The New Forest is unique. Its boundaries enclose 145 square miles of some of the most beautiful countryside anywhere in the world. Originally established as a Royal Forest by William the Conqueror more than 900 years ago, mainly as a preserve for deer, few other places combine so remarkable a history with such an immense diversity of landscapes. There are ancient woodlands, open foreshore, heathland and bogs, an intricate network of rivers that wind their way to the sea.
In the past this part of the New Forest was very isolated and the sight of the Inn that has always stood here must have been a very welcome sight to those crossing the wild and lonely forest moors. Over the centuries travellers, merchants, foresters, Lords and their Ladies hunting in the Royal preserve and even highway men and smugglers for which this area was renowned, would have stopped for a drink or a bite to eat. It is believed that for many years the French brandy that was sold here was supplied by the smugglers or “Gentlemen of the Night” as they were known. When a nearby cottage was demolished a smugglers hoard of French gold coins was found in the roof space.
The Inn was rebuilt in the Victorian era but fell upon hard times. Now tastefully restored, it is once again a welcoming place for those travelling in this beautiful part of the New Forest. Refurbished to a very high standard retaining many original features including the stained glass windows and doors. Inside there is now a plush Victorian bar with a feature open fire place where you can enjoy traditional cask ale, fine wines and spirits – all now legally acquired!
“The New Forest in Hampshire is among the few forests which has retained any ideas of their ancient consequence – at least it is superior to the rest, on account of the extent of it’s boundaries; the variety of it’s contents; and the grandeur of its scenes.” JOHN GILPIN 1791