As detailed in our Cookie Policy, like most sites Strolling Guides uses cookies to enhance your experience, and to share information about how you use our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Unless you disable cookies in your browser, using this website means you consent to this.

New Forest Curiosities

Here you will find details of the other oddities scattered across the forest that donʼt fit anywhere else.

Cracknore Hard

Location

New_forest Map

OS Ref: SU 403 109

Last Visited: 2002

Cracknore Hard

Cracknore Hard

Public hard with views across to Southampton.

Once the home of the British Military Powerboat Trust which closed 30th September 2005 when the lease terminated.

Apart from the sailing club, these days it is mainly given over to industrial use with some waste land.

External Links and References

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

East Boldre Village Hall

Location

New_forest Map

OS Ref: SU 372 006

Last Visited: 2014

East Boldre Village Hall

East Boldre Village Hall

East Boldre Village Hall is thought to be the only building in the New Forest to have survived from the First World War.

As the Display Board explains, the area around this village hall was one of the first airfields in Britain, a flying school was started in 1910 by two aviation pioneers, William McArdle and the wealthy American John Armstrong Drexel.

This closed in 1912, but in 1915 the airfield was taken over by the Royal Flying Corps (later to become the RAF) for training pilots, ground crew and observers for the Western Front.

The village hall was built in 1917 and was used as an Officersʼ Mess and a YMCA.

External Links and References

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

Ibsley Huff Duff

Location

New_forest Map

OS Ref: SU 175 103

Last Visited: 2013

The Blast Wall

The Blast Wall

High up on Ibsley Common, miles from anywhere, are the scant remains of a Huff Duff, the nickname for a High-frequency Direction Finding station. These were usually known by the abbreviation HF/DF (hence the nickname).

This sort of station was used during both World Wars. It consisted of a rotating directional aerial mounted on a 30ft (9m) tall tower.

The Bunker and Other Buildings

The Bunker and Other Buildings

By triangulating the bearings taken from two different stations the location of any radio transmitter could be plotted.

Looking from a distance like an old pillbox, the most prominent remains of the site is the roughly octagonal blast wall that protected the base of the wooden tower, the foundations of which can still be seen.

Further east are the remains of a bunker, and of another building that may have served as accommodation or housed a generator.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Ibsley HF-DF
      An article on the New Forest Remembers site. Includes a 3D computer model of what the tower may have looked like, and has links to other articles on the site.
      http://www.newforestheritage.org/ibsley-hf-df-station-overview/
    • Ibsley HF-DF layout
      One of two articles on the New Forest Remembers site. Includes some photos taken from a kite.
      http://www.newforestww2.org/ibsley-hf-df-layout/

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

Ibsley Airfield Control Tower

Location

New_forest Map

OS Ref: SU 158 088

Last Visited: 2014

Ibsley Airfield Control Tower

Ibsley Airfield Control Tower

Apart from a very short section of the end of the runway at SU 158 083, the only substantial remains of RAF Ibsley is the Control Tower.

As this is on private land and is a protected bat roost, there is no public access. It is, however, just visible through the trees, to the west, about halfway along the road from Moyles Court School to Mockbeggar crossroads.

It is a type 518/40 Watch Office with Meteorological Section, around 50 of which were built by the Air Ministry before and during WWII

Just up the road is the Ibsley Airfield Memorial.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • RAF Ibsley airfield
      More on the airfield from the D-Day Museum site
      http://www.ddaymuseum.co.uk/d-dayonyourdoorstep/details/raf-ibsley-airfield
    • RAF Ibsley Airfield Heritage Trust
      The trust aims to preserve the watch tower creating somewhere for people to come and find out about RAF Ibsley and to show them how a WW2 airfield would have operated.
      http://www.ibsleytower.info/
    • Still watching over Ibsley
      Some photos of the Ibsley Watch Tower on the New Forest Remembers site
      http://www.newforestheritage.org/still-watching-over-ibsley/
    • Airfields of The New Forest by Jon Honeysett
      Brief details of all the disused airfields in the New Forest from the New Forest Guide Site.
      http://www.tangledwebdesigns.webspace.virginmedia.com/History/AirfieldsFrameSet.htm

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

Knightwood Oak

Location

New_forest Map

OS Ref: SU 265 064

Last Visited: 2009

Knightwood Oak

Knightwood Oak

A nearby sign claims that the Knightwood Oak may be the oldest tree in the forest. It one of the few trees in the forest to have been pollarded a practice made illegal in the forest in 1584.

It is the largest and probably the most famous oak tree in the forest, and is sometimes known as the Queen of the Forest.

It has a girth of 7.38 metres (24.2 ft)

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • The Knightwood Oak
      More information from the Forestry Commission site.
      http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/EnglandHampshireNoForestNewForestKnightwoodOak

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

Leadenhall Bomb Target

Location

New_forest Map

OS Ref: SU 205 156

Last Visited: 2014

Leadenhall Bomb Target

Leadenhall Bomb Target

The Leadenhall Bomb Target shows up better from the air than it does on the ground.

