A new website for Milford

Congratulations to Milford-On-Sea Historical Records Society on the launch of their new website:  www.milfordhistory.org.

Explore their history pages, read about Milford down the ages; from houses to jobs, from education to religion, from families to personalities. Search their archives for records from the past and find house deeds, wills, old maps and even ration books. Look through this window on to the past. You can also find information on their meeting, events and publications.

MOSHRS were supported by Heritage Lottery funding to digitise their archive and build this wonderful new site, so once again thanks to all of you who buy lottery tickets and congratulations MOSHRS. Great work!

Christopher Tower New Forest Reference Library Open Day Saturday 11 November 2017

The New Forest’s past can be discovered at the Christopher Tower New Forest Reference Library’s Open Day on Saturday 11 November. Situated on the first floor of the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst, the facility was opened in 2004 following the building’s renovation funded by the Heritage Lottery and the Christopher Tower Foundation.

 

Christopher Tower, who was educated at Eton Christ Church, Oxford, was the author of nine poetry books and travelled extensively in the Middle East. He spent his later years in Athens and the New Forest.

 

The Library contains one of the largest collections of books, maps, photographs, reports and ephemera on the Forest, available to the public in a single location. It is also home of the Ecademy Project, one half of the team behind New Forest Knowledge.

 

As it is Armistice Day, the recently acquired Simmons collection of WW1 photographs, medals and ephemera relating to East Boldre airbase will be on display along with other sources on the subject. The WW1 aerodrome at East Boldre first started in May 1910 as the New Forest Flying School, the second flying school in the UK. The site then became a RFC and then an RAF base during WWI.

 

Staff and volunteers will be on hand to help with enquiries in the Library between 10am and 3pm when members of the public are invited to drop in. There is no need to book.

 

“We have held several successful library open days in the past year and plan to make these a regular occurrence” said Centre Manager, Hilary Marshall. “I hope our visitors will take advantage of this opportunity to explore this wonderful historical resource.”

Commoning Conference 29 Oct 2018

New Forest Knowledge Conference 2018

The Role of Commoning in the Maintenance of Landscape and Ecology: A New Forest, National and Global Perspective.

 

Date: Monday 29th October 2018, 9:30am-5pm.

Venue: Lyndhurst Community Centre, Lyndhurst  SO43 7NY

Price: £15

 

Commoning is recognised as important in the survival of the New Forest: a prized reserve for endangered species and a beautiful landscape enjoyed for recreation.

The New Forest commoning system has been described as unique in North Western Europe, characterised by the exercise of common rights by 700 commoners.

This conference will consider the use and significance of common pool resources from a historical, local, national and international perspective. Speakers include researchers from HIWWT, Foundation for Common Land, University of Southampton and Community Research Institute.

Conference programme 2018

Click here to purchase tickets

Organisers reserve the right to make changes to the programme.

Community Archaeology Resource Review

Volunteers at Creek Cottages. Credit: NFNPA

Can you help us?

In the UK, many volunteers and community groups undertake their own archaeological research and fieldwork.

As part of the Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the New Forest National Park Authority has commissioned Oxford Archaeology to review the guidance that people refer to when undertaking self-guided archaeological work. These ‘how to’ guides might be about identifying, researching and recording archaeological sites and finds and may be in the form of textbooks, digital or printed media.

At this stage, we are looking to identify guidance materials produced for or used by volunteers and community groups. We are also interested in any reports which evaluate this guidance. Over the coming months, we will also be producing an online survey and running focus groups to find out what guides people currently refer to, where they access them and what they find useful.

The review is not about ranking or critiquing existing guidance but getting an understanding of what exists, what is accessible and what volunteers and community groups engage with. It is hoped that this review will be of interest to the wider archaeological sector and help to inform the creation of new resources in the future.

