by Barbara Ballard

Four miles from the sea and the town of Christchurch, Bransgore lies just inside Hampshire's border with Dorset on the edge of the New Forest. The Forest was William the Conqueror's private hunting reserve. Bronze Age remains attest to the fact of ancient habitation in the area.
Crossroads Cottage
Crossroads Cottage, Bransgore
The village was called, in 1759, 'Bransgoer Common', and in 1817 'Bransgrove'. Its modern name was coined in 1850. 'Gore' stands for 'a triangle of land', found in this case at the bottom of Burnt House Lane. 'Bran' is from the Saxon 'belonging to Bran'.

Sheepherders went through the village on the way from Ringwood to Milton's market. The village reputation suffered under the words of the Canon of Winchester, who wrote in 1840 that it was . . ."the refuge. . .of those who have been chased from more civilised places."
Beech House
Beech House
19th century manor houses and cottages hide among the modern housing of the village. Treed and open areas make for a pleasant rural feeling. Beech House, a mile and ½ from the centre of the village, was built during Charles II's reign. It may have served as a safe haven for aristocrats during the French Revolution.

A home of special note, the Edwardian Bransgore House, contained 36 rooms and sat on 57 acres of land with three thatched cottages, a coach house, and a stable. Unfortunately, it became run down and subsequently was divided into flats, and the land was used for development. There remains, however, a Portland stone entrance and an oriel window original to the house. In the acreage were gardens, woodlands, and orchards. Rose gardens, herbaceous borders, and