Library Open Day, Sat 13th Oct

The New Forest’s past can be discovered at the Christopher Tower New Forest Reference Library’s Open Day on Saturday 13 October. 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.


On Saturday, new acquisitions will be in focus including a sample of the Crosthwaite-Eyre archive and sheet music by the Lymington-based early twentieth century composer, Herbert George Wooldridge.


Staff and volunteers will be on hand to help with enquiries in the Library between 10am and 4pm when members of the public are invited to drop in. There is no need to book.

New Forest Tavern Signs

The Christopher Tower New Forest Reference Library is always on the lookout for relevant additions to its collections. This morning the team was very pleased to receive an album of 1980s photographs of New Forest pubs and tavern signs. Highlights include the Morant Arms, Brockenhust; the Fleur de Lys, Boldre; the Rose and Crown, Brockenhurst; the Royal Oak at Downton with the oak emerging from the Inn’s foundations; and the Ship in Distress, an old pub once run by ‘Mother Sellars’ and figuring prominently in local smuggling history around Fisherman’s Bank. We will endeavour to keep you updated with information about new acquisitions as they arrive.

University of Southampton Excel Internship Programme, 2016

In the summer of 2016, we were lucky enough to have an Intern work with us from the Excel Southampton Internship Programme at the University of Southampton.

Liz Hall came to work with us for a month during August as a Graphic Design and Illustration intern. She has written a blog post about her experience with us which you can read here…

Having graduated from The University of Southampton this summer, I was lucky enough to gain a placement based at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst. I worked with the New Forest Knowledge’ project, which is one of a variety of projects that are part of the ‘Our Past, Our Future’ landscape partnership scheme. This project is focused on digitising the collections of information and material held about The New Forest in order to make this accessible online to a wide audience of viewers from many different backgrounds and professions. The majority of my time was spent on the drawing and design of a new logo for the New Forest Knowledge project, producing illustrative documents to ensure the continuity of the project’s visual identity and other creative tasks that cropped up along the way.


As a Graphic design, Illustrator, and Photographer Intern and otherwise all-purpose creative person for the project, my main priority was to get the ball rolling on how the new logo might look.

Working from predefined boundaries and guides of what I needed to incorporate into the design, I came up with a variety of different possibilities. In discussion with the team, the design below was picked as our initial favourite.

This idea incorporates multiple thoughts we had about how the logo should look, and we felt it may present a more modern and academic focus.

The design still uses the integral tree visual, used in the New Forest Centre logo, as the basis of the design; however, these branches shape themselves into the form of a brain. This uses some of the desired themes we aimed to illustrate within the logo design involving knowledge and learning as well as nature. The graphic itself has the potential to be eye-catching and thought provoking, whilst still maintaining a classic and simple aesthetic.

I created different variations of this design, seen below. The version below left shows a thicker more rounded design of the ‘brain tree’ which is perhaps a bolder and more defined variation of the original version. I also drafted a version that included horses, to show a closer link to the original New Forest Centre logo. A final design will be produced following discussion with the rest of the team.

Display cabinet

Using the currently preferred draft for the logo design, I created a graphic to be used for the new display, aiming to inform and explain to the public what the project is about.

The graphic aims to catch the eye of passers-by and spark their interest, bringing them in to read and learn about the project. The words emerging from the roots (Share, Research, Future, Community, Preserve, Heritage, Nature, Inspire) are key aims and aspects of the project, and will correspond to other materials included in the display.


I also spent a week working with members of the New Forest Knowledge team at The National Park Authority in Lymington. The work carried out here was to be used both on the New Forest Knowledge website and for a booklet, giving information on important archaeological sites and showing how and why it is important to preserve and maintain these monuments.

I created simple, understandable watercolour and ink illustrations to show the most common sites that occur in and around The New Forest. These illustrations show reconstructions of the archaeological sites and how they might have looked when they were in use. The hope is that in viewing these reconstructions it will enable people to visualise their initial appearance and therefore understand the importance of the sites in question.

The Centre has been a great environment to work in. Working mainly in the Christopher Tower New Forest Reference library, I have been surrounded by information both old and new, and by colleagues and volunteers who are excited and knowledgeable about the work that is happening and that lies ahead with this project. The wonderful team both at the New Forest Centre and The New Forest Park Authority offices have made me feel very welcome, and it has been a pleasure to work alongside such an enthusiastic and friendly group of people.

Welcome to New Forest Knowledge

Hello and welcome to the New Forest Knowledge blog!

We are delighted to introduce our project which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and part of the Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme led by the New Forest National Park Authority.

You can learn more about us and the project from the About pages, or by visiting our Facebook page

We will be blogging all about our work and what we are up to over the course of the project. We hope you will get involved

What is digitisation and why do we do it?

Digitisation is the process of creating a digital copy of an original object. For the New Forest Knowledge project, we are scanning and photographing our documents and objects, and converting audio and video tapes to digital files. There are many reasons for digitisation, including for preservation, sharing and discovery…


By digitising our historical documents, some of which are fragile or light-sensitive, we are helping to preserve them for future generations. In many cases, digital copies will be able to be viewed in place of the original, therefore saving them from damage through excessive handling and use.


Once objects are digitised, we can share them with the wider public. Items can be uploaded to our website and social media so that researchers all over the world can make use of them. It is not uncommon for the Library to get research enquiries from the USA! On our website, users will be able to share their finds with friends, family and colleagues and when knowledge is shared it can lead to…


When information is shared, new discoveries and connections can be made which help to develop our knowledge of an object and its story. The New Forest Knowledge website will be able to showcase those discoveries we have already made, and allow users to make new discoveries!

Can you help us discover more?

These are a couple of photographs from our collections—but we don’t know who or where they are! Can you help? Do you recognise a place or a familiar face? If you think you can give us any more information about these, or any of our other photographs, please get in touch. You can pop into the library on a Wednesday (10am-4pm) or Friday (10am-12.30pm), call us on 02380 286150, or you can email

We’d love to hear from you!


Can you name anyone in this photo? It is thought to be Lyndhurst football club (date unknown).


This photo is believed to be Brockenhurst Archery Club – but where are they?