Bitterne Manor is a village in the civil parish of Bitterne, and Southampton City council area of Hampshire, England. The civil parish also includes the villages of North Baddesley, Portswood and part of Eastleigh including Tanners Lane. At the 2001 Census, the population was 4,077, increasing to 4,318 at the 2011 Census. The village is located approximately 1. 25 miles (2 km) west from Southampton and lies on both banks of the River Itchen.
The Romans called the town Clausentum, which is thought to have been the Old English 'cloose'meaning 'harbour', referring to its situation on a tidal creek, Hampshire Local (hampshirelocal.co.uk). The town was historically part of Hampshire, although it was briefly part of the Bishopric of Winchester at the end of the 11th century, before returning to Hampshire control. All Saints'Church stands above the remains of the Roman fortress. The oldest part of the present church building is the 12th-century chancel.
Since the closure of Southampton's dockyard and its census-designated place in 1970, the city has heavily dependent on the service sector for employment (although it still technically maintains strong ties to the ocean-based economy). Major sources of employment include City University, Lloyd's Register, the National Oceanography Centre, Oxfam, Ordnance Survey, PR Consulting, Premier Inn, Sainsbury's Bank ; PWC, and Zurich. There are a number of new greenfield projects including a new office development at Oxford Road (see cityscape below) and an in-development business park north of Southampton Airport.
Southampton is one of the major economic areas in the UK outside of London. A number of large financial institutions have offices in the city, a number of companies manufacture or develop products in the city and many financial services companies are located there. Major employers include University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Royal & Sun Alliance, Aviva and Southampton City Council. According to the 2016 Census, 71. 5% were White British, 15.
2% non-White British, 7. 2% White Irish, 1. 8% Other White and 4. 6% were mixed-raced. Immigration is important in Southampton, with approximately 23% born outside the UK. The unemployment rate (November 2016) has reached a ten-year high at 5. 9%. In 2016/17, the median disposable income of households in Southampton was £27,500, slightly lower than the regional average of £28,000 and lower than the national average of £29,700. The median weekly household income was £644, compared with a regional average of £650 and a national average of £716.
As of 2016, the University is the largest in the country based on income from research grants and contracts with circa £479 million. The University of Southampton comprises of a number of highly acclaimed schools and departments such as Engineering; Business school; Optoelectronics research centre; Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and Electronics and Computer Science. The QS World University Rankings has ranked Southampton within the top 20 universities in the UK for five years running.
Southampton Solent University is perhaps the oldest for-profit educational institution in the UK, with origins dating back to April 1853. Southampton Solent was awarded university status on 9 June 2013. There is also a public university within Southampton: the University of Southampton. It was founded as Southampton University in 1952 and gained its Royal Charter in 1952. There are more than 130,000 students studying in the city of Southampton. Together with the University of Southampton and Solent University there are more than 37,000 students living in the city.
In 2013 the International Student population was over 6,200; representing over 100 nationalities. Education in Southampton dates back to the 1540s, with the earliest records of a school being in Millbrook. By the early 19th century, Southampton had an income of £35,000 from its six endowed schools for poor children. The population of Southampton has grown geographically over the 20th century due to outward expansion of the city boundaries, and immigration. Southampton council estimate that, by 2026, the population of the city will increase to 250,400.
The main railway station (the busiest station in Hampshire and the 11th busiest in the UK in 2012-13) is Southampton Central, located in the city centre. Eastleigh is another busy station on the south side of the city. The main line from London Waterloo to Weymouth, Poole, Bournemouth and Cardiff Central runs through Southampton; there are hourly services to London Waterloo, including an hourly service operated by South West Trains with tilting trains (which can reach speeds of 125 mph), stopping at Chessington South, Leatherhead and other stations until Bournemouth where it joins the West Coast Main Line.
There are also services to Weymouth, Dorset, Poole and Portsmouth Harbour stations until Bristol Temple Meads. There are mainline railway stations at the northern (Redbridge, on the South West Main Line), western (Hollingbury, on the Brighton Main Line) and southern (Merchant's Way, on the West Coastway Line) ends of new town. Trains run to London Victoria Station in less than an hour from all three. The main station, Southampton Central, is in the centre of the city and is a terminus for routes extending as far as Birmingham and Manchester.
