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TI-IE STREETS AND ROADS OE OLD SOUTHAMPTON.
Anglo Saxon relics have been found, may be ascribed to that age. The Saxon moot place on the Common also certainly had a path leading to it, and that path you may still follow.
We all know, that in the Saxon Age, Winchester was the capital of the West Saxon Kingdom, and Hampton was the chief port. There must have been a road connecting the port with the city along which heavy goods could pass. This was no doubt the lower road to Winchester that left Southampton at the Bar Gate, went down Rockesdone Lane, by the Strand on the eastern bay, now Bevois Valley, up Bevois Hill to Portswood and thence into the old Roman road through North Stoneliam. We may feel quite sure that the heavy traffic went this way for this lower road up the valley avoids the hill ground at Bassett and Otterbourn, the road through which in the middle ages was known as the upper road to Winchester, and was more or less an open heath road, along which people could ride, but which was not convenient for heavy traffic, especially in winter. The present road from Winchester through Otterbourn to Southampton was made under the provisions of Acts of Parliament extending from 20 George II. to 41 George III. The old road was probably a similar road to those wide ancient highways we may still see in various parts of Hampshire, with several tracks, all deeply worn, and now more or less overgrown.
There was another ancient city for which Hampton must have been a convenient port, viz., Old Sarum, and an old road, probably as old as Saxon time, branched off on the west from Above Bar, went down Windmill or Cansliut Lane to the Strand along the western bay on the west side of the present town, to Four Posts, and thence into a road that led to the Wiltshire city. On the track of this road the old name Sidford, at Four Posts, still survives. It is a significant old name, for many of the earliest roads we can trace all over England, are those connected with the fords. A ford, implies the existence of a road which crosses a stream, and the stream here was the old Rolles brook, that had its origin on the high ground to the north, and flowed through The Dell, which no doubt in the course of ages it cut out. The same stream in later centuries passed under Acards bridge at Sidford.
Canshut lane and Rockstone (originally Rocksdone) lane, must have been ways which followed old water courses. The name Canshut implies this. It was a shoot or shut. The hollowed out character of Rockstone lane may still be remembered by old inhabitants. Its original track was cut out by water, as we find in London some of the old lanes were, which lead from the higher part of the city to the river, such as that in the ward of Dowgate. There were also old roads to the ferries. Of these, that near Northam Bridge must be as old as the Roman time, and that at Chapel across to old Itchen village, was probably a way to that ferry in the Saxon period.
So great appears the desire for change of name which some people
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