A new look at Home Farm Hillfort

In 2018, as part of a management programme undertaken by the New Forest National Park Authority and Forestry England, a team of archaeologists undertook a series of systematic geophysical surveys, exploratory excavations and restoration works across Home Farm Iron Age Hillfort.

You can read more about the background to the scheduled monument here: Hillfort 400m south of Home Farm – Scheduled Monument #1017019

The work was undertaken with the aim to improve our knowledge of the site as well as the condition of the scheduled monument and help remove it off the Monuments at Risk Register. The results of the work have proven rather interesting; they have dramatically improved our understating of this prehistoric landscape and challenged the perceived interpretation of the “Iron Age” site by revealing a much earlier, Neolithic date through carbon dating.

The reports produced for from this work can be found below:

Geophysics Results

Excavation Report

Ancient discovery begins to rewrite Forest’s history

An Award Winning New Forest Goat Shed

A local New Forest resident contacted us about a rather unassuming building on her property with a rather unique story and a lot to say for itself. When you enter the wooden building you notice the rather different looking stalls with their metal gates, but more spectacularly your attention is drawn up to the ceiling where there are over 550 certificates are pinned to it dating from 1919 through until 1955 and are collected from shows all around the country. We are now working with the homeowner to unlock the fascinating story of the award living goats and their owner that lived here and considering how to conserve this rather special collection.

3D Model of just small section of the roof

One of our volunteers has managed to create this partial model of some of the roof in challenging conditions. Though only a small section of the roof immediately above you as you enter it does give an idea of the feel of the shed and what we are working to record and conserve.

Short Video of the Goat Shed

Link to video

Recording and Conservation

We have currently undertaken a photographic record and we are now looking for volunteers to help transcribe the certificates into a searchable spreadsheet. Can you help?

The linked PDFs give a rough roof plan showing how we have broken it down into sections and then the segment photos and ID numbers that we will use to create a searchable database of the entire collection.

Roof Plan

Goat Shed Right Panels

NF Goat Shed Left Panels

Goat Shed Central Panel 6

Goat Shed Central Panel 7

If you would like to help us transcribe the collection then please feel free to help by looking at the photos and then helping fill in the working spreadsheet.

You can access an editable spreadsheet on Google Drive here to add your comments and transcriptions: Transcription Working Spreadsheet

The Chamberlains

Charlotte Chamberlain was a member of the Chamberlain family of Birmingham, one of seven daughters of the industrialist Arthur Chamberlain. Their cousin Neville was Prime Minster between 1937 and 1940. On the death of their father in 1913, Charlotte and her sister Mary moved to the New Forest.

In 1918 Charlotte Chamberlain was elected to the committee of the British Goat Society (see more below). The earliest certificate on the goat shed ceiling is from the 1918 Royal Agricultural Show in Cardiff. Charlotte was president of the British Goat Society in 1945, 1946 & 1947

In 1927 the sisters donated land in Emery Down for a hall to be built for the newly-formed Emery Down and Bank Women’s Institute. The hall built by local builder Joseph Payne containing a crafts centre complete with stage, scullery and grassy outdoor space survives today as Emery Down and Bank Village Hall.

The Chamberlain sisters also became closely involved with the development of and notable benefactors of what was later to become the University of Southampton. Chamberlain Hall at the university was originally built in 1959 due to the endowment of the sisters and was for women only to encourage access to education for women.

One of Charlotte’s great-nieces, Joanna Close-Brooks has provided a number of photos from her visits in the 1950s including this short section of home video

Goats at Weston – Footage courtesy of Joanna Close-Brooks

Another family remembers a gentleman called Lee who drove the lorry containing the goats to the various shows around the country.

The British Goat Society

Although the British Goat Society was founded in 1879, the actual starting point came a little earlier in 1874 when H.S.Holmes-Pegler published his Book of the Goat. A year later he was invited to judge the first goat show. This took place at Crystal Palace and was the forerunner of a number of shows held at London venues such as Alexandra Palace and the Royal Aquarium.

The first British Goat Society Herd Book lists six shows held between that first show and the 1879 Dairy Show at which a meeting was held and the following resolution passed: ‘That an association be formed to be called The British Goat Society’. Eighteen members joined on this occasion.

In these early years all the committee members were men, often with city connections which enabled them to provide rooms for the frequent meetings. However at an extraordinary general meeting in 1918 it was decided that up to six lady members could be elected onto the committee. In view of some of the still-familiar names who were already making an impact this decision would seem to be over-due! Prominent women and famous prefixes or affixes included Mrs Abbey (Didgemere), Miss Barnaby (Bitterne), Miss Booth (Springfield), Miss Chamberlain, Miss Gresley-Hall (Webb),Mrs Soames (Pytchley), and Miss Window-Harrison (of Weald). Miss Pope (of Bashley) had joined ten years earlier.