The other main station in Southampton is Eastleigh. Both are operated by South Western Railway. The main railway station is Southampton Central in the city centre. It is a terminus for trains operated by South West Trains, and also served by CrossCountry trains (previously Virgin Trains). This station was built in 1840, replacing an earlier one on the same site as part of the railway's gauge reduction between Southampton and London. The city lies on a major crossroads of the British railway system.
Southampton was inhabited by the Anglo-Saxons and had become a significant Saxon port by the time of the Domesday Book. The medieval period was a time of great prosperity for Southampton; the town wall (now mostly demolished), and much of Southampton's city centre, date from this period. At this time, Southampton belonged to Hampshire, and Portsmouth was a small fishing village known as Portchester Castle. The main east-west routes are from London Waterloo station via Winchester, and from Bristol Temple Meads station via Salisbury, with both running to Southampton Central station.
Freedom of the City
The Freedom of the City is an honour bestowed by a municipality upon a valued member of the community, or upon a visiting celebrity or dignitary. The Freedom of the City can also be granted by municipal authorities to military units which have earned the city's trust; it is, therefore, considered to be more senior than the Freedom of Entry, and has sometimes been called by that name instead. The Freedom of the City is a ceremonial honor bestowed by a municipality upon a valued member of the community, or upon a visiting celebrity or dignitary.
The Freedom of the City can also be granted by municipal authorities to military units which have earned the city's trust. The Freedom of the City of Southampton is granted by the Common Council of the City, to acknowledge the special relationship between the citizens and the member of the forces that have rendered some meritorious service in protection of civilians. The Freedom of the City of Southampton is a ceremonial title given to those who have received an Honour from Southampton City Council, England.
The Freedom is carried by the elected Lord Mayor of Southampton and half-chaired by an alderman. A person who has received the honour of the Freedom of the City of Southampton is not allowed to wear any headgear while in Southampton but a fedora, or a Homburg hat if male. Westbound there is also a line north to Weymouth, Dorset. The nave and north aisle were built between 1362 and 1391 using rubble recovered from the destroyed city of Southampton.
Soon after the Romans arrived, Saxons and Jutes began settling in the area, and it is this group which is believed to have given the city its name. The Common Brittonic 'sie̜s'meaning 'mud flats'may refer to either rivers or estuaries. It has been suggested that the name may refer both to the nearby River Itchen, known at the time as _Nen_ (or Neen), and 'mouth of the Itchen', with reference to nearby settlements of boat-people (perhaps connected with an ancient word for boat ytta).
Following the Norman Conquest, Southampton was held by William the Conqueror as part of his demesne. The Anglo-Saxons formed a settlement where present day Rectory Street (north of the center) meets the River Itchen, opposite the Hamble River. According to early medieval writings, this was one of the two (or three) main settlements in (what was to become) Southampton. The Domesday Book mentions "a citadel called Hamtun, which must have been situated near the centre of modern Southampton, west of Royal Pier and close to the site of St.
Michael's Church". The Anglo-Saxons began to settle in the area from the 5th century, with the western part of their kingdom, Wessex, becoming the Kingdom of Wessex. Archaeological evidence suggests that there were either one or two substantial settlements, whose remains overlapped; modern Southampton developed on both sites. The river being described as "ancient river Mander" by the 9th century chronicle: Chronicon ex chronicis. Bitterne Manor is the location of a Roman fort which was a posting station for travellers from Dorchester to Silchester.
The earliest historical reference to the sea defences comes from a royal charter, dated 21 September 1310, which allowed the men of Hastings to improve their sea walls, for the defence of the port and town, and this work was completed by 1313. The work included the building of a stone wall around the east and south sides of Hastings Castle, to protect it from attack by land or from the sea; and also a strong tower built in the outer bailey.
The castle is sited on a rocky outcrop overlooking the English Channel between Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea. The history of bathing in Coventry began in the 14th century, when the friary was granted use of the Pool in exchange for prayers for the soul of John Crophill, a prominent citizen of Coventry. This led to bathhouses being built along its banks; while the pool itself was later filled in, its location is still evident from an island at its centre, originally known as "Fountain" Island.
By the end of the 14th century water had become a public commodity, available to everyone. It was granted in 1310 by King Edward II. Its name was anglicised from the Welsh Duwydrwydd, meaning good spring. The town thus became known as "Dudley" and the lordship became the "Manor of Dudley", which in turn gave its name to the Earldom of Dudley. In the 15th century, a castle was built and fortified to provide shelter against the threat of rebellion.
