In May 1897, 39 Southgate Street provided the first home for Peter Symonds College, at that time a secondary school for boys. The school moved to its present site in December 1899.
By the 1920s commercial owners were beginning to move in. Sadly they seem to have taken less pride in the buildings which began to deteriorate through lack of maintenance. After the war, it became necessary to remove the porches. Fortunately, thanks to a City Of Winchester Trust campaign, the porches were restored in 1979.
Post War Revival
Southgate Chambers auction poster 1967
Warren’s Street Directory of 1953 shows 37 as being occupied by the Hampshire National Health Service Executive Council and 39 by Bowker & Richards Solicitors and W Moss, Clerk to the City Magistrates.
By 1967, the NHS had taken over both buildings and knocked through a connection at second floor level. That year, they were put up for sale by auction through George Smith & Son. By 1971, both properties were occupied by The Condor Group of Companies, who supplied iron frameworks to new properties.
Hampshire Workspace acquired the buildings in 1982, seeing an opportunity to provide Winchester with its first serviced offices. There are now connecting corridors at every level, not to mention superfast broadband and other modern facilities. Nevertheless many original original features have been preserved including the pillared curved arch that once led to the main east-facing ground floor room and the stylised foliate and floral design ceiling mouldings, making Southgate Chambers a pleasure to be in and far more than a just a place of work.