Canshut Lane was the traditional route out of walled Southampton towards the west. It followed modern Regent Street to the shore and then turned northwards following the western shore to the vicinity of the modern railway footbridge to cross the northern station yard and then to Four Post Hill via Achards Bridge. It remained a major thoroughfare until the construction of Commercial Road in 1791. The name presumably derives from the Hampshire dialect word ‘canshutting’ for the timber-reinforced embankment along the tidal shore. An alternative name was Windmill Lane, as two windmills stood in or near the road.


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