New Forest Nelson
What's The Battle of Trafalgar and Bucklers Hard connection?

New Forest Bucklers Hard Museum

New Forest Nelson & Bucklers Hard are linked in history. How and why?

A combination of plentiful supplies of local oak and the shipbuilding skills Buckler's Hard was able to offer, meant Nelson was equipped with 3 of his naval warships for the Battle of Trafalgar from this small village on the Beaulieu river.

HMS Euryalus, HMS Agamemnon and HMS Swiftsure were all built at Bucklers Hard village.
It had developed into a thriving shipbuilding village, and was able to supply the finest English oak for Nelson's Navy.

I've recently made a visit to the Maritime Museum at Bucklers Hard and had a really great day out. This magnificent figure is in The New Forest Maritime Museum Shop, and lots more too.

I discovered lots of information I had no idea about concerning the New Forest Nelson the shipbuilding skills and success derived from our oak trees in the Battle of Trafalgar. I was also amazed that so much woodland survives when you see the extent of the ship building industry in Buckler's Hard during the time of Nelson.

Here's what we saw on our visit to the Buckler's Hard Maritime Museum

New Forest Bucklers Hard Maritime Museu

Buckler's Hard shipbuilding harbour and HMS Agamemnon.

HMS Agamemnon Battle of Trafalgar model at Buckler's Hard Maritime Museum

Nelsons HMS Agamemnon

  • The Buckler's Hard story tells you the history of the village. Monks from the Abbey used the Beaulieu river for transport and food.
  • Montagu Town (its original name) was developed as a free port for trading in sugar with the West Indies.
  • It then became a viable shipbuilding area hence The Master Builders House which is now a Bar, Hotel and Restaurant set in the stunning Buckler's Hard High Street.
  • See models of 3 of Nelsons Navy warships - the HMS Euryalus, HMS Agamemnon and HMS Swiftsure
  • View Nelsons baby clothes and other memorabilia.
Bucklers Hard-wife at fire
Bucklers Hard-children at play
  • The historic cottage displays show you how the village looked in the early 1880's
  • Visit a cramped labourers cottage - with noisy children playing and a more upmarket shipwright craftmans home
  • It's 1790 so come into The New Inn pub it's really captured the atmosphere
  • See the Puckle Gun it has round bullets to fire at Christians and square ones for the heathens! - amazing - luckily it was a commercial failure!
  • The SS Persia Story is a fascinating story - it was sunk during WW1 and there are poignant artifacts on display, including the door to the bullion room - but the gold was never recovered!
New Forest Bucklers Hard Museum-Persia artifacts
  • Learn about the D Day Landings and how the river was used to support the Normandy landings.
  • Listen to an audio-visual presentation of the Beaulieu River during WW2
  • St Mary's Chapel is still used for services and was once a cottage and later a school.
New Forest-Beaulieu from the river

The New Forest Nelson and Buckler's Hard village - what a fascinating connection they all have.

  • Discover the Art of the Shipwright as a hull of an 18th Century rib is reconstructed near to the original slipway where so many historical ships were launched.
New Forest Beaulieu river trips
  • Take a Beaulieu River boat trip, we did and it was lovely.
  • Have a snack or full meal either at The Captains Cabin Tea Rooms or the Master Builder's House Hotel.
  • Shop at the Maritime Museum shop for nautical gifts, models, books and toys.
  • Walk past the little thatched Bath House built as an open air bath house for the son of George Duke of Montagu. The boy suffered from arthritis and the bath house was to help his pain.
New Forest Bucklers Hard Thatched Bath House

The Thatched Bath House at Buckler's Hard

Or just sit and take in the lovely view of the river and think of those magnificent oaks being brought in to build Nelson's magnificent naval ships.

When I visited I found the history of the New Forest, Nelson, the Battle of Trafalgar and Buckler's Hard fascinating. I hope you have learned a little more about Nelson and his famous Trafalgar ships and also the important part the New Forest played during these times. If you visit the Maritime Museum at Buckler's Hard you should have a great day exploring, discovering and eating on your day out.

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