When visiting the county of Hampshire you will soon realise the place has a rich, long history which many are proud of. The New Forest itself goes back more than 1,000 years and has plenty of stories to tell. What many aren’t aware of is the name ‘New Forest’ translates to ‘new hunting ground’, from Latin nova foresta; however the practice had been commonplace long before this name.
Since its establishment by William the Conqueror in 1079 as a hunting ground, many events have made the New Forest what it is today. Its coastal heritage is most recognised due to the range of landscapes, including extensive mudflats, open water, estuaries and saltmarsh.
During the Norman times, ‘forest’ didn’t mean the same as we know it today; it in fact meant a separate legal system was in place to protect the venison and vert. It was largely disliked by the locals, as they could no longer hunt and freely use the area. In fact, if they broke the laws severe punishment was common.
What saw a large change in the area’s heritage and landscape were the events during the Tudor period. Henry VIII’s process of abolishing Catholicism and making himself the Head of the Church of England, meant the dissolution of many monasteries; this included Beaulieu Abbey.
Regarding more modern history, both World Wars had large effects on the area. This is evident due to environmental evidence. The New Forest timber played a vital role as Britain struggled to sustain imports, therefore self-sufficiency was a must. It is estimated around 2,000 acres of timber were brought down during WW1 and replaced. Many of the replacements were then cut down during WW2.
Not many know of the rich history of the area, and to truly discover it a visit is ideal. Here at Harvest House, we can provide you with a place to stay when visiting our magnificent area. We operate a comfortable bed and breakfast Hampshire visitors will love. In fact the property has its own wonderful history for you to explore if you are interested.
You can find out more about our bed and breakfast on the website. Check availability online or contact us personally to see if we can fit you in.