16th and 17th centuries
The presence of a friary indicates that the town existed before the Norman conquest, when it was still a hamlet. The name of the town is derived from "Grantebrycge" (Granta Bridge) and indicates that the place was an important crossing point over the River Granta. The main early medieval settlement was to the north and west of this crossing and became established as a Cambridge suburb. In 1216, Cambridge Castle was built over the site of a former Saxon nunnery by Viscount Simon de Montfort during the First Barons'War.
Establishment of the castle brought ties with royalty to Cambridge and in 1221, King Henry III granted Cambridge its first charter. The building on the site now known as 16–22 High Street was originally a medieval friary, dedicated to Saint Mary and Saint Catherine of Alexandria. It is first mentioned in 1383 when it was granted to the Merton Priory in Surrey. The house remained with Merton and its successors, the Hustons and the Windsors, until 1538 when it was surrendered to Henry VIII at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
It then passed from hand to hand until 1667 when it was leased out to hosier and mercer Thomas Saunders, who had recently moved from his premises at 24 High Street. The building continued in use as a shop until the early 19th century. [. Friary was originally part of the ancient parish of Coventry and was within the ancient hundred of Knightlow. In 1824 Friary became part of the new civil parish of St Michael's.
In 1889 it became part of the still-larger civil parish of Stoke. Following the Local Government Act 1894, the parish became an urban district in Longdendale Rural District. The urban district council was replaced by a parish council in 1895. The Andover Friary was built by William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, who also founded the monasteries at Great Milton and Odcombe. It may have been built to replace a smaller friary at nearby North Bovey which fell into disrepair in the early 14th century.
The last mention of a community there is from 1313 but it presumably lingered on until the Friary at Andover was established. The first historical reference to the manor of Bitterne is in 993 AD, when it was held by Earl Ælfgar as overlord. In about 1066 it came into the possession of Bishop William Soter who built the first structure on the site that is now known as Bitterne Manor Hotel.
Southampton is an ancient town, with its history rooted in the Roman occupation of Britain. The first known record of Southampton dates from the 12th century when it is described as a small fishing village called Hamwic and is recorded in the Domesday Book. It became a significant port and trading gateway to the New World with the onset of the Hundred Years'War—the large amount of traffic through Southampton's docks prompted Edward III of England to order the construction of a "Godspeed"'hostel for herring fishers in 1314.
From its beginnings in the 11th century, Southampton was a leading port of continental Europe with an enormous volume of trade with France, Flanders, Spain and Portugal. The later decades of the 19th century also saw the arrival of Southern rail in Southampton. The first line, from London to Southampton, was opened on 13 May 1840 and closed on 31 December 1849. On 21 February 1847 a railway line was opened between Southampton and Netley, which was the world's first passenger railway.
This line was extended to Fareham by 1 August 1851; on 12 July 1857 it reached an extension into Winchester via the Winchester and Meon Valley Railway. The docks served as a key transport link for the growing city during this period. Shipping connections were improved by the construction of the Southampton Canal in 1845 and the Western Docks in 1846. The London and South Western Railway was completed to Southampton Common in 1838 with a further extension to the docks at Woolston opening in late 1839.
The former military district had been established in 1794. It was still surrounded by military land in 1881, although the fortifications had been built up and developed over the decades; in the 19th century some of the space was sold and redeveloped. During the 19th century, Southampton was also the pioneer of passenger steamer travel; renowned as The Gateway to the Empire, until a railway link to London with its faster travel times and less expensive fares took over.
Even before her ill-fated maiden voyage, the RMS Titanic was a prominent symbol of Southampton, her name synonymous with the city itself. The White Star Line operated from offices in Southampton and most of the ships that had been advertised to sail from there sailed from Southampton before moving on to Liverpool. While the company had offices in London, the City of Southampton were optimistic they would get the contract to build the new ship to replace Olympic, which was suffering from a vibration problem due to its driving system.
The City Council (who owned Southampton docks) refused to compete with Liverpool by offering lower bids on construction, instead believing it could secure contracts for fuelling the ship once built. While it is unclear whether work ever commenced on design plans. The first electric trams in Southampton ran between St Denys and Portswood, via Hill Lane, on 25 February 1901. In the 1920s and 1930s there were two major tramways in Southampton; to the east of the city centre was the Southern Electric system serving Portswood, Bevois Valley, Bitterne Manor and Woolston.
