The Medieval Walled Town area of Southampton is bounded by Bargate in the north, The Walls and Lower Canal Walk in the east, Town Quay in the south and Western Esplanade in the west.
Evidence for a substantial settlement on the east bank of the River Test dates from the 10th Century AD. This Saxon town, probably the port that succeeded middle Saxon Hamwic, was developed after the Norman conquest into one of the most important ports in Medieval England.
The main imported commodity was French wine, which was exchanged for English wool and cloth. Excavations have shown that glass, pottery, textiles, stone and metalwork were also imported.
The town was fully enclosed by a stone wall by the 15th Century, a development that almost bankrupted the wealthy burgesses before trade with the Mediterranean revived their fortunes. Much of the town wall survives today, together with large stone cellars and houses. A wide array of excavated objects gives an insight into the richness and diversity of medieval life and the colourful character of a medieval port.