The modern commercial centre of Southampton, Above Bar was formerly the road running north from the old medieval town. During the 19th century, Southampton outgrew the confines of the old town walls and expanded northwards. Above Bar became an extension of the High Street, bisected by the Bargate, and contained many shops and private residences. Like much of the town centre, Above Bar suffered heavily during the bombing of the second world war and many of the fine old buildings were lost.