This summer, from the 25th July – 31st August, the peaceful village of Buckler’s Hard on the banks of the Beaulieu River comes alive as Living History characters take on the roles of residents who lived and worked in the village during the 18th century, when it was a thriving centre for shipbuilding. Join their tours to find out what life was like at that time.
Historic displays in the Labourer’s and Shipwright’s cottages show how their homes would have looked in the early 1800s. In the New Inn, you can hear residents from the time gossiping about local matters.
In the Maritime Museum, The Buckler’s Hard Story reveals the history of this unique village and the ships that were built here for more than a hundred years including three for Admiral Lord Nelson’s Trafalgar Fleet.
In its more recent history, Buckler’s Hard and the Beaulieu River played an important role during WWII. Sections of the ‘Mulberry Harbour’ were made here, and hundreds of craft sailed from the Beaulieu River in the D-Day landings.
The Beaulieu River was believed to be a major landing point for smuggled goods from the late 18th century, with the cottage that is now a chapel, a centre of operations. A viewing window in the floor beside the altar reveals the cellar below, probably used as a store for smuggled goods.
See a replica 18th century shipwrights’ workshop under construction at the bottom of the village street. Follow the fun family quiz trail around the village and take a stroll through the Woodland Walk to discover how local timber at Buckler’s Hard was used to construct ships in the 18th and 19th centuries).