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Portuguese Fireplace

The Portuguese Fireplace
The Portuguese Fireplace

The Portuguese Fireplace can be found by the roadside close to Millyford Bridge - 2 kilometres (1¼ miles) from Emery Down, near Lyndhurst, beside the minor road leading towards the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary.

A plaque explains the presence of the Portuguese Fireplace:

’This is the site of a hutted camp occupied by a Portuguese army unit during the First World War. This unit assisted the depleted local labour force in producing timber for the war effort. The Forestry Commission have retained this fireplace from the cookhouse as a memorial to the men who lived and worked here and acknowledge the financial assistance of the Portuguese Government in its renovation.’

Almost adjacent grassland bumps and hollows mark the site of a contemporary Canadian Forestry Corps camp, whilst 0.75 kilometres to the west, across the minor road, by a gate leading into the woods, is a short length of fairly deep cutting bordered by substantial moss-encrusted banks - this was part of the route of a First World War narrow gauge railway used to take timber to a sawmill located close to what is now the Millyford Bridge car park.

In fact, by that car park, on the northern side of the minor road still lies a quite large rectangular concrete block; and on the other side of the road can still be seen building foundations. All are the remains of First and Second World War sawmills.

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New Forest ponies
New Forest ponies in the road
New Forest ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene and an important element of the local economy. But 65 were killed and 18 injured on the roads in 2012. Always take care, then, when driving.
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley