THE first Cobden Bridge was built in 1883 with the purpose of linking the new Bitterne Park estate with central Southampton, bridging the river from St Denys Road to Bitterne Triangle.

Unlike Northam Bridge at the time, Cobden Bridge was toll free and therefore extremely popular with the locals.

It was named after Richard Cobden, the 19th century English manufacturer, radical and Liberal statesman, associated with major free trade campaigns.

The original iron bridge, as seen in this picture from around 1920, was replaced with the present stone bridge later in the decade.