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´╗┐THE STBEETS AND EOADS OP OLD SOUTHAMPTON.
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that can be traced in this town. The advantage of access to the meeting place of the two rivers which in early time certainly was at the south end of High Street, is apparent, and I have no doubt that this track or road on the line of Above Bar and High Street continued to be a track or road during the British and Roman periods.
We have one road that has been a road since the Roman Age, viz., Burgess Street, which was part of the old Roman way from the insular station of Clausentum, at Bittern, westward. At the time of the Saxon settlement here, this road ran across the north of the Common Heath, not forming, as now, the northern limit of the Common, but near its probable limit. In the course of centuries, as the cattle on the Common increased, a fence along Burgess Street became necessary, to prevent the animals from wandering along this old highway, and this inclosure led subsequently to the loss of the part of the Common pasture that lay north of it.
The old Roman names, Clausentum and Ancasta, have lately been used for the names of modern streets. The old name, Portswood, however, appears to have had a continuous existence since at least the time when ecclesiastical Latin was used, and it may, in part, from "portus," a gate or harbour, be even a survival from the Roman period.
In Saxon time we meet with the earliest documentary evidence concerning the roads of Southampton, and that to which the Saxon record refers is the road, or path as it may then have been, now, and long since, called Hill Lane. The mention of this is in a Charter of King Edwy, dated 956, in which he gave Millbrook to Prince Wulfere. In this charter the boundaries of the land are stated as their circuit was made, and these boundaries are certainly the same as those of the old parish of Millbrook, known to us; that boundary runs down Hill Lane. The Anglo-Saxon bounds in the charter start from Redbridge northwards, and eastwards to Lord's Wood, then southward by the hedge that belongs to Hampton (and se haga on ham tune, the therto gebyret). As the perambulators could walk along by the hedge which then bounded Southampton Common on the West, there must have been a road or path of some kind where Hill Lane now is.
High Street is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from the Anglo-Saxon " heah," eminent or exalted. It certainly got its name before Anglo-Saxon ceased to be a living language, because it was the chief street in the town. The earliest Saxon settlement may have been in St. Mary's Parish ; certainly an early one was there, and as certainly another, in the later Saxon time at least, was on the site within the medieval walls. It was then that the great mound, the characteristic Saxon fortification, known later on as Oldcastle Hill, or Castle Hill, was thrown up.
As there were early settlements in St. Mary's Parish there must have been early roads there, and the origin of St. Mary's Street extending from the Church to Northam Rood, at the junction of which
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