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Redbridge, Hampshire

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Title: Redbridge, Hampshire  
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Subject: Romsey, River Test, Andover Canal, M271 motorway, Redbridge, River Blackwater (River Test), Redbridge railway station, Millbrook, Southampton, Southampton, Horsebridge railway station
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Redbridge, Hampshire

Coordinates: 50°55′11″N 1°28′25″W / 50.91977°N 1.47358°W / 50.91977; -1.47358

Population 14,432 [1]
Unitary authority Southampton
Ceremonial county Hampshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district SO16
Dialling code 023
Police Hampshire
Fire Hampshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Southampton Test
List of places

Redbridge is a ward with a population of 14,432,[1] 3.1 miles (5.0 km) to the west of the city centre of Southampton, England. The settlement is positioned at the mouth of the River Test and is the southern terminus of the former Andover Canal and Sprat and Winkle railway line, and the modern M271 motorway.

Because of its strategic position, the settlement became a substantial trading post and shipbuilding centre, with many merchant and Royal Navy vessels being constructed in Redbridge in the 18th and 19th centuries

Today, the area is mainly residential and industrial, with a large council estate and a tower block situated within the ward and Southampton Docks close by. The A35 road crosses the River Test at Redbridge, as does the South Western Main Line railway. It has a small railway station.


Redbridge has been known by several names, all derived from its position as a crossing point over the River Test - originally as a ford and later with the bridge that gives the area its current name. Other than the type of crossing, the meaning of the name has not changed significantly, with the first syllable meaning "reed".[2] Previous names and spellings include:

Name Year
hreutford 730 [2]
hreodford 890 [2]
hreod brycge 956-10 [2]
hreod bricge 1045-11 [2]
Rodbrige 1086 [2]
Redbrigge 1222 [2]
Rudbrigge 1276 [2]


Much of Redbridge's history is linked to its position at the mouth of the River Test and, later, as the terminus of the Andover Canal. The first bridge was constructed in Medieval times, and has five arches.[3]

The settlement was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Rodbrige, within the Manebrige (possibly Mansbridge) Hundred in Hantscire (Hampshire).[2] In 1575 and 1607, it was shown on maps as a small hamlet, although in the latter it was shown as being within the "Redbridg Hundred".[2]

In 1610 William Camden described the village and its history to date thus:

Thence glideeth this water streight into Anton Haven, at Arundinis Vadum, as Bede called it and interpreteth it himselfe Reedeford: but now of the bridge where the foord was named, for Redeford, Redbridge: where, at the first springing up of the English Saxon Church, there flourished a Monasterie, the Abbat whereof Cymbreth as Beda writeth, baptised the two brethren being very little ones of Arvandus the pety King of Wight, even as they were ready to be put to death.[2]

This indicates that a monastery and a church were already established in the hamlet of Redbridge. The location of the monastery is unknown but some accounts suggest it was located in what is now Eling rather than the area known today as Redbridge.[4] Redbridge again appeared on maps in 1611 and 1645 as a small hamlet within the Redbridge Hundred.[2] The Ship Inn was built in 1654.[5] A further map in 1695 shows the hamlet as being within the Waltham hundred.[2]

The settlement was never a market town, but gained considerable status as a shipbuilding centre, for both merchant shipping and the Royal Navy. It was recorded in 1724 and again in 1738 that, along with Bursledon on the other side of Southampton, King William III's Navy built ships at Redbridge "besides [an] abundance of large merchant ships".[2]

Redbridge was again shown as a small hamlet on a 1788 map, back within a hundred named after Redbridge itself, although this time recorded as "Bedbridge Hundred".[2] In 1793, a second, single-span bridge was constructed at Redbridge, paid for by the county council,[3] allowing boats to pass through from Southampton Water to the Andover Canal, which opened the following year.[6]

By 1815 Redbridge was well established as a village,[2] albeit within the parish of Millbrook. Located at the mouth of the River Test, and acting as the terminus of the Andover Canal, the village was a considerable trading post for commodities such as coal, timber and corn, as well as a centre for ship building.[2]

Work began on converting the Andover Canal to a railway, which was to become known as the Sprat and Winkle Line, in 1859. The line opened in 1865, with a new course being laid twenty years later.[7]

The M271 motorway was opened in 1975;[8] the motorway terminates at the Redbridge Roundabout, where it meets the dual carriageway A35 trunk road. The main carriageway of the A35 passes over the roundabout on a large overpass, and to the west crosses the River Test on a large causeway, parallel to the main line railway. It is these transport structures, together with industrial and high density residential developments, that dominate Redbridge today.


Falling within the boundaries of the City of Southampton, which is a unitary authority, there is only one tier of local government covering Redbridge. Three of the 48 councillors on Southampton City Council are elected for the Redbridge ward.[9] As at May 2013, all three of Redbridge's councillors (Catherine McEwing, Andrew Pope and Lee Whitbread) represent the Labour Party.[9]

On a national level Redbridge is part of the Southampton Test parliamentary constituency. This seat is currently held by Alan Whitehead, also of the Labour Party. As Redbridge is part of the South East England government office region, it is represented at the European Parliament by the ten South East England MEPs.


Demographics at a glance
2001 census Redbridge Ward Southampton England
Total population 14,432 217,445 49,138,831
Christian 69.9% 65.6% 71.7%
Muslim 0.6% 1.9% 3.1%
Hindu 0.2% 0.7% 1.1%
Sikh 0.2% 1.3% 0.7%
No religion 19.7% 21.6% 14.6%

As of the 2001 census, Redbridge ward had a population of 14,432,[1] and a population density of 36.03 persons per hectare.[10]


Redbridge is served by Redbridge railway station which offers hourly services into Southampton City Centre, Eastleigh, Romsey, Salisbury and Chandlers Ford. The area is also served by a number of bus operators, predominately First Hampshire & Dorset and Solent Blue Line. The area is easily accessible by car with M271 motorway and A35 road both running through Redbridge.


Schools in the area include the Redbridge Community School which is a specialist sports college in Cuckmere Lane,[11] and Redbridge Primary School in Redbridge Road.[12] The primary school has a capacity of 210 children of both genders, and as of January 2008 had 204 children in total (97 girls, 107 boys).[13] Redbridge Community School is a secondary school with a capacity of 900, and had 877 in January 2008, consisting of 389 girls and 488 boys.[14]

Redbridge Wharf Park

Redbridge Wharf Park (railway sidings. It consists of grassy areas, areas of bushes and a pathway which leads to a riverside walk. There is only one access point - across a footbridge from Redbridge railway station.

MP3 Project

A sports pavilion and community centre was opened in Mansel Park on 18 March 2008. The Mansel Park Pavilion (MP3) project was funded by direct government grant (via SEEDA and Sport England) with additional funding provided by the City Council. The new pavilion houses the Golden Ring Boxing Club, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Youth Options, and Millbrook Towers & District Community Association. The three groups worked closely with the city council and local residents to develop the proposals and secure funding. Together they formed the Mansel Park Pavilion project group to champion the project, overseeing its development from drawing board to completion, and the future management of the facility.[15] The building is now managed by Hampshire Youth Options.[16]


External links

  • 1690s map of Redbridge Hundred
  • 1855 engraving of Redbridge
  • Traffic webcam in Redbridge
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