Archaeology in Southampton

Southampton has a wealth of archaeological evidence and remains.

Below the modern streets can be found evidence of prehistoric hunter-gatherer and farming communities, the Roman settlement of Clausentum, the Middle Saxon town of Hamwic, and the late Saxon and medieval town and villages that laid the basis for the modern city and suburbs.

Some ancient walls and buildings survive above ground. The complex picture is constantly being amended and enhanced by new fieldwork and research.

If you want to know more please contact HER@southampton.gov.uk. Southampton City Council also has an Archaeology Unit which can undertake work on behalf of developers.

Southampton Historic Environment Record (HER): The HER is the first port of call for anyone wishing to find out more about Southampton's archaeology.

The HER database includes details of all archaeological fieldwork that has taken place in the city, as well as archaeological find spots and monuments. The HER also includes many historic buildings.

First World War Home Front Legacy Project: Lead by the British Council for Archaeology and assisted by the HER.

Archaeology collections: The collections comprise all archaeological finds and archives from archaeological sites in the city. They are one of the top ten most significant archaeology collections in the country and are an indispensable research resource.

Planning archaeology: This service provides information and advice on archaeology and the planning process in Southampton. We assess proposed developments and planning applications to determine their likely impact on archaeological remains. Where development may affect archaeological remains we work to ensure that an appropriate level of investigation is carried out.

Archaeology Unit: The unit undertakes field surveys, desk-top assessments, evaluation excavations, watching briefs, monument and building recording, consultancy, research, display work and site presentation on behalf of developers.

Annual reports for archaeology in Southampton: Short reports for archaeological fieldwork from 2004 onwards are published in the Archaeology in Hampshire Annual Reports, available from the Hampshire Field Club.

More information:

Portable Antiquities Scheme
Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society