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Lyndhurst history - an introduction

An 1880s view of Lyndhurst
An 1880s view of Lyndhurst

The history of Lyndhurst, Bank and Emery Down is long and fascinating.

Some aspects reflect the New Forest's original role as a Norman hunting ground, whilst other aspects of Lyndhurst's history are connected to the village's historical position as Capital of the New Forest.

Much of the evidence of Lyndhurst's history can still be seen today, and provides many opportunities for exploration, whilst Bank, Emery Down (and Swan Green) offer just as much of interest.

Explore, for example, Lyndhurst's Alice In Wonderland connection, and learn about the 'old' Parish Church and Parkhill. Find out about Queen's House and the ancient Verderers' Hall. Walk along the New Forest Salt Way and Beechen Lane, visit the site of Lyndhurst Race Ground, and discover why George III and William Cobbett had an interest in Cuffnells, a mansion once located on the outskirts of Lyndhurst.

Consider, too, the military history of Lyndhurst's White Moor, and whilst wandering over this now peaceful heathland, pause for a moment to contemplate the likely thoughts of men long ago, training here whilst awaiting postings to the horrors of First World War trenches.

The 17th Division (surely the 7th Division, not the 17th) leaving Lyndhurst en-route to the First World War battlefields, as shown on a contemporary postcard
The 17th Division (surely the 7th Division, not the 17th) leaving Lyndhurst en-route to the First World War battlefields, as shown on a contemporary postcard

Find out more about Lyndhurst, Bank and Emery Down's fascinating history

Find out more about Lyndhurst, Bank and Emery Down's history as revealed on these old maps

and in these old pictures

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** New Forest ponies and other animals**
New Forest ponies in the road
Commoners' ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene, but during 2019 agisters attended 159 road traffic accidents involving these animals, a small but disappointing increase on the 154 accidents attended in 2018.

Sadly, 58 animals were killed - 35 ponies, 13 cows, 8 donkeys and 2 sheep, whilst a further 32 were injured - 3 pigs, 9 donkeys, 11 cows and 9 ponies.

(Forty-three accidents occurred in daylight, 15 at twilight and 101 in the dark. Twenty-seven accidents were not reported by the driver involved).
** Always take care when driving **
New Forest seasonal highlights
July
Silver-washed fritillary butterflies brighten many woodland rides.
Bird song subsides as the annual moult begins, old worn feathers are cast off and new replacements grown.
Wild gladiolus plants bloom. (In the UK, this species is found only in the New Forest).
Dragonflies and Damselflies take to the wing in ever increasing numbers.

August
Heather blossom produces huge swathes of heathland colour, adding to the pinks and purples of earlier flowering cross-leaved heath and bell heather.
Fallow, red and sika deer antlers, when fully grown, are cleaned of velvet in preparation for the autumn rut.
New Forest pony drifts - the annual round-ups - begin.
Marsh gentian blooms add splashes of blue to some of the wetter heathlands.
The Glorious New Forest
New Forest ponies in the road
New Forest ponies in the road
Marvellous landscapes, marvellous wildlife
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley