The Weigh House is an historic building in French Street, in the Old Town, with a fascinating history. In the mid thirteenth century, it housed the royal Tron, or weigh beam, scales and weights. Known in medieval times as the Peysage or Poysage House (from the Old French ‘peser’ meaning to weigh) it was where merchandise, particularly wool, was weighed to assess the amount of customs due before they were sent from Southampton to ports across Europe.
The building was restored in the 1930s only to be burnt down during the Southampton Blitz. The most comprehensive programme of repairs since then was completed in 2022. The work was funded by Southampton City Council and carried out by Chichester Stoneworks Ltd. It included:
- Removing all the hard cement mortar used to point the stonework in the past replacing it with lime mortar. This is a more traditional material that is breathable and chemically compatible with the stone and will ensure the monument remains in a better condition in the longer term
- Stabilising the walls by replacing the wrought iron anchors with a stainless steel Cintec anchor system inserted inside the walls
- Repairing both the windows. Some of the stonework was in such poor condition it had to be replaced and the old metal frames had corroded so those have been replaced as well
- Installing ‘soft capping’, which is turf containing a wildflower mix laid on top of the walls to protect them from decaying in the future
If you would like to find out more about the Weigh House, and the medieval vault next door, you can book onto a tour on the Visit Southampton website