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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Celebrate the ‘Festival of British Archaeology’ in the New Forest

Discover the secrets of the New Forest by coming along to an event celebrating the annual Festival of British Archaeology.

The Festival from 14 - 29 July showcases the diverse history of the New Forest with a range of exciting events from an Iron Age cookery demonstration to getting up close to a real Spitfire aeroplane.

Approximately 130 students from Beaulieu and South Baddesley Primary schools will visit Buckler’s Hard to launch the fortnight of events. They will be taking part in an excavation looking for evidence of World War II activity and 18th century shipbuilding artefacts at Buckler’s Hard.


14 - 22 July - Excavation at Buckler’s Hard, Beaulieu

The New Forest National Park Authority and Wessex Archaeology have teamed up for a week-long excavation at Buckler’s Hard. It is hoped that the dig will establish the extent of activity there during World War II. Aerial photography shows that Buckler’s Hard was used extensively during this period and several Nissan huts were sited there.

Spaces on the excavation are limited but visitors to Buckler’s Hard can speak to the experts, see finds being processed and learn how trees were used in 18th century shipbuilding.

The excavation activities will run daily from 10am – 4pm, with refreshments available to purchase from the Captain’s Cabin Tearooms and the Yachtsman’s Bar at the Master Builder’s House Hotel.

Admission to Buckler’s Hard includes entry to the Maritime Museum, which tells the story of Buckler’s Hard from its early beginnings as a failed sugar port, through its heyday as an 18th century shipbuilding centre, to its role during the war years. For more information visit

26 July - A taste of history: Explorer day at Buckland Rings, Lymington

Watch a live cookery demonstration to discover what Iron Age people ate from one of the world’s leading experimental archaeologists.

Afterwards join in a short walk and take part in one of the many activities on offer.

St Barbe Museum in Lymington town centre will be running a free shuttle bus to and from the site. For more information visit

26 - 28 July - New Forest Remembers: Untold stories of World War II, New Forest and Hampshire County Show

Airfields, spy schools, bombing ranges, bunkers and D-Day preparations have shaped the New Forest National Park into what it is today.

Now you can find out more about this dramatic period in history by visiting the National Park Authority’s show stand in the New Forest Corner at the New Forest and Hampshire County Show.

Visit the ‘memories tent’ to hear stories from that time, see aerial photographs of how the Forest looked, read classified documents and see an authentic Spitfire aeroplane.

If you have any images, documents or memories please bring them along to the show so the New Forest Remembers team can record them.

For more information about the New Forest Remembers show stand visit

James Brown, World War II – Project Manager, said: ‘These events showcase a small example of the rich cultural heritage of the New Forest National Park. The national “Festival of Archaeology” is a great opportunity to learn about your own local heritage, to get involved and see archaeology in action.’

Sue Davies OBE, Chief Executive of Wessex Archaeology, said: ‘We are delighted to work yet again with the New Forest Park Authority on a community archaeology project.  New Forest Remembers - Untold stories of World War II is an exciting project and we hope the excavation attracts local interest and furthers our understanding of the role of Buckler’s Hard during World War II.’

Susan Tomkins, Archivist for the Beaulieu Estate, said: ‘We are delighted to be hosting the dig at Buckler’s Hard as part of the Festival of British Archaeology.  It offers a unique opportunity for children and adults to both see and take part in an archaeological excavation whilst learning more about their local heritage.

Visitors to the dig can also learn about Buckler’s Hard’s 17th and 18th century shipbuilding history and the important role played by the village during World War II.’

The ‘New Forest remembers- untold stories of World War II’ is supported by a wide range of organisations including ExxonMobil and English Heritage both financially and through staff time.

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