Miss Charlotte Chamberlain was president of the British Goat Society in 1945, 46 & 47.

British Goat Society Cups & Challenge Trophies

The Society’s Challenge Trophies may be offered for competition at the discretion of the Committee at shows held in accordance with Regulation 19, and will be awarded, subject to the goat or goats competing being entered in an appropriate class or classes and complying with Regulations 19, 20 and 21 so far as they are applicable. The Trophies shall remain the property of the Society. A list of the Trophies may be obtained from the Secretary.
Trophy Award Cards in respect of the Society’s Trophies will be awarded for retention by the exhibitor

The “Chamberlain” Challenge Trophy for the British Saanen Goat securing the highest number of points in Inspection and Milking at either the Royal and one other show, under the following conditions. A goat to compete must be bred by the Exhibitor, entered in the British Saanen Section of the Herd Book, shall have borne a kid during the year in which the show is held, and obtain an award in its inspection class. For each Inspection Prize, 1st, 5 points; 2nd, 4 points; 3rd, 3 points, 4th, 2 points, 5th, 1 point. A goat must qualify in the Milking Competition and the points secured therein shall be added to the Inspection points.

Lyndhurst Church Gravestone Steps – Improving Access Project

St Michaels & All Angels Church Lyndhurst: Churchyard Improving Access Project

Following the installation of a new safe accessible route to school from the main Lyndhurst carpark through the St Michael’s and All Angels churchyard avoiding the footpath along the main road the old stepped path through the churchyard was fenced off and was slowly disappearing under vegetation. If you looked closely at this old path you would have seen that it was made out of old gravestones. The gravestones have been moved to create the path from elsewhere in the graveyard and they do not contain burials under them.

As part of the original planning approval for the new path a requirement was that the old steps made from old gravestones was to be removed.

The programme of work is being managed by the New Forest National Park Authority, and has been given formal approval by Winchester Diocese and the Planning Authority. It will improve access to the churchyard’s important heritage features and is funded by the New Forest LEADER local action group through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The churchyard is maintained by New Forest District Council as a closed burial ground and the monuments are technically heirlooms. The church and the District Council responsibilities only require that the moments are safe for public access to the churchyard.

As part of the project the gravestones will all be cleaned and recorded using RTI photography to read the faded inscriptions to help reveal the names of the people they memorialised. The hope is that the names will then be linked back to the burial registers and potentially their original burial location. It will also allow families to re-link their family histories with the headstones in the churchyard. The removed headstones will be used to create benches in the churchyard, but they will all be logged so if you are searching for a specific one we can show you where they have ended up.

Further work has seen the footpath extended to allow easy access to Alice Liddell’s memorial behind the church.

RTI Recording

During July 2019, Archaeovision undertook a Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) survey of the 43 headstones that were removed from the old path as well as another 37 headstones and other engraved stones recovered from the ditch running parallel to the footpath. The 80 headstones were all photographed and processed to reveal the inscriptions and identify some of the lost names and families originally buried in St Michael’s.

Some of the highlights are included in the images above.

You can read a low resolution version of the report here: Lyndhurst RTI Report (warning still large file size 10Mb) or you can request a high resolution version from the New Forest National Park Authority or New Forest Heritage Centre Library.

Alternatively all of the photography results from RTI work undertaken in the graveyard along with the transcriptions can be found hereLyndhurst St Michaels & All Angels RTI

All of the results will be inputted into the spreadsheet of monuments in St Michael’s and All Angels allowing the public to find out who is buried in the churchyard.

Further Work and Information

Three of the monuments in the churchyard are listed and are dealt with as Listed Buildings. These were recently repaired as part of National Lottery Heritage Funding managed by the New Forest National Park and have been removed from the Historic England Buildings at Risk register.

You can find out more about the St Michael’s & All Angels via one of the New Forest History Hit Films


St Michael & All Angels Church Lyndhurst: Churchyard Improving Access Project

Is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development


Leader LogoEU LogoNew Forest Leader - Local Action Group Logo

Example of one of the Graves following RTI

Grave LSMAA171

Here lieth the body of Charles Newbolt who Departed this life on the 20 day of August 1745 Aged 65 years

Also Catherine the wife of John H who died The 7th day of October 1766 Aged 70 years