The present structure is the third on approximately the same site:

1) The Northam Bridge built in 1799 by the Northam Bridge Company was the first bridge in Southampton to span the River Itchen (the bridge at Mansbridge was outside the borough). Hitherto the river could only be crossed by ferry boat. The bridge was built of wood and its high central arch allowed only small sailing vessels to pass through. Larger vessels could navigate the river only as far as Northam Wharf.
2) In 1889 the Northam Bridge Company demolished the wooden bridge and replaced it with a metal bridge, built of latticed iron girders supported on four cast iron cylinders filled with concrete. It was taken over by Southampton Corporation in 1929
3) The current concrete bridge was erected in 1954 by the corporation.

1. The First Northam Bridge

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Philip Brannon’s print of the wooden bridge, c.1850

2. The Second Northam Bridge

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Photographed by Thomas Hibbert James, c.1900

3. The Third Northam Bridge

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The modern bridge, photographed in 1974


Further reading:

Pictorial Peep Into the Past, by Arthur Smith (ed), p18-19. (HS/d)
Southampton Occasional Notes, by ‘Townsman’, p74. (HS/h)
Georgian and Victorian Southampton, by A. J. Brown, p36-37. (HS/h)
History of Southampton Vol 3, by A. Temple Patterson, p118-119. (HS/h)
Picture of Southampton (1849), by Philip Brannon, p28, 59 (HS/h)


Northam Bridge Road
1) Until the 1920s this was the name given to Bitterne Road west of Lances Hill as far as Northam Bridge.
2) The name was also applied in the early 19th century to Northam Road and New Road.


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