The post-medieval period of Southampton is not very well represented in the archaeological collections, although the Southampton Local History collections contain many post-medieval artefacts from the City.
Southampton continued to be a port although trade declined in comparison to the prosperous years of the 15th century, and wealthy merchants continued to live in the town, occupying large houses such as Tudor House.
During the late 17th and 18th centuries Southampton enjoyed brief popularity as a spa resort for the upper classes, and visitors included George III, the Duchess of Devonshire and Jane Austen. Part of the spa fountain is in the Local History collections.
Industrial activity continued in the town, for instance there was a sugar refinery, and gunpowder was manufactured at Gods House Tower. Links with the ports hinterland were improved through the construction of a canal and later the railway.
The modern port of Southampton was founded in 1838, giving rise to a new era of transportation and industry. By the end of the 19th century and into the early 20th, the great liners had made Southampton their home and the town was recognised as the "Gateway to the Empire", and one of the busiest ports in the country.
Objects relating to the port of Southampton can be seen at the Maritime Museum.