The picturesque village of Beaulieu, close to Lymington and Lyndhurst at the head of the Beaulieu River, might best be described as "the Historic Heart of the New forest", its origins date back to the 13th century and the days of King John. No other place in the forest can match Beaulieu for historic interest.
The village grew up around Beaulieu Abbey, founded in 1204 by Cistercian Monks on land given to them by King John, who had a royal hunting lodge at Beaulieu - Bellus Locus Regis, the beautiful place of the King - and the monks who came over from CITEAUX in France re-christened it in their own tongue `Beaulieu' but it came to be pronounced "Bu-Lee" as it is still today.
The abbey thrived until 1538 when, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Henry VIII ordered the destruction of the religious buildings beyond the possibility of restoration. Some buildings which could be put to secular use were allowed to remain.
Beaulieu passed into the ownership of the present Lord Montagu's ancestor Sir Thomas Wriothesley and has been the ancestral home of the Montagu Family ever since, and remains thus to this day.
The 8,000 acre estate has been in the ownership of the Montagu
Family for nearly 500 years. The present Lord Montagu of Beaulieu is a well
known motoring personality who founded Britain's National Motor Museum, internationally
recognised as one of the finest in the world.
The museum holds over 250 vehicles and includes world class examples
of automotive interest, from early examples of motoring from the 1890's to
vehicles from all over the world, including record breakers such as " Bluebird" and "Golden
In the village of Beaulieu the visitor can find many attractions and places to visit, the gently sloping High street has an interesting variety of village stores, ranging from specialist gift and chocolate shops to art and craft.
Beaulieu River provides an ideal location for a leisurely stroll or a place to relax beside for a picnic.
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