East Street is one of the town's oldest streets. In the medieval town it ran eastward from English (High) Street to the site of the East Gate and beyond to Bag Row (now the southern end of St. Mary Street) and Marsh Lane. Clearly, it once linked Norman Southampton with the decayed settlement of Hamwic, but in addition it may well represent a still older terminal walk between two common fields belonging to the original Hamtun. Before 1775 the East Gate was situated across the street, demarcating the walled town from the eastern suburb. East Street suffered extensive damage in World War Two (image 2) and the modern street (image 3) is almost entirely of post-war construction.

Upper East Street was a 19th century name for the stretch of East Street lying within the walled town area.

April 2017: considerable demolition and rebuilding is taking place in East Street.

1. East Street

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An F. G. O. Stuart coloured postcard of East Street, c.1905

2. East Street

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A photograph from the 1950s showing the extent of bomb damage.

3. East Street

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Photograph, c.2010

Further reading:
Early Roads – Southampton, by D. V. Fippard, p4, 12 (HS/ln)
Southampton Archaeological Society Bulletin, No. 16, p20. (HS/f)
Southampton Occasional Notes, by ‘Townsman’, p70. (HS/h)
Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt, passim. (HS/h)
Excavations in Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt (ed), p134-135. (HS/f)


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