Historical Properties: Canute Chambers

Did you know many of our serviced houses and apartments are steeped in history? Each week check out a property you could be staying in.

Canute Chambers

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Southampton is not only a great hub for business, it is also perfect for visiting various other buildings and places that make up history, including the Titanic story.

Canute Chambers is a beautiful red-brick building standing on Canute Road in Southampton. It grandly sits within view of the South Western Hotel (South Western House) and a short walk from Dock Gate 4; this led the way to the White Star Dock. The property itself was the HQ for the Liverpool-based White Star Line, owners of the RMS Titanic. Although operating as the administration for the company it provided ticket sales and assisted with customer enquiries about travel aboard the White Star Line fleet.

Constructed in 1893 the White Star Line took over the deeds in 1907. White Star Line vacated the building in 1931 and it was then occupied by the United States Line until 1969.

It was here breaking news was relayed of the Titanic’s tragic end and where anxious relatives searched for news of their loved ones. Outside the office names of those who survived were placed on a scroll. Frustratingly for those waiting some names were incorrectly transcribed and scrambled and only later were these corrected as the list of survivors was updated.canute-old-1

Canute Chambers is a red-brick building in the Dutch Renaissance style. The two-storey main block has a large brick-faced attic cross-gable facing on to Canute Road. The ground-floor is of red-brick with Portland stone banding. The main block has two large arched windows with prominent keystones, set beneath a cornice and Portland stone frieze.

 

Double doors set beneath three-arched windows executed in Portland stone, with a grand porch projecting inside on entry, topped with a scrolled pediment. The building is fronted by railings either side of two brick piers. The western-pier carries a commemorative plaque unveiled at noon on 15 April 2002, the 90th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The inscription on the plaque reads:

This building housed the offices ofthe White Star shipping company,owners of RMS Titanic which sank onApril 15th 1912 after striking an icebergoff Newfoundland on her maiden voyage

It was here that hundres of local peoplewaited for news of their loved ones

549 Southampton people died in the disaster

Today the building still stands proud after an extensive modernisation programme and plays host to some of our most desired service apartments. Step inside and see for yourself HERE

Ben Glover

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A typical Canute Studio apartment
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