West of the central area the Southampton Corporation Tramways ran through Northam and St Mary's towards Sholing. The two networks never physically connected with each other; a few short sections of track near Elsworth Terrace being the only points where passengers could cross from one network to another. Several Victorian transport infrastructure projects had a significant impact on Southampton's development, such as the Portsmouth and Southampton Railway and the docks. The railway was built in 1840, and was the first railway line to be built completely underground in the world (the tunnels were dug by hand).
This linked Southampton, and particularly its docks, to a national rail network. In June 1838, Queen Victoria visited Southampton to see the newly opened Royal Pier which was linked to the town by a newly constructed road known as Victoria Road which was named after her. Churchill tank, a British wartime invention opened the car factory in 1940. In 1989, it was purchased by GEC, which became Marconi Electronic Systems (MES) in 1998, and finally part of BAE Systems in 1999.
From 2005 to 2010, the site saw jobs lost as shipbuilding came to an end, and it ceased operation as a BAE site. Today[when?], there is a small harbour with two docks at East Park Farm near the mouth of the River Itchen, and a ro-ro ferry links it with the City at East Quay. Shipbuilding is recorded in Southampton since the 13th century. Robert Blake built King Henry VIII's Mary Rose there in 1510, one of a number of large carracks constructed for Henry's navy.
Borrowed from the French and Industrial Revolution period concept, "Twinning" in modern terms is a way for two places to discover each other, work together and develop partnership following similar way of life in common interest. Like minded cities may partners together through twinning as a means of promoting intercultural understanding and trade. Twinning projects have included the annual boat-building programme in Qingdao, visits of Southampton students to Busan and Qingdao, and reciprocal visits by RSK officials to Southampton.
Areas and suburbs
There are 78 listed buildings in Southampton, 1,500 scheduled monuments, and six conservation areas. The Tudor House Museum is a small open-air museum featuring a collection of late medieval timber-framed buildings relocated from their original sites around the city. The museums on Southampton's Quay House include Artillery Gardens which explores the relationship between the people of Southampton and their Royal Navy, Hampshire and the Sea, telling the social history of a naval port and We're Open, an interactive museum charting 350 years of Southampton's rich maritime heritage.
Miramar is a museum dedicated to the Royal Navy's long association with the City. There are also museums on industrial archaeology, ordinary working life and social history. The city of Southampton is divided into 24 electoral wards, some with their own councillors and others shared with the rest of the city. The major political division in the city is between south and north; broadly, the southern areas tend to have a higher proportion of residents of council housing, public sector workers and ethnic minorities as well as a lower average income than northern districts.
The northern part has more private housing, more white British/English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish inhabitants (51. 9% vs. 30. 7%), more middle class professions and a larger student population. Culture is a key part of the city's make-up, with several annual events such as the Southampton International Festival and the Southampton Boat Show, organised by local newspaper The Echo. The venue can hold up to 11,000 people, about 6,000 for indoor events and 4,000 for an open-air event.
The Guildhall is another cultural space located in the centre of the city. The city's neighbourhoods are diverse, ranging from densely populated urban areas such as Westquay and Townhill to more suburban areas such as Chilworth and Weston. The centre of the city, where medieval streets survive, is known as the Old City, but even this is made up of many diverse districts. Relevant archival material about twinning with Hampton is held at Southampton Archives Service.
The city has relatively cool winters and warm summers, with spring and autumn being subdued. The absolute maximum temperature record is 36. 1C (97F) and the absolute minimum is −14. 4C (6. 1F) during Winter 1963, although a recent cold snap saw temperatures drop to 7. 6C (19F), followed by a colder 13. 6C (7F). On average, 38. 5 nights of the year will report an air frost. Typically the warmest day of the year averages 28.
9C (84F), with 2. 9 days a year attaining a maximum of 25. 1C (77F) or higher, and only 7. The original inhabitants of Southampton were a tribe of Celts known as the Atrebates, who were later conquered by the Romans and their town became known as Clausentum in around AD 55. It was given the name 'Bitterne'when a fortified castle was built there by Roger de B Analytics Gucci Sale opriate, Earl of Warwick.
The earliest written reference to the modern town was in 1293, when it was recorded in two documents as Clausentum. The climate of Southampton is influenced by the proximity of the relatively warmer South Western Approaches. This is an extension of the Gulf Stream, which makes the region mild for its latitude. The weather station at Southampton Airport, about 6 mi (9. 7 km) south west of the city centre, holds the record for the highest British temperature, at 35.
