Itchen ferry was a type of a small boat used for fishing and for ferrying passengers across the River Itchen between Woolston and Southampton, prior to 1836. The hamlet that served this industry took the name Itchen Ferry village.
The term "Itchen ferry" was also used to describe the Floating Bridge when it was introduced in 1836, to meet greater demand as Woolston expanded and became busier with the coming of the railways. The new type of Itchen ferry made the old boats redundant. Though they continued to be used for fishing, they were no longer required for ferrying passengers and are almost extinct today.
The Floating Bridge across the Itchen retained the name "Itchen ferry" for some time, but this evolved into "Woolston ferry" after Itchen Ferry village was destroyed in World War II.
The ferry was replaced by the Itchen Bridge in 1977.
The hull design of the original Itchen Ferry boats was used by Drummond Bayne (Marine) Ltd, Southampton, to produce a popular small yacht (approximately 22 feet overall) also known as an Itchen Ferry. Although production of these boats appears limited to the 1970s several of these practical craft remain in use.
- Images of Southampton. Southampton City Council. ISBN 1-873626-59-2