opened on April 10, 2012, on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's departure from Southampton. SeaCity Museum is housed in a building that was previously used as a court and police station.

The museum is home to two permanent exhibitions. One is focused on Southampton's place as a strategic shipping destination. The second permanent exhibition explores Southampton's connection to the RMS Titanic. An additional modern pavilion hosts temporary exhibitions. The Pavillion was newly constructed for the museum and features three interlocking bays which emulate a ship's bow.

The Gateway to the World exhibition focuses on Southampton as a vital shipping hub. The exhibition features a seven-meter-long Queen Mary replica.

Southampton's Titanic Story exhibition views the Titanic tragedy through the eyes of the ship's crew. Most of Titanic's crew listed Southampton as their home address. The exhibition features a courtroom with audiovisual elements to show scenes from the British inquiry into the tragedy.

The exhibition includes audio recordings from Titanic survivors. Interactive displays allow visitors to steer the ship or stoke its engines.

When visitors enter the exhibition, they are guided to view the civic center clock tower through a roof light. This clock tower is the approximate height of one of Titanic's four funnels and gives visitors a feeling for the massive scale of the doomed ship.
Titanic Musician's Memorial

2) Titanic Musician's Memorial

The Titanic Musicians' Memorial is a memorial in Southampton, United Kingdom, to the musicians who died in the RMS Titanic disaster on 15 April 1912. The original Titanic Musicians' Memorial was unveiled by the Mayor of Southampton, H Bowyer on 19 April 1913, and was located in the old Southampton library. This library along with the memorial were destroyed during World War II.

A replica was erected in 1990. The plaque features a musical inscription, the opening bars of the 19th century hymn, 'Nearer, My God, to Thee' by Sarah Flower Adams, carvings showing a grieving woman and an iceberg, and an inscription with the names of the musicians on the Titanic, including bandleader Wallace Hartley, all of whom died.

After the Titanic hit an iceberg and began to sink, Hartley and his fellow band members assembled in the first class lounge and started playing music to help keep the passengers calm. They later moved to the forward half of the boat deck, where they continued to play as the crew loaded the lifeboats. Many of the survivors said that the band continued to play until the very end.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Titanic Engineers' Memorial

3) Titanic Engineers' Memorial (must see)

The Titanic Engineers' Memorial is a memorial in East (Andrews) Park, Southampton, to those who died in the RMS Titanic disaster on 15 April 1912. The bronze and granite memorial was originally unveiled by Sir Archibald Denny, president of the Institute of Marine Engineers on 22 April 1914. The event was attended by an estimated 100,000 Southampton residents.

The monument was originally erected with funding from worldwide donations. It was designed and built by Whitehead and Son of the Imperial Works, Kennington Oval in London. It is officially a Grade II listed building. It features a bronze statue of Nike, the Greek Winged Goddess of Victory, created by Trieste-born sculptor Romeo Rathmann, and carvings which represent the engineer officers of the ship, who died in the disaster.

On a sunny afternoon on 22 April 1914, 100,000 people gathered in Andrews Park, Southampton to witness the unveiling of the memorial to the engineers who lost their lives on the Titanic two years earlier. The bronze and granite structure was draped in the Union flag.

The monument was restored in 2010 in a joint venture between Southampton City Council and TV production company Twenty Twenty Television. Almost opposite the main memorial, on the corner of Cumberland Place and London Road, is the Titanic Musicians' Memorial to Wallace Hartley and the other musicians who played on the Titanic.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Holyrood Church

4) Holyrood Church

Holyrood Church (or Holy Rood Church) was one of the original five churches serving the old walled town of Southampton. Built in 1320, the church was destroyed by Nazi bombing during the blitz in November 1940. In 1957 the shell of the church was dedicated as a memorial to the sailors of the Merchant Navy.

The first documentary evidence of the existence of Holyrood was in 1160 when Henry II granted the Chapels of St. Michael, Holyrood, St. Lawrence and All Saints' to the monks of St. Denys. The name of the church, "Holy Rood", indicates its Saxon origins.

Following the destruction of the church during WWII, the only parts of the church still standing are the tower at the south-western corner and the chancel at the eastern end, together with large parts of the north walls. The wooden spire was lost as was the great west window, whilst the central area of the church was completely destroyed. On the west face of the tower there is a memorial plaque to Charles Dibdin (1745–1814) described as a "native of Southampton, poet, dramatist and composer, author of Tom Bowling, Poor Jack and other sea songs". Above the plaque are the clock and church bells, which feature pre-1760 Quarter jacks, small figures that strike the quarters of each hour.