6 °C (96. 1 °F), set on 10 August 2003. The interior of Southampton is sheltered by the surrounding hills meaning that there is little visual contrast between winter and summer. The lowest recorded temperature in Southampton is −13. 3 °C (−9. 8 °F) during December 1981, while the highest recorded temperature was 35. 6 °C (96. 1 °F) during July 1976. In comparison to other parts of the UK, Southampton has warm summers with low rainfall and mild to cool winters.
The closest major international airport to Southampton is at Winchester, about 30 miles (48km) away, but that only offers flights to a few selected destinations. Other airports nearby are Bournemouth Airport and Bristol Airport. A few of the other main airports in England include Manchester (35 miles/57km), London Gatwick (68 miles/109km), London City Airport (73 miles/117 km), Birmingham International (76 miles/122km) and Luton (85miles/137 km). None of these airports are within easy reach of the city by public transport so most people travelling to visit will need to hire a car or catch a taxi.
Trains now run from the city to Portsmouth, Brighton, Winchester, Southampton and London. There are two railway stations within the city: Southampton Central and Southampton Airport Parkway. The city is linked to Portsmouth by a frequent passenger ferry which takes approximately 25 minutes. There is a bus station in the town centre (behind The Bargate), providing regular local bus services, as well as national coach services. Southampton is served by Eastleigh Airport which has flights to domestic UK destinations and some more distant European destinations.
The city is linked to Portsmouth and Brighton by the A27 and to Winchester by the A34, and there are two major railway stations in the city (the main London terminal at Southampton Central, close to the docks, and the secondary terminal Southampton Airport Parkway). The main railway station is Southampton Central, an impressive glass structure near the city centre. This was built as part of the St. Denys redevelopment and is equipped with eight through platforms, ten terminal platforms and six terminal sidings.
Portsmouth is also served by Cosham railway station, which is actually located in the urban area of Fareham. Portsmouth Harbour railway station was demolished in 1968; the site is now occupied by a Morrisons supermarket and a Travelodge hotel. The nearest fully operational railway stations are Fratton on the main line, just over 3 km (2 mi) away, or Hilsea on the West Coastway Line, just over 4 km (2. 5 mi). Thornhill railway station has been closed since the 1940s.
The only airport serving Southampton is Southampton Airport, which is located 2. 7 miles (4. 3 km) from the city centre, in the Borough of Eastleigh, to the north. It handled over two million passengers in 2010, making it Hampshire's second busiest airport after Bournemouth. The airport is also a locally important transport hub for connections to Central London and destinations to the east. Air services operate from Southampton Airport to UK and near European destinations.
A network of scheduled domestic flights are operated mainly by Flybe via their Southampton Airport base. The terminal was redeveloped in 2008 and is used by over 3 million passengers a year. Southampton is served by its own passenger airport, Southampton Airport, located at the nearby town of Eastleigh, to the west of the city proper. The airport offers flights to UK and many European destinations. London Heathrow Airport, the UK's primary international airport, is located 24 miles (39 km) from the centre of Southampton and offers a wider range of long-haul flights.
The passenger ferry service operates from Town Quay in central Southampton city centre to East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Services operate up to three times per hour and take 30 minutes. Each of the ferries carries up to 50 cars, 200 passengers and 11 coaches. A small number of additional sailings are operated by Red Funnel at busy times of year, carrying bicycles on car decks and horse boxes on the passenger deck during the summer months.
In 2017 it was announced that a new £7 million ferry would enter service in March 2018. Ferry services were previously operated for many years by British Channel Island Ferries, which became part of P&O Stena Line after a takeover. Stena Line itself became defunct during 2005 when operations were. The Red Funnel services, known as the Hythe Ferry and the Cowes Fast Cat are operated by passenger-only catamarans. The other ferry service, the Woolston ferry, is used by both passengers and cars and runs between Town Quay and Woolston.
This was formerly operated by Red Funnels but was taken over in 2003 by Hovertravel who have recently sold it to Bluestar coast operations. Nevertheless, it still retains its Red Pullman branding. All three services carry passengers (and bicycles) only, and they serve all parts of the Solent, including Southampton Water itself. They also provide a link to Cowes on the Isle of Wight for foot passengers only. A third service carries pedestrians only and links Southampton to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in North East England.
