This bridge carried Canshut Lane, the only road out of the medieval town towards the west, over the Rolles Brook. The identity of the eponymous Achard is unknown. It was probably built in the 13th century and was originally referred to as ‘Pons de Arcado’, becoming Achard’s Bridge by 1290. It is shown on a map of 1770 as Pons Achardi. It was also called Acorn Bridge, a corruption of Achard Bridge. Other alternative names were Hill Bridge, from the nearby hamlet and lane, and Four Posts Bridge, because it marked the westward limit of the town’s liberties and carried four direction vanes.
It seems to have been demolished in the first part of the 19th century. A watercolour of Western Shore by T G Hart c.1828 shows the bridge, but the Town Map of 1845-46 only marks its former site, which suggests that it was demolished between these dates, possibly to make way for the construction of Blechynden Terrace. The modern day site of the bridge is in the Southampton Central railway station car park, to the north of the main entrance.

Further reading:
Southampton Occasional Notes, by ‘Townsman’, p47, 77-78. (HS/h)

Achards Bridge

Image Unavailable

Western Shore, a watercolour by Thomas Gray Hart, shows Archard’s Bridge in the right foreground.

Browse A.B.