Dolphin Hotel, Southampton

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Dolphin Hotel, Southampton
The Dolphin Hotel - - 621098.jpg
Type Hotel
Location 34 & 35 High Street, Southampton
Coordinates 50°54′0.2″N 1°24′13.0″W / 50.900056°N 1.403611°W / 50.900056; -1.403611Coordinates: 50°54′0.2″N 1°24′13.0″W / 50.900056°N 1.403611°W / 50.900056; -1.403611
OS grid reference SU 42035 11352
Area Hampshire
Built Before 1454
Owner Mercure Hotels
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official name: Dolphin Hotel
Designated 14 July 1953
Reference no. 1178854
Dolphin Hotel, Southampton is located in Southampton
Dolphin Hotel, Southampton
Location of Dolphin Hotel, Southampton in Southampton

The Dolphin Hotel is a Grade II* listed 4-star hotel, which is the oldest in Southampton, Hampshire.[1][2] Recorded mentions of the hotel date back to 1454 although it is believed to older than this and remnants of the original medieval timbers, and stone vaulting are extant.[2]

The hotel was a famous coaching inn during the 17th-century and became quite fashionable during the city's stint as a spa-town from 1750 to 1820.[2] The Georgian frontage, complete with coaching entrance and oriel windows, said to be the biggest in England, was added about 1760.[2][3]

After a period of closure the hotel reopened on 4 May 2010 following a £4 million redevelopment programme.[2]

Guests and ghosts[edit]

Plaque commemorating Jane Austen's visit

Famous guests have included Queen Victoria, Admiral Lord Nelson, Edward Gibbon, William Makepeace Thackery and Jane Austen, who celebrated her 18th birthday there in 1793.[2]

Molly, a maid seen gliding across the ground floor from the legs up, is the most famous of the hotel's six reported resident ghosts.[4][2]


  1. ^ "Mercure Southampton Centre Dolphin Hotel". Mercure.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Mercure Southampton Centre Dolphin Hotel - A Brief History". Mercure.
  3. ^ "Dolphin Hotel". Historic England. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Ghost of City's Past". Daily Echo. 31 October 2002.