A Visual Story
Visiting God's House Tower
Find out what to expect on a visit to God’s House Tower with this Visual Story guide – a guide with words and pictures to familiarise you with the space.
God’s House Tower (GHT) is open Friday to Sunday (10am to 6pm Friday and Saturday/10am – 4pm Sunday). You can drop-in for free anytime during our opening hours.
This is the main entrance at God’s House Tower.
When you arrive at God’s House Tower (we call it GHT for short), you will enter the building through the large wooden doors.
A member of our team will greet you at the front desk.
They will say hello, ask how you are and tell you more about GHT and what you can see on your visit.
You will meet some of these people on your visit.
The people who work at GHT all wear black t-shirts and hoodies that have the white diamond GHT logo on.
One of the first things you will see is the café.
There is a concrete counter, tables and chairs, and the ceiling is quite low, although you won’t bump your head unless you are very tall.
At the far end of the café, you will see some concrete steps and a small glass door.
This is the entrance to the tower which we call the Stories Behind the Stones exhibition.
As soon as you enter, a projection will begin.
There will be voices and sounds coming from speakers describing the early history of GHT with accompanying moving images. The projection plays on a 10 minute cycle.
You will see a staircase which will lead you to the next part of the exhibition.
Climb the stairs to reach the next floor of the exhibition.
You will find panels attached to the walls showing information about the people who used to live and work at GHT, and what GHT was used for over the years.
Climb the next set of stairs to reach the next floor.
On the way up, you will see a bright neon sign on the walls.
At the top of the stairs, the exhibition continues.
There are boards with information about the time when GHT was a prison. You will also hear a voice coming from the speakers which tells the story of the building during that time. There are projections on the walls of people moving in knitted costumes, that have been made by local artists.
You will see a smaller doorway with a wooden door open.
Through this door is a winding staircase that leads to the roof of the tower. It might be a bit dark. The stairs are quite steep and there is a handrail to hold on to as you climb up.
Once you’ve climbed the stairs, you will come out to the rooftop of the tower.
From the rooftop, you can see the Port of Southampton. Quite often there are cruise ships docked in the port. On a clear day you can see across the Solent towards the New Forest.
You will also see a glass panel with a large illustration.
This large glass panel is an illustrated example of what Southampton looked like from the tower hundreds of years ago.
Walk back down the stairs to floor 1 to visit our Galleries.
Following the same route you used to reach the top of the building, walk down the stairs to level 1 where you will find a wooden door which will lead you into the Main Gallery. The Main Gallery is a large space which features a changing programme of art often installed on display boards or on the walls.
Follow the small archway through to the Crawford Room.
If you follow the steps up to the brick archway, this will lead you to the Crawford Room. The Crawford Room has a medieval style, with high ceilings, beams and brick walls. This space is not wheelchair accessible.
Walk down the steps to reach the Mezzanine Level.
Exiting the Crawford Room, if you follow the steps down this will lead you to the Mezzanine level. On this level you will find exhibition text and sometimes artworks on display. There are also steps to take you to the Project Space on the lower level.
Take the small staircase down to reach the next exhibition space.
After walking down the stairs, you will see a dark room with automatic glass doors and low lighting. This is the Project Space. We exhibit artwork in here and sometimes project films. There may be flashing lights or loud music.
Head back down to the ground floor of GHT.
Following the staircase down, this will guide you back to the ground floor of GHT. As you reach the bottom, you will see an Artists Shop. The Artists Shop has a range of artworks and gifts created by local artists, which you can buy on your visit by taking it to the cafe counter where a member of the crew will assist you.
We also have a Cafe extension area.
If you walk through the cafe, past the tables and take a left turn through the brick archway, you will see tables and chairs in an airy light space with a glass ceiling.
You can sit and relax in our quiet reading area.
To the far end of the extension area, you will see a closed off space which is a reading and library area. You can pick up a book and read it on your visit.
Take a seat outside in the Courtyard.
You can also sit outside and enjoy the fresh air in our Courtyard. There are yellow tables and black chairs in the square space which overlooks the Old Town. People may walk past and smile, or you may see the ongoing traffic going past as you sit down. You are welcome to take food and drink out to this space.
- Toilets including accessible toilets are located on the Ground Floor, next to the Reading area.
- Baby changing facilities are available. Please speak to a member of the Crew if you require these.
- You can exit GHT through the automatic glass doors at the front of the building, or through the Courtyard.
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