Located on the eastern bank of the River Itchen, Woolston is a popular suburb of Southampton thanks to its rich maritime and aviation history. It was established by the Viking leader Olaf of Norway in the 10th century and was formally incorporated into Soutampton in 1920.
Over the last few centuries, the village has grown thanks to its excellent industrial base, roads and railway links which came into strength in the Victorian era. Not only that, the construction of the Itchen bridge linked Woolston to Southampton city centre to further increase its popularity.
Woolston has been the site of major shipbuilding works since 1870, with Vosper Thorneycroft shipbuilding company the biggest employer in the village from 1900 until 2004 when it relocated its operations to Portsmouth.
Perhaps the largest and most recognisable landmark is the Woolston Millenium Garden. Created solely for the residents to enjoy, the garden was completed in 2002 and is divided into three areas representing the earth, sky and sea. There is also the touching tribute to many Titanic crew members who originally hailed from Woolston, with bricks in the main pathway inscribed with their names.
Even within this small district, there are actually three Christian places of worship – St Mark’s Church, St Patrick’s Church and a Kingdom Hall operated by Jehovah’s Witnesses. A fourth church did exist, St Mary’s Presbyterian Church, but this was demolished in 1972.
Woolston is quickly becoming a popular residential area thanks to its ongoing redevelopment whilst still retaining its maritime roots. Plans are in motion to expand both the residential and retail areas to further increase the lure of this fantastic suburb.
When it comes to property prices, homes are affordable for all buyers. There is an average property price for a three bedroom home of around £180,000 with four bedroom properties reaching upwards of £250,000.
Woolston Railway Station is situated at the end of the Itchen Bridge and operated by South West Trains, who currently operate services through Fareham and on to Portsmouth, Gosport and Eastleigh.
The Itchen Bridge currently charges a fare for crossing the River Itchen, from Woolston to the Chapel area of Southampton near Ocean Village and St. Mary’s Stadium. Originally opened to the public in June 1977 at a cost of £5.7million, the bridge was formally named by Princess Alexandra and spans 107 m between its main central pillars. It carries two lanes of traffic 24 m above the river, allowing large vessels to proceed further upstream to the wharfs and quays in Northam. Nearly 600,000 vehicles a month use the bridge to cross the river, and it has been hailed as an excellent replacement to the former ferry service which was both slower and more expensive to operate.
There is a major bus stop on the Woolston link road (a separate entrance/exit to the Itchen Bridge not used by normal cars), with a number of (mostly First Hampshire & Dorset) buses running through the suburb.
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