New Forest National Park
What is it?
An unspoilt 18th century village where boats for Nelson’s naval fleet and the Battle of Trafalgar were built.
Why it is special?
It offers a glimpse of maritime and village history through the ages. You can go inside many of the cottages to see how the inhabitants lived, and visit the maritime museum to find out about the village’s Nelson connection.
Buckler's Hard through the ages:
- 1720s Settlement laid out as a planned port with 80ft-wide street for markets and fairs
- 1740s Civilian shipyard opens – Henry Adams manages building of a 24-gun ship, HMS Surprise
- 1756-1763 Adams manages building of more warships, three of which later used in battle of Trafalgar
- 1771-1847 Business is booming - Adams and family move into building cutters and merchant vessels too
- 1850s Ship building declines - village goes into decline
- Early 20th century Beaulieu River becomes popular for pleasure crafts and sailing
- WWII Port becomes Navy repair centre - Mulberry harbours built nearby
- 1947 Civilian boating regains popularity
- 1963 Maritime Museum opens
Tell us something we didn’t know
Three ships that took part in the Battle of Trafalgar were built here, the Agamemnon, Euryalus and the Swiftsure. News of Nelson’s death was written on board the Euryalus.
What else can I do there?
Stroll around the village and look inside the schoolroom, the shipwright’s cottage or take a woodland walk to find out about the trees used for timber in boatbuilding. You can also take a river cruise and visit the maritime museum which is open from 10am every day.
How to get there
M27 exit junction 2, follow the brown and white tourist signs towards Beaulieu. At Beaulieu Village, follow the brown and white tourist signs to Buckler’s Hard.
Or take a train to Brockenhurst, and hire a bike for a gentle six mile ride.