New Forest History
There can be few other places in England where the ancient landscape has remained so unchanged. In 1079 when William The Conqueror named the area his ‘new hunting forest', little could he imagine that nearly 1000 years later his ‘Nova Foresta' would still retain its mystery and romance.
The ancient system established by William The Conqueror to protect and manage the woodlands and wilderness heaths is still in place today through the efforts of Verderers, Agisters and Commoners - literally the judges, stockmen and land users of the forest.
The part the New Forest played during the war effort
In the First World War wounded soliders were brought to Brockenhurst to be treated in the make-shift hospitals set up by local residents who owned some of the larger properties in the village.
The New Forest's strategic location on the south coast meant that it was crucial in a range of operations both for British, Commonwealth and US and Canadian troops in World War Two.
During World War II Balmer Lawn in Brockenhurst was used by Generals Montgomery and Eisenhower's for meetings as they planned the D-Day invasion. Ashley Walk near Godshill was a bombing range used to test the 'bouncing bomb' and there were 12 airfields across the area - some of which can still be visited today.
Visiting these places will help your knowledge about the past in this fascinating part of the world grow even more.
There are many hidden treasures for you to discover if you know where to look. Alice Liddell, Lewis Carroll's inspiration for Alice In Wonderland, is buried in the churchyard in Lyndhurst.
You'll find the grave of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the churchyard in Minstead.
Sway village is the location in the book 'The Children of The New Forest', written by Captain Marryat.
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