The History of Lyndhurst
The name Lyndhurst, probably of Saxon origin, means 'lime-wood'.
On Matley Heath, between Lyndhurst and Beaulieu, the mounds of Bronze
Age round barrows can be seen and at Pondhead, near Matley, Roman coins
have been excavated.
In 980, the recorded history of Lyndhurst begins. It was, by this time,
a royal manor granted to the Abbey of Amesbury in Wiltshire. By 1075 the
first Norman king, William I, had designated the whole area between the
river Avon on the west, Wiltshire to the north, and to the south and east
the Test, Southampton Water and the Solent as his "New" Forest,
or Nova Foresta, to serve as a safe dwelling place for the beasts of the
Over the centuries Lyndhurst became the haunt of royalty, nobility and
commoner alike. It was also a magnet for artists, writers and professionals
of all kinds. Most of the inhabitants of Lyndhurst were involved, unsurprisingly,
in the timber and coppice industries. As the village increased in popularity
there was an influx of newcomers who built large houses and consequently
required domestic workers. Many locals are still employed in the service
industry providing accommodation, hospitality and goods for the many visitors.
Lyndhurst claims to be capital of the New Forest.The Court of Verderers
sits in the Queens House in Lyndhurst. The Verderers are the guardians
of the Commoners and their Rights of Common within the UK; they are also
the watchdogs of the Forest landscape and may veto development and highways.
In the 1877 New Forest Act, they were charged with managing commoning
on the Forest together with inquiring into unlawful inclosures.
To the north, the village of Minstead, with Furzey Gardens, established
in 1922, with pleasant tea rooms at Acre Down Farm, and the village Church
is the burial place of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
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