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!

Built Environment Conference 1 Nov 2019

New Forest Knowledge Conference 2019

Built Environments in the New Forest: Past, Present and Future


Date: Friday 1 November 2019, 9:45am – 4:30pm

Venue: Lyndhurst Community Centre, Lyndhurst  SO43 7NY

Price: £20

Today’s New Forest is a largely woodland and heathland environment, yet integral to its special qualities and unique sense of place are its many buildings and structures. Built environments are both shaped by and shape the people who inhabit them, work in them, admire them and ignore them. They are at the heart of some of the current opportunities and challenges we face in creating a sustainable future for the New Forest. Inspired by the revised Pevsner architecture guide to southern Hampshire, this conference will consider the built environment of the New Forest.


Our focus will be on how buildings and structures have shaped and themselves been shaped by the Forest. Speakers include independent researchers and representatives from the University of Winchester, New Forest District Council and New Forest National Park Authority.


Conference poster 2019

Conference timetable 2019


To book tickets, visit


or telephone 023 8028 3444


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 Archive Forum

Community Archive Forum

Hampshire Archives and Local Studies

March 2 2019

Local history societies showcase their work and share experiences.

The Community Archive Forum provides an opportunity for local history societies and similar organisations to showcase what they have been doing; to network; and to share their experiences. It enables anyone with an interest in the county’s history to hear what is happening at local level and be inspired to get involved. The Forum is now a collaborative venture between Hampshire Archives and Local Studies and the Local History Section of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society.

With contributions from: * Milford on Sea Historical Record Society * Christchurch History Society * Ashburton Court, Southsea, research project * Hyde 900 * Hampshire Constabulary History Society * plus a panel discussion on publications. This is a free event, and places are limited. To book, please telephone Hampshire Archives and Local Studies on 01962 846154 or email archives.enquiries@hants.gov.uk no later than 25 February.

Event runs from 9.45am – 1.00pm

The following programme from the day demonstrates the variety and range of local history groups and the archives they use: Community Archives Timetable

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


Day 1: Friday 27th October



Day 2: Saturday 28th October



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?


Exhibition – Maps: The New Forest Unfolded

New Forest Gallery Exhibition

21 Jan – 15 Apr, open daily


Discover the biography of the New Forest and its people through maps chosen from the Christopher Tower Reference Library.

These maps of large and small scale, illuminate not only the landscape but the individuals and institutions that shaped the Forest as it is today.


New Forest Centre         

Lyndhurst SO43 7NY


023 8028 3444


Image: Section from Hampshire Sheet LXXXI.I at a scale of 1:2500 from the parish book: ‘Ordnance Plan of the Parish of Beaulieu. Liberty of Beaulieu. In the County of Hants. Surveyed by Captn Sanford R.E. Zincographed under the direction of Captn. Parsons R.E.F.R.A.S. At the Ordnance Survey Office Southampton. Published by Colonel Sir Henry James R.E. F.R.S. & c. Superintendent October 1868.

Hampshire Travels the World

Hampshire Travels the World

Hear John Pilkington speak on The Silk Road and view archives about travellers

Hampshire Archives and Local Studies

12 March 2019, 6:30pm

The Silk Road from Georgia to Afghanistan: join Hampshire’s own explorer and broadcaster John Pilkington in an exciting journey across Central Asia. In 2011 John followed a spectacular branch of the Silk Road, starting in the Caucasus and crossing the Caspian Sea to Bukhara, Khiva and Samarkand. Then, reeling from the beauty of those legendary cities, he turned south-east to explore the High Pamirs of Afghanistan – a region well-known to Marco Polo – before making a dramatic finale at the source of the Oxus in the heart of Central Asia. His stunning photos and some hair-raising stories will make this an evening not to be missed. John is one of Britain’s most experienced adventurers and public speakers. For many years he was a broadcaster with the BBC World Service and Radio 4, making travel documentaries and contributing to programmes such as ‘From Our Own Correspondent’. But it’s for his thought-provoking, beautifully illustrated talks that people know him best. He has spoken to over 1,000 audiences in six countries, and holds the Royal Geographical Society’s much-coveted Ness Award for popularising geography and the wider understanding of the world. More about him at http://www.pilk.net. An exhibition of archive material relating to Hampshire travellers and explorers will be on display, taking you across the world through journals and other items concerning George Marston, Ernest Shackleton and others. 6.30pm-9pm. Tickets will include a drinks reception and nibbles.

  • Cost £14, early bird deal £12 before 26 February
  • Contact Hampshire Record Office
  • Phone 01962 846154

Click here for more information.

International Women’s Day – The Eileen Ashby Collection

For International Women’s Day, the New Forest Heritage Centre is highlighting  the work of naturalist Eileen Ashby whose nature notebooks, photographs and slides were recently added to the Christopher Tower Library’s collection. Eileen’s material is currently being catalogued and digitised by our team of volunteers.