The Polygon, Southampton facts for kids
The area is located north of the Western Esplanade, Commercial Road and Cumberland Place; east of Hill Lane; south of Archers Road; and west of Dorset street and The Ave (A33). The area notably encompass Watts Park, Southampton Central railway station, Southampton Crown Court and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. Today it is a popular choice of residential location for much of the student population of Southampton Solent University.
The name originates from a planned grand 22-acre (89,000 m2) development in this area - a twelve-sided polygon that would comprise houses, hotels, assembly rooms and a tavern. The design was the brainchild of architect Jacob Leroux, who saw it as Southampton's answer to Bath's Royal Crescent. Construction began in 1768, but only the hotel and three houses were completed when one of the investors went bankrupt and the project stalled. The hotel opened in 1773, although it did not do very good business.
In the Victorian era, many more houses, typical of the time, were built on the surrounding land, forming the area and buildings known as The Polygon today.
The original Polygon Hotel was demolished in the 1780s; a new Polygon Hotel was constructed in Victorian times, which became a notable place to stay in Southampton, with guests including boxer Muhammad Ali, and comedians Tommy Cooper and Morecambe and Wise. Many passengers on the RMS Titanic had stayed here before sailing. The hotel fell into decline, however, and was replaced in 1999 with a block of flats.
Places of Interest
- St Edmunds Roman Catholic Church
- St Marks Church Centre
- Romero Halls of Residence
- Southampton & New Forest Magistrates
- Southampton Crown Court
- Maritime & Coastguard Agency
- Watts Park
- Southampton Central railway station
The Polygon, Southampton Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.