This service, which uses the name Wightlink, is served by high-speed passenger-only vessels operated by Wightlink on behalf of Solent Passenger Services. There are six sailings a day in each direction, with a journey time of one hour 50 minutes from Southampton to Newcastle and one hour 20 minutes from Newcastle to Southampton. The other internal ferry links Lymington with Yarmouth, providing a cross-Solent link between these two towns. This service has run since 2006 and is operated by Hovertravel.
It is the smallest of the three Red Funnel services and has the highest fares: an adult single fare is more than twice the price of an adult Red Funnel car and passenger return ticket. The other internal ferry service within the town has a longer history, dating back to 1825. This is a car ferry service across the River Itchen, which links Town Quay with St Denys, on the north shore of the river, and is operated by P&O Ferries.
Light rail transit (LRT) has been proposed since at least the 1970s. Most proposals have been for a line to the west of the city centre via Beeston and Clayton Road areas, in largely residential areas. However, in 2012 a proposal was made for an LRT to the east of the city centre, on the railway line through Beeston and alongside part of the Nottingham Express Transit tram line. An associated joint planning study by Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council into reopening disused railway lines between Nottingham and Derby as part of an extensive light rail network was predicated by cost-effective solutions to street-level congestion in central Nottingham.
The plans were abandoned by Forest Heath District Council in 2016. Tram lines started to be built in the 1870s. Trams were perceived as a clean and modern mode of transport compared with the dominant railway system at the time. Nonetheless, due to strong opposition from the four railway companies operating in the city – amongst others due to the steep gradients in many parts of the network (the Ottorail) – operations were never profitable.
Many of the tram lines have been taken out of use since 1955; some were converted to bus operation and others were removed completely. There has never been a wide-scale public transport system in Auckland, and there are no immediate plans for one. This contrasts with Vancouver, Canada; Sydney, Australia; and all other mainland state capital cities of Australia and New Zealand. The only form of public transport is a bus network, which in October 2017 consisted of more than 200 routes and 1,900 buses.
A tram system was opened on 31 October 1879, but this was taken out of service on 31 January 1949. Proposals to reintroduce trams have been made by Veolia (2005), and more recently by Andrews & Arnold (2016) and Bristol Green Party (2017). An underground monorail system was pitched in 1988. There was a tram system in Portland from 1876 until 1949. More recent proposals to reintroduce them surfaced in 2016 and 2017 and a monorail system was proposed in 1988.
Music is one of Southampton's most successful cultural exports. The first ever UK Pop Music Festival in the 1950s was held in the grounds of Sir John Tavener's house, in Holybrook, with stars such as Vera Lynn, Dickie Valentine and Lonnie Donegan. Its major music facilities are the Guildhall School Of Music And Drama, which offers full-time programmes of study in all orchestral instruments (with strong classical and jazz traditions), composition, conducting, jazz studies, contemporary music (including popular music) and theatre; its Choir Schools, one for boys and one for girls; and The Britten Studio, a recording studio featuring a 72-channel SSL 9000K Large Frame console.
There has been a strong. Despite Southampton's relatively small population, it has a large number of pubs, bars and nightclubs. The density of venues in Southampton is higher than that of any other city in the UK. The majority are located on the two main entertainment districts; Shirley High Street and Castle Street in the northern part of the city centre; Guildhall Walk, Above Bar Street and London Road to the south. Five major nightclubs have opened in Southampton over the last few years: Opal Lounge (in March 2006), Soho (in September 2006), Vibez (in November 2007), Candy Bar (in October 2009) and 63 Degrees.
The Mayflower was opened in 1910 as a super-cinema, known as The Palladium, and could seat 2,388 people. It closed as a cinema in 1939 but continued to show stage shows and performances until its restoration for theatre use. The Mayflower reopened with a performance of the Royal Ballet School on 2 October 1989. Since then it has been used regularly by the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and Scottish Opera to stage their touring productions of large-scale opera productions, and has also hosted a number of other notable events.
The Guildhall hosts its own yearly music festival; The Southampton Festival of Music & the Arts (recently renamed 'SUMMA') which has included performers such as David Gray, Paloma Faith, Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Leon Russell, Acker Bilk, Tim Minchin, Bettye Lavette, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine as well as the Royal Philharmonic, the Royal Ballet and the Meirionnydd Nant Performing Arts Company. A wide range of other musical events are held in larger venues.
These include Southampton Operatic Players, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and concerts by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra. The Mayflower Pavilion hosts a large number of international touring artists as well as national. Its average annual rainfall of 803mm (31in) is lower than many other areas in Southern England. The driest months are January and February, when on average 39mm (1.