Portswood is the name of the large district lying between the Common and the River Itchen and abutting on to Hampton Park on the north side. It was formerly a tithing in South Stoneham, although after 1397 it was owned and administered by the town of Southampton. The name ‘portes wude’ is found in the South Stoneham land charter of 1045 and relates to a wood occupying at least all the west part of the area in medieval times. It is evident from the three and a half centuries discrepancy between the dates quoted above that the first element in the name cannot (as is often claimed) denote ownership by the town (port) of Southampton. It is conceivable that it may be connected with Roman Clausentum or with one or other of the roads leading from it. It is also the name of a modern city ward.


Further reading:
Medieval Southampton, by Colin Platt, passim. (HS/h)
Portswood, by John Guilmant (et al). (HS/h)
Discovering Portswood, by S. Bartlett. (HS/h)
Pictures of Portswood’s Past, by Brian Ticehurst and Harry Meachen. (HS/h)


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