Friday, September 18, 2009

At Buckler's Hard

One of our first outings was to the historic village of Buckler's Hard, originally known as Montagu Town and part of the Beaulieu Estate . The cottages stand on either side of the eighty foot wide track down to the River Beaulieu. Originally built for markets and fairs this huge expanse of land was used to store wood in front of the houses when the village became a prosperous ship building area.

The first place to visit is the Maritime Museum which tells the Buckler's Hard Story. This is a fascinating place and well worth a visit before you actually go into the village itself as it describes what life was like in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century for the people who lived there.

In the museum is a huge model which shows the layout of the village at the height of its prosperity when making boats for the Royal Navy. Three of the war ships which took part in the Battle of Trafalgar were built here including Lord Nelson's favourite ship HMS Agamemnon.

Inside the museum are details of the ship builders and models of the ships that were built at Buckler's Hard as well as a reconstruction of the village pub - The New Inn - where you can listen in on the chatter and village gossip taking place as it perhaps would have in 1790. There is also a reconstruction of a poor ship labourer's cottage. This is in great contrast to the shipwright's cottage which you can visit in the village. I tried to take several photos inside but the one below was the only one that was fairly succesfull - I loved the cat in the window!

Next door to the Shipwright's cottage is St Mary's chapel - this was created in the 1880s from the old school house and is still used today for worship.

Down towards the river you can see the ship building launch ways and also the jetty from which scenic cruises leave every so often on a thirty minute sight seeing trip along the river.

We spent quite a while looking around and had a picnic in the woodland area beside the river before moving on to Beaulieu Village. There is a two mile walk between the two villages which takes you along the riverside.


  1. The reconstruction of the cottage is amazing! Have a lovely weekend and friendly weather I hope!

  2. I could never get used to the life sized people featured in the places I've toured in the UK. I would jump everytime I encountered some, which made for an entertaining tour for everyone else!!

    Love the photos of your trip! It looks just wonderful!

  3. This looks a fascinating place, the room setting is brilliant, I like the cat too. It's interesting to see the model of the village, the amount of wood is incredible. I don't think we realise these days just how many trees it took to build each wooden ship. Great post.

  4. I would have loved to gone to the village pub and listened in to all the gossip as it would have been all those years ago. I wonder what they talked about and what sort of words they used.

  5. I enjoy seeing and learning the history of wonderful villages like this one.
    Thanks for sharing your journey, Rosie.

  6. As you know, Bucklers Hard is a favorite place of mine. I love the history and the beauty of the surroundings. Its another place that I would love to step back in time to see it in its hey day. Your photos are great and I felt as if you had taken me along. xxx

  7. Wonferful post - thankyou so much !

  8. I've a couple of times to Bucklers Hard and I find it a fascinating place.x

  9. Very interesting history. I love to stop by and see what you have been up to.