History of the Dolphin Hotel, Southampton
The Dolphin Hotel, Southampton is a
true historical gem. The building in which the hotel resides was
originally constructed in 1250, and began housing a hotel in 1550.
For nearly 500 years this hotel has been a centerpiece in central
Southampton. The Dolphin proudly boasts of being the areas oldest
Southampton is a picturesque medieval town that, even today, draws
many visitors from near and far. Many historical figures have made
their home or vacation spot in Southampton, most staying at The
Dolphin Hotel. One of the most famous patrons of the Dolphin was
Jane Austen. It is documented that the ball held for her 18th
birthday was in the ballroom at The Dolphin, and that she and her
family frequented the hotel for dinning and pleasure. The
arrangements for the Austen Ball were made by the mother of famed
nurse, Florence Nightingale.
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Other famous figures that selected The Dolphin Hotel for their
accommodations were: HRH Queen Victoria, Lord Nelson, Orson Wells
and author William Thackeray. It is said that Lord Nelson loved The
Dolphin so much that he still returns their in his ghostly form. The
Dolphin is stated to have the largest bay window in all of England.
While unknown if this is actually true, it is here in that Dolphin
bay window that William Thackeray wrote his novel Pendennis.
Shakespeare and his performers played in the yard of the Inn many
times during his illustrious career. Through the years the hotel has
been a gathering place for the well-to-do as well as the foreign
Perhaps the most notable guest to reside at The Dolphin is Molly.
Molly is one of the six resident ghosts said to roam the older parts
of the establishment. Ghost enthusiasts enjoy trying to capture
images of the haunting figures, but so far only a couple of
“indistinguishable orbs of light” have been photographed.
The hotel has undergone many changes throughout the years. As time
has passed, many upgrades have been added to this historical Inn.
However, the charm has not been compromised. Evidence of the
buildings original structure is still noticeable and appreciated. It
is truly a work of art throughout its hallways and rooms.
The Dolphin has recently been refurbished and renewed again. The new
owner is dedicated to maintaining the historical integrity of the 90
room hotel. Remodeling and refurbishing has been done carefully to
preserve the hotels heritage, while providing guests all the
creature comforts associated with 4 star accommodations.
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