7 June 2010
The New Forest was created in 1079 by William 1, known as William the Conqueror, as a hunting area, primarily for deer. It became famous in August 1100 when Sir Walter Tyrell killed King William Rufas near Minstead in the New Forest in a hunting accident. A stone marks the exact spot. The ancient rural practice of commoners grazing rights has survived to this day, and ponies, cattle, pigs and donkeys can still be seen roaming free in the forest. Over the years the New Forest has provided much timber for the Crown, and for the Navy. In the 18C much of Nelsons fleet was built at Bucklers Hard from New Forest timber. In nearby Beaulieu is the 13C Abbey, which was partly destroyed in the 15C. In the first and second world wars there was heavy felling of timber, much of which has been replaced by conifer plantations.
Visit Breamore House near Fordingbridge, a 1583 Elizabethan Manor House with art, furniture and tapestries, and also Breamore Country Museum. Near here is Rockbourne Roman Villa, which is over 1600 years old. Another interesting place to visit is Eling Tide Mill, which was restored in 1980 and is the only tide mill in the world still regularly producing flour. The Totton and Eling Heritage Centre is also here. Then there is Hurst Castle built by Heny VIII, which is a walk or ferry ride from Keyhaven. And just up the road from my holiday caravan, in Lymington, is the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery. Most people come to the New Forest for the scenery, beaches, walking, fishing, birdwatching and wildlife but it has so much more to offer. So enjoy your holiday in my caravan www.cogb.com/lymington