When entering or leaving Southampton on its western side and where the M271 motorway terminates there is  a large roundabout this is Redbridge and its bridge over the River Test where it joins Southampton Water.  Once a busy little village it is now more or less swallowed up by Southampton. Here there are three bridges, the railway, road and an old stone bridge that has buttress type spaces for pedestrians to shelter from the fast galloping horse pulling the mail coaches in days gone by. History tells us that there has actually been a bridge over the river here since the 10th cneutry



The Bridges over the Test at Redbridge
Top Left is the modern "flyover" carrying the A36
Top right is the original bridge.
Bottom photos show the second bridge

The Anchor Inn   The Anchor hanging from the Inn
The Ship Inn   An attractive cottage in the village
Railway Cottages   The Railway station and Station House
Thousands of new Citroen cars imported into the UK from France and parked at Redbridge   Redbridge Station

When Cadwalla fought the Jutes after they had taken the Isle of Wight two of his sons escaped to the mainland and it was at the monastery at Redbridge that they were offered shelter. Cadwalla found out and demanded they be arrested and executed but the abbot pleaded for a delay until they were converted over to Christianity and the king agreed.

Today the village is a thriving little community with the Ship Inn being a favourite venue for busy commuters and office workers in the nearby business parks. The pub is not only well known for its good food and warm welcome but it has a skittle alley and is also used for private functions, There is a large Royal Mail depot here plus a timber yard and  Anchor Inn which is in Test Lane that is practically hidden from view by the huge dual carriageway that crosses overhead carrying the speeding traffic from Southampton to the New Forest and Bournemouth or Salisbury.


EDMUND BERE respectfully begs leave to inform his friends and the public in general, that he has entered on the above Inn, where he solicits the favor of their commands, which he will endeavour to merit by unremitted attention and exertion. The POSTING is continued at the Anchor as usual, and E.B. can confidently assert that his Horses and Chaises are far superior to any that have lately been kept in the neighbourhood, and he has also been particularly careful in selecting steady civil Post-boys.
Redbridge, Dec.17., 1819/
Richard Heaton's Family History Home Page

The old Railway Cottages still remain and there is a good mixture of both old and new architecture from pretty little cottages to modern council flats. To get to the old bridge though one has to cross the busy dual carriageway or go by car into Totton and then turn round and come back, and in the summer it is a favourite spot for youngsters who take great delight as well as their life in their hands by jumping off of the huge road bridge into the river below. In 2005 a young lad did this and got into difficulties and not only was the inshore lifeboat called out but the coastguard helicopter as well.

Redbridge derives its name from hreutford in circa 730 and hreoford circa 1000 hreod brycge c 956 hreod bricge c1045 Rodbrige c 1086,  Redbrigge c1222 and Rudbrigge c 1276. The Old English Hrēodbridycg meaning 'reed bridge' is the most favourable. The earlier name being 'reed ford' as there are still reed beds here that are harvested for use in thatching still today. (source "The Place-Names of Hampshire by Richard Coates, published by B. T. Batsford, London, ISBN 07134 5625 6)

One of the main trades of Redbridge was the production and exporting of Linseed oil.

Salisbury and Winchester Journal
Southampton, Saturday, October 8.

On Wednesday last, as the son of Mr.Quick, of the Sun Inn, and Mr.Barnard, jeweller, of this town, were returning from an airing in a gig, the horse, when near Redbridge, by the Salisbury canal, took fright, set off at full speed, and kicked the gig to pieces, running- off with the shafts at his heels; Mr.Quick and Mr.Barnard were left senseless in the road, and conveyed to thc Anchor, at Redbridge, where medical aid was procured. and it is with great satisfaction we learn that no serious danger is apprehended to either of them.
Taken from:
Richard Heaton's Family History Home Page