River Itchen's history - on the web

There's a fascinating insight into the history of the River Itchen on Hampshire County Council's Hantsweb site. Users can follow the river's course as it makes its way through Hampshire, from its source down to the Itchen Bridge and Southampton …

Clicking on different places on a map of the river reveals more about them, from prehistoric times to the present day.

The site includes some beautiful graphics, and the original page navigation system lets you move 'upstream' and 'downstream' from place to place on the Itchen. There's a very interesting section on Woodmill, for example: apparently in the 1920s it included Southampton's biggest bakery, and there have been mills on the site since Saxon times.

More buttons let you 'travel through time' and find out more about the river through different periods of history, and the site goes into more depth on various topics.  'River features', for example, gives detail on the changing nature of a river, from its youth, through to maturity and old age, and shows how these stages apply to the Itchen.

Downloadable worksheets and images are also available to help those studying rivers, and further natural history links are given under the 'learning' section of the site. The 'data' menu also offers links to a list of organisations connected with waterways.

All in all a great site for anyone interested in the history of the local Bitterne Park area and beyond, with lots of well presented and accessible material and useful further links.

Hantsweb River Itchen site is here

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