The New Forest is a famous wooded area in Hampshire, in the South of England.
Most of the forest is managed by the Forestry Commission, and in 2004 it was designated a National Park.
Originally created by William the Conqueror, it is a mixture of open grazing, woodland and heath, and was very suitable for the Royal pastime of deer hunting.
The Conqueror’s son and successor, William Rufus, was killed by an arrow, shot by the expert archer Sir William Tyrrell, in the New Forest. It may have been an accident, but Rufus’s brother Henry was conveniently nearby, and was crowned as Henry I with a great deal of haste.
From the 15th century, large numbers of trees were felled to create ships for the Royal Navy.
Today, the forest is famous for its many deer and ponies, who roam free.
Beaulieu Abbey was sold at the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and is now a steely home, containing a famous Motor Museum. Nearby Bucklers Hard is a riverside hamlet, which became an important centre for building timber ships for the navy.
Nearby are Southampton, a modern city and ancient seaport; Ringwood, with fine Georgian architecture; and Lymington, with its ancient Priory.