The first mention of a regular ferry occurs when thename Hitheferye appears on Saxton's map of Hampshire in 1575, though clearly the passage had probably been manned since the village was founded.
Before Hythe Pier was built, ferry and other boats landing at Hythe used a gravel hard which ran from the land in front of what is now the Drummond Arms out to the low tide point in Southampton Water.
Walking along the hard was not easy and travellers often got very wet. Various ideas to improve the situation were suggested and finally construction of the Hythe Pier was started in October 1879. It was opened with considerable ceremony on 1st January 1881.
At 2,100 feet (640 metres), this nineteenth century iron pier is one of the ten longest piers in the British Isles. In 1909 tracks were laid for use by hand-propelled trolleys to carry goods and luggage.
In 1922 a narrow gauge electric railway opened to take passengers the full length of the Pier to the waiting ferry bound for Southampton. This railway with its original engine and rolling stock is still operational today and an important part of the local transport system to Southampton.
More information about the Ferry boat - Hotspur IV and the Percy Family can be found on the Hythe Ferry Website
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