The two working ports of Southampton and Portsmouth are historic in very different ways. Medieval Southampton was the centre for commerce with other countries as merchants would draw up, hitch their boats laden with goods and proceed to strike a bargain with whoever could pay the price. The merchants of Southampton had expensive houses and deals had to be done to bring goods in and send wool out. For it was through this port that the wool trade sent it’s produce, from here to Italy. Southampton received wine and the cellars which stored this can still be seen today. Of course there came a decline and it wasn’t until much later that genteel folk came for the “waters” at Southampton. A certain Jane Austen came to Southampton and lived here from 1806-09. There is so much more to this port than meets the eye!

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