The Weigh House

The Weigh House was built in French Street in the middle of the 1200s. The Weigh House once housed a valuable piece of equipment, which was the town’s weigh beam, also known as the Tron. It had a very important function when trading in Southampton was at its peak. It was used to weigh wool and other goods before sale, so that the taxes on these could be accurately calculated – apparently, however, not always exactly accurate! The taxes were due to the Earl of Warwick.

During the French Raid in 1338 it is said the Weigh Beam and the weights were stolen. It certainly went missing and it took many years before it could be replaced. The building was also looted then and had to be rebuilt. After 1927 it was acquired, along with adjoining slum dwellings, for the extension of St. John’s school and in 1936 was restored to be used as the school hall.

During WW2 it was bombed and burned out. Only the outer shell remains today. However, this has survived to become a key element of the story of Southampton and the Wool Trade.