A village on the River Test, giving its name to a traditional hundred, and now incorporated into the city. The name is derived from ‘Reed Bridge’ (hreod brycge) found in the Millbrook land charter of 956. As the monastic historian Bede, who died in 735, records this place under the name ‘Reod Ford’ we have an approximate date for the construction of the original bridge. During the 14th century the bridge was rebuilt by a wealthy merchant named Noel, and was subsequently kept in good repair by charging a toll. In 1643 it was partially destroyed by Royalist forces during the Civil War.

There are now two old bridges over the River Test at Redbridge. The older is a six-arched bridge (image 2) on the Southampton side of the river and dates from the 17th century, replacing the medieval bridge in the same position. It is Grade II* listed.

The bridge on the Totton side of the river is a single arch and dates from 1793.

From the 17th century the shore at Redbridge was devoted to shipbuilding, using timber from the New Forest.

1. Redbridge

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Redbridge. Drawn by G. F. Sargent and engraved by J Woods, 1855.

2. The Old Bridge at Redbridge

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Photograph, c.2000


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