Inside the church, under the tower is a memorial fountain, erected in 1912–13 for those who lost their lives in the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The fountain is supported on four stone columns, with a curved pediment on each side with carvings depicting the "Titanic", surmounted by a four-columned cupola.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
St. Joseph's Catholic Church

5) St. Joseph's Catholic Church

Built in 1843, St. Joseph's Catholic Church was the first Catholic church founded in Southampton after the Reformation. The church is a great place to learn more about the city’s maritime history, as it once served as shelter for sailors.

The well-known Stella Maris club once ran this church for sailors and their families. The church itself is very beautiful and has an interesting design, including a wonderful altar, a beautiful frame and windows, and a curved Gothic ceiling.

Today it is a popular stop for those who are on Titanic trail in Southampton. Here you will find a memorial dedicated to the staff of the Ritz, one of the restaurants onboard the Titanic.
Platform Tavern

6) Platform Tavern

The Platform Tavern is the epitome of a British public house. The walls are steeped in history, the atmosphere is homely and unique, and the menu is reliable and delicious.

The pub is built against the 1350 city walls. In this area, the quay contained a gun battery.

The Platform Tavern has occupied this space since 1873. Like many pubs near seaports, the Platform brewed their own ale for the seamen who came to the docks. They also had rooms to rent upstairs.

When Titanic was docked here, the pub would've had a front-row seat. Many passengers passed through. The last victim to be recovered, one Mr. James McGrady, stayed in the pub. In fact, it was his last known address.

The pub was also featured in James Cameron's movie. Here, fictional characters Jack Dawson and Fabrizio De Rossi won their tickets to America in a poker game.
South Western House

7) South Western House

The South Western House, founded in 1865, is an historic landmark in Southampton. It was designed by John Norton in a French Renaissance style and was opened in 1865 as the Imperial Hotel.

Known as "The Ritz of Southampton", from late 1800s to 1930s, the hotel hosted many rich and famous clients before they boarded the luxury cruise ships at the Southampton port. In 1912, many first class passengers on Titanic stayed here the night before the ship sailed.

Today this beautiful building, with the marble walls, ceiling murals, beautiful ornaments and unique design once again serves as a prestigious hotel with excellent service and beautiful historic rooms.
Canute Chambers

8) Canute Chambers

Canute Chambers is a red brick building at the end of Canute Road. It's near the Souther Western Hotel and close to Dock Gate 4, where the White Star Line steamers tied up.

Most importantly, though, Canute Chambers was the Southampton company office for White Star Line. The company was based in Liverpool and was the owner and operator of the Titanic.

In this building, passengers could buy tickets and get information. Having a base and office in Southampton reduced customer travel time from London. It also provided the company an option to stop at Cherbourg, France, to pick up more passengers on the way to America.

The building was built in 1893 for the American Line, but White Star took over in 1907. White Star moved out in 1931, and the United States Line took over the building until 1969. Today it is still used as offices but no longer for shipping lines.

The White Star line was an immensely successful operator of several royal mail steamers (RMS) ships. The company was started in 1850 for service to Australia but was retooled in the 1890s to compete with Cunard Line's North Atlantic service. At its height, it was one of the most well-regarded shipping lines in the world.

The company is remembered for their innovative ship designs, including the RMS Oceanic and the three Olympic-class ships, Olympic, Britannic, and Titanic.

White Star's fortunes declined during the Great Depression, and it eventually merged with Cunard Line.
The Grapes Public House

9) The Grapes Public House

The Grapes was a pub near Dock Gate 4 where Titanic was moored. It's located on Oxford Street in the Hampshire part of town.

It was often the tradition for many of the ship's crew members to meet for one last drink ashore before they sailed. Many of Titanic's firemen and trimmers made arrangements to meet at The Grapes.

Today a mural and memorial to the ill-fated ocean liner are displayed on the pub's wall over its entrance. The pub is also decorated with plenty of memorabilia and pictures relating to the ship, the crew, and the tragedy.

The Grapes' building was built in the early 19th century. The building extends over three stories. It features a pool room, live music, and a bar with national and regional ales. While the pub embraces its historical connection to seafarers, today, the operation has a "modern cosmopolitan feel."

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