Please get in touch if you:
•Have produced, used or evaluated any guidance materials you think should be included in this review. This can be done by email or completing this simple form.
•Could circulate the online questionnaire to your contacts in community archaeology.
•Are interested in our focus group methodology and would like to run your own focus groups with volunteers and community groups to find out about the guidance they use and find useful.
•Want to know about the results of the study and our recommendations for creating future community archaeology resources.

Community Heritage Fair – Invite

Community Heritage Fair Small

We would like to invite you all to join us for the New Forest Community Heritage Fair.

Date: Tuesday 6th November

Times: 10am – 3pm

Location: Lyndhurst Community Centre

Join us for a celebration of the New Forest’s Heritage presented by the people who know it best; the local community.

The New Forest Community Heritage Fair will see groups from around the Forest come together to share their current research and passion for the fascinating history of the New Forest.

Groups will be displaying their research in the form of exhibitions, manned information stands, posters, books and talks for the day.

The event is a perfect opportunity to find out more about heritage on your doorstep and chat with some local experts. It might even inspire you to join your local group and discover a new passion or finally get around to getting hands on with something you’ve always had an interest in?

Please pop in during the day and see what you might discover.

Find out more: www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/heritagefair

You can download and share the poster here: CHF Poster

You can download and share the flyer here: CHF Flyer

The following groups will be in attendance

  • Lepe Country Park
  • Rockbourne Roman Villa
  • Portable Antiquities Scheme
  • Beaulieu History Society
  • Netley Marsh History Group
  • New Forest History and Archaeology Group
  • Milford on Sea Historical Record Society
  • LoCATE (Local Community Archaeological Training and Equipment)
  • Friends of Hurst Castle
  • New Forest Heritage Centre
  • Romsey Local Historians
  • Copythorne Parish History Society
  • St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery
  • Minstead Local History Group
  • Wellow History Society
  • Emery Down – How we used to Live
  • Avon Valley Archaeology Society
  • Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART) New Forest
  • Hampshire Medieval Graffiti Project
  • New Forest Knowledge
  • Maritime Archaeology Trust

Community Heritage Fair Large

 

 

Conference 2017: History & Archaeology

The New Forest Knowledge Conference 2017 will celebrate the archaeological and historical research being carried out in and around the New Forest. It will provide an opportunity to find out who is doing what, share the results of recent work, discuss new techniques and approaches and find out how you might get involved in the future.

The conference will run over two days from Friday 27 October through to Saturday 28 October 2017 at the Lyndhurst Community Centre.

The full confirmed programme is below and you can find all the abstracts linked below or by selecting Conference under the subjects theme.

As well as presented papers there will be poster displays from local community groups and students, and various display stands. We will aim to ensure there is enough time for you to enjoy these and also to chat with other individuals and representatives from local community groups and organisations.

Day tickets cost £20, but we hope you will be able to join us for both days.
To encourage this we have set the two day ticket at £30.
Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Book your ticket

Programme

Day 1: Friday 27th October

Morning

Afternoon

Day 2: Saturday 28th October

Morning

Afternoon

D-Day in the New Forest Overview

On the 6 June 1944 thousands of troops with their vehicles and supplies left Britain via locations such as Lepe Beach in the New Forest for the beaches of Normandy. This was D Day, the start of the great campaign to liberate Europe and to bring the Second World War to its end. This was only one part of a huge logistical operation that saw a hive of activity in and around the New Forest, from road widening to camps hidden in woods and from Mulberry to Pluto. We are continuing to expand our knowledge of some of the top secret New Forest activities, but know there is more to find so please do get in contact if you have anything to share, or upload an article on this site.

We have numerous D-Day articles, archives, archaeology and oral histories from around the New Forest on New Forest Knowledge and this article has been created to link them all and provide easy access to the more detailed content.

Advanced Landing Grounds and Air Operations
D Day Landing Craft

Pluto

Misc

D-Day Events and Memorials

Defoe and the Poor Palatines

 

In 1709 Britain experienced an influx of about 13,000 refugees, known as the poor Palatines, from Germany. They were largely protestant, fleeing from aggression by the catholic Louis XIV of France. Mainly these people hoped to continue their journey to America where other German refugees had found new homes in previous years.

The Whig party which controlled parliament at that time was of the opinion that an increase in population would help develop the economic wealth of the nation, while the Tory party was concerned that the number of these immigrants who were largely poor would lead to instability.

Daniel Defoe, who was a leading radical thinker of the time, suggested that an area of the New Forest near Lyndhurst be set aside to create a model township for the refugees. Twenty honest and industrious men capable in husbandry would be identified and given 200 acres each. Known as farmers, these men  would be given money to stock their farms and live rent and tax free for twenty years. Through the wealth they generated from their farming they would pay for the whole infrastructure of the town, including doctors, ministers of religion, carpenters, builders, a miller and other labourers: inn-keeping was expected to be a part-time occupation. In total Defoe expected that this scheme would support some six or seven hundred people. After twenty years when the town was established the residents would start to pay taxes.

Ultimately Defoe expected there to be about 20 such schemes built across the country.

Defoe’s sketch map shows the layout of the township, with the central crossroad housing the necessary infrastructure for the establishment of a flourishing community. He expected that common land would be available outside the perimeter to allow the tradespeople to keep a few cattle or sheep to help eke out their existence. The twenty farms are marked out, although the farm buildings are probably not to scale.

Nowadays few of us have an easy understanding of what 200 acres means. Far less do we understand the concept of 40,000 acres, not to mention the extent of land required for the Town Hall, church, labourers’ cottages and other pieces of infrastructure.

The map shows the extent of land that Defoe’s township would have covered if it were planted half way between Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst.

Defoe made an assumption that the soil of the new Forest was of sufficient quality to make his scheme work. In fact the reason for the New Forest’s survival as a wilderness is that the ground is generally of little agricultural merit.

 

Author and Cartographer: Daniel Defoe
Scale: c. 1:40,000
Date: 1709
Defoe, D. 1927. A Tour through England and Wales: Divided into Circuits or Journies, Volume 1. London: Dent. G.915

https://archive.org/stream/tourthroughtthew006736mbp#page/n229/mode/2up/search/palatines

 

 

Eling School, 1920s?

Eling School - copyright New Forest Ninth Centenary Trust

At the Christopher Tower New Forest Reference Library, we have been lucky enough to receive a loan of photographs for digitisation. ‘A family history in pictures’ includes a school photograph which is believed to be Eling School. Arthur Purkess has been identified on the back row, eighth from the left. The photograph is likely to date from the 1920s. Can you confirm that this is Eling School? Can you help us to identify anyone else in the picture?

 

Emery Down Christ Church Graveyard Survey – Sunday 19th August

RTI3 After - Christ Church Emery Down

As part of the Our Past, Our Future, Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) Landscape Partnership Scheme the New Forest National Park Archaeology Team have been working with Emery Down to survey the condition of, and record the monuments in Christ Church graveyard. The survey will help accurately map and identify monuments that can be conserved using HLF funds and will ultimately create a database for ongoing management of the graveyard. The other ambition is to make the list of burials and monuments within the graveyard available to the public on this site to help people who are researching their family trees.

As well as hard graft from volunteers we have been using technology to help us reveal the secrets of Christ Church; Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI). The process involves taking numerous photos of one monument with a raking light and then letting the computer do the hard work to produce some amazing results. If you are interested in learning more about RTI photography you can do: here. The results produced highlighted how valuable RTI is; as the inscriptions that were once illegible have now been legible, providing a greater resource within the overall survey and documentation process.

We will be returning to Emery Down on Sunday 19th August 2018 at 14:00 to undertake the next survey area. All are welcome to come and give it a go and help compile the graveyard record. If you are interested in joining then email archaeology@newforestnpa.gov.uk for more information.

To see what we have been upto in Christ Church Graveyard to date have a read of the this article on New Forest Knowledge: Revealing the secrets of Emery Down Churchyard

Example of RTI Photography at Emery Down