Redbridge has changed dramatically over the years and is now an eclectic mix of old and new, residential and industrial - but a few things still remain from its rich past.

It may be known for its high-rise tower block and traffic easing flyover - but the area was once very different.

The name comes from the Old English word “Hreodbryceg”, meaning a bridge where reeds grow.

According to the Domesday Book survey of 1086 “Rodbridge” was worth 60s (£3), spanned 120 acres, and had just five residents.

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The first bridge over the River Test is thought to have been built by a rich merchant in Medieval times. And it was here, where the river becomes tidal, that people first crossed the river using the mud banks.

The village became famous as a shipbuilding centre for both merchant shipping and the Royal Navy.

heritage 01/11Redbridge copy neg 9851J

Redbridge in an old illustration

William Myatt, a shipbuilder from Bursledon, built the 32-gun Winchelsea in Redbridge, and in the early 18th century King William III’s Navy built many of their ships there.

The area played an important part in local transport when in 1793 a bridge was built by the county council to allow boats to pass through from Southampton water to the Andover Canal.

The 22-mile stretch was used for more than 60 years to transport goods but was later converted into a railway.

heritage 01/11Redbridge end of the causway by Willsteed of Southamptonpre 1910

The end of the Causeway, pre-1910.

One building which still remains with links through the centuries to when Redbridge was a thriving village in its own right is the Ship Inn, built in 1654.

The old inn can be traced back more than 300 years when it was a popular spot for horse-drawn carts to stop off on the Portsmouth to Gloucester run.

The Ship has also enjoyed its share of royal visitors through the years. Charles I and II are said to have stopped off there, as did King Edward VII and his son, George V, who were both keen on fishing.

“I well remember King Edward coming to the Ship Inn,” one elderly Redbridge resident told the Daily Echo in 1958.

“He was dressed in tweeds and had a tweed hat with a long pheasant’s feather at the back. He came for the salmon fishing, and the innkeeper was Sammy Morris.”

Heritage. Ship Inn Old Redbridge

Heritage. "Ship Inn" Old Redbridge

Mr Morris was apparently well known in the area and had a reputation for being a dapper dresser who wore spats.

In the early parts of the last century, Redbridge railway station also became the scene of high society gatherings.

“Those were great days at Redbridge, days before the general advent of the motor car, when the railway station would be crowded in the season with notable people waiting for the train to London.”

“At one time Lord Lowther, the Speaker of the House, was seen sitting on a porter’s truck amidst the luggage.”

Aerial shot of Redbridge flyover with Redbridge Roundabout underneath. Also in the shot is Redbridge Towers and the M271. THE SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO ARCHIVES. HAMPSHIRE HERITAGE SUPPLEMENT. Ref: 317g

Aerial shot of Redbridge flyover with Redbridge Roundabout and Redbridge Towers.

A bypass and bridge were completed in 1930 at a cost of £100,000 and was officially opened by the chairman of the Redbridge Works, Robert Gillingham.

The village’s skyline changed dramatically when in 1963 the 20-storey Redbridge Towers block opened, providing homes to 114 families. At 187ft, it was the tallest block of flats south of London.