The Diaper Heritage Association
Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy - the Diapers of Itchen Ferry
Early Days Itchen Ferry Village The Captain's Table At Sea Genealogy

Hichyn, a smaulle village on the est side: and hereof the trajectus is caullid Hichin-Ferry


c1540 John Leland, antiquarian

The museum contains a permanent display of the town’s maritime history and many of the artefacts have connections with the Diapers. Use this trail to take you around the museum, it will finish at the ‘Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy – The Diapers of Itchen Ferry’ exhibit.

Click here to download the Diaper Education Trail
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Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Court Leet


The Southampton Court Leet dates from the early middle ages and was a local instrument of justice which dealt with breeches in local laws and infringements to statutes. Overseen by the Mayor of Southampton its original meeting place was at the Cutted Thorn on Southampton Common. The Southampton Record Society produced a volume of the surviving Court Leet records and there are several references to the running of the Itchen Ferry

Court Leet Records 1578-1602 Vol 1 part 2 ed FJC & DM Hearnshaw 1906

1581 entry pp 216/7

Item we present that the Ferry menne or those that ought to keepe the passadge at heethe & Itchen Fery beeing within our admiralty doo moast tymes neclect their dweties in setting over the Queens subjects & cheefely the Inhabitaunts of this towne as namely within thease 12 or 13 daies one of our company cominge to Itchin Ferry at 12 of the clocke at night beeinge very faier weather found one peeter one of the comon passengers [ferrymen] up and requestid dyvers tymes of him to passe over offering him 4d for his labor who refused to passe him over althoughe he with others weare daunsing till yt was after one of the clocke for the complaiynaunt staidd theare so longe or he could get over sayeng he had never a boat in hand which is contrary to the statute

1587 entry pp254/5

Item we present that the mell [mill] at Ichin Ferrie for want of good & sufficient fencinge of the sea banckes the sea doth over flowe the highe way & eate owt the same & in shorte time will bothe spoile the same & utterlie overthrowe the marsh which were great hinderance to the Inhabitants of our Towne. Be yt comaunded unto them to whome yt doth apperteyne as well to fence the sea bankes & cause as also his other bounds at Echin Ferrie so as the water may not overflowe any waies on this side mychelmas next upon paine of £5

1596 entry pp307/8

Item we find the Cross howse at Itchen verry to be in great decaye the which beinge a place so proffitable and necessarie for people to rest in not onely for tyme of the passage boate cominge and goinge but lickwise in tyme of rayne and fowle weather to keep them drye we have thought good to comend to your good considerations and doe thincke it verie requisite the same showld be repaired & maynteined.