During the Second World War this was the site of one of two massive walls, each forty feet high, used as a target for bomb testing.

Surprisingly, despite the fact that the concrete apron was removed in 1991 and the area is grassed over, half of it is still bare.

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

RAF Lymington

Location

New_forest Map

OS Ref: SZ 343 962

Last Visited: 2014

RAF Lymington

RAF Lymington

RAF Lymington was one of four Advance Landing Grounds in the New Forest, built in the spring and early summer of 1944.

These were used as temporary bases for the large numbers of fighter-bombers needed to support the ground troops during the D-Day invasion. Immediately after the invasion, these planes were moved to France.

There used to be a memorial here, similar to the one at Needs Oar, but this has recently been replaced by a display board. Part of the runway is still used as a private airstrip.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • RAF Lymington airfield
      More on the airfield from the D-Day Museum site
      http://www.ddaymuseum.co.uk/d-dayonyourdoorstep/details/raf-lymington-airfield
    • Airfields of The New Forest by Jon Honeysett
      Brief details of all the disused airfields in the New Forest from the New Forest Guide Site.
      http://www.tangledwebdesigns.webspace.virginmedia.com/History/AirfieldsFrameSet.htm

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

Robin Hood's Clump

Location

New_forest Map

OS Ref: SU 171 106

Last Visited: 2013

Robin Hood's Clump

Robin Hood's Clump

The New Forest is not famous for its antiquities. The poor acidic sandy soil was not that attractive to our forebears, and has destroyed much of what little they left.

The Disc Barrow

The Disc Barrow

However on the edge of Ibsley Common, above the fertile lands in the valley below, is a small Bronze Age barrow cemetery. This apparently contains several bowl barrows and a saucer barrow, but they are not immediately obvious.

The only one that is easily spotted is the large disc barrow under the little plantation of trees known as Robin Hoodʼs Clump.

Right on the western edge of the plateau, with splendid views all round, the place has an almost magical air, like somewhere from The Lord of the Rings.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Ibsley Common barrows
      Information on the barrows on Ibsley Common
      http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=14040

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

St Leonards Grange

Location

New_forest Map

OS Ref: SZ 406 981

Last Visited: 2014

St Leonard's Grange

St Leonard's Grange

The remains of a huge Tithe Barn reputed to have been one of the largest in the country. Originally, St Leonardʼs was one of the four granges of Beaulieu Abbey.

St Leonard's Grange

St Leonard's Grange

The other three were at Otterwood (SU 408 020), Bergerie (SZ 393 977) and Boverey (Beufre) (SU 386 010) Farms. However, there are no substantial remains at any of these sites.

Round the corner from the barn are the remains of a seventeenth century chapel and the grange farm itself. None of these buildings are open to the public, but they can be easily seen from the roadside.

Comments

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

Ian Colverson

Look out for the little owl that roosts within the ruins of the barn. Can be seen from the road.

Odd memorial on Stagbury Hill

Location

New_forest Map

OS Ref: SU 286 158

Last Visited: 2002

About half way up the side of Stagbury Hill is a small stone that appears to be inscribed ER (or EB) 1823.

It is marked on the OS Map as a Boundary Stone, an odd thing to find on common land.

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

Sway Tower

Location

New_forest Map

OS Ref: SZ 279 967

Last Visited: 2005

Sway Tower

Sway Tower

Easily spotted from a distance, the Sway Tower is surprisingly difficult to track down once you get close, and even more difficult to photograph.

Built in 1879 by Andrew Thomas Turton Peterson a retired Indian judge (and sometimes known as Petersonʼs Folly) it sores 66m (218ft) over the surrounding countryside. It is now used as a private house offering Bed and Breakfast and as a cell phone mast.

Despite massive amounts of public money that has been spent on it there is no general public access to the tower, and it is shut away behind solid iron gates with decidedly unfriendly locals.

Look out for the small prototype tower Peterson built some 150m to the north of the main one.

Comments

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

Lockdesigner

I have a workshop in the old turkey farm at the base of the litle tower. This tower has been restored fairly recently, the trees around the base have been removed and replaced by a harge conservatory that now appears to link the tower to the house. the crack has been repaired and the upper part of the tower has been partly rendered. I used to have dealings with Mr. Atlas who owns the large tower when he had a second-hand shop in Pokesdown, Bournemouth called "Steptoe & Sons" (gives you some idea of how long ago this was) but have not seen him since moving into the workshop.

Tanners Lane

Location

New_forest Map

OS Ref: SZ 365 952

Last Visited: 2004

Tanners Lane

Tanners Lane

Tanners Lane

Tanners Lane

One of the few places within the bounds of the unenclosed forest where the general public have access to the sea.

Apparently, you can sometimes see New Forest ponies on the beach, but not when Iʼve been there.

Comments

To add a comment on this place or contents of this section, click here.

Les amos

I stopped to swim and take lunch on the beach. As soon as I started eating 2 donkeys arrived