Blechynden is a district represented today by the surviving street names of Blechynden Street and Blechynden Terrace, thus localising it in the extremely small district covering the east part of the Southampton Central railway station site and the steep slope west of the railway tunnel. The name may be derived from ‘the dark wooded valley’ (or ‘Blecca's tribe's wooded valley’) and this suggestion is confirmed by the topography. Presumably, Blechynden was restricted to the east or Southampton bank of the Rolles Brook, since Sidford (in Millbrook) occupied the west bank.

Before the coming of the railway there were plans to make Blechynden into a pleasant suburb with rows of good houses with ornamental gardens facing the water. Blechynden Terrace actually dates from this time but the coming of the railway prevented the completion of the project. An artist’s impression of the scheme can be seen in Townsman’s Occasional Notes, page 32.

Blechynden Station
The original station at Blechynden stood further east than the present Central Station stretching nearly to the entrance of the tunnel. It was built soon after the opening of the Southampton-Dorchester line in 1847. Its name was changed to Southampton West in 1858 and then to Southampton Central in 1935. Philip Brannon’s print of 1848 shows the station with the Great Tunnel in the distance.

1. Blechynden

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An early 19th century artist’s impression of how Blechynden could have looked. The coming of the railway in the 1840s prevented the scheme coming to fruition. The image appeared in ‘Townsman’s Occasional Notes’ in the Daily Echo in the 1930s.

2. Blechynden Station

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Philip Brannon’s print of Western Shore and railway, c.1850.

See also

Further Reading:

Southampton Occasional Notes, by ‘Townsman’, p32. (HS/h)
Southampton’s Railways, by Bert Moody, p9-11. (HS/pk)


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