This bridge carried Canshut Lane, the only road out of the medieval town towards the west, over the Rolles Brook. It was probably built in the 13th century (it is mentioned in a grant of 1253) but the identity of the eponymous Achard is unknown. In early documents it is referred to as Pons de Arcado and 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 (image below) 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 forecourt, to the north of the main entrance.
According to the perambulation of 1488 this stood adjacent to Achard’s Bridge and presumably marked a turning point in the boundary.
Achard’s Spring (or Fountain)
One of the two medieval wells in Goswell Lane (now Waterhouse Lane), the other being Bottrell’s Spring. It was possibly situated quite close to the medieval water house, which still exists. The spring was linked to Achard’s Bridge by the south stretch of Goswell Lane.
Southampton Occasional Notes, by ‘Townsman’, p47, 77-78. (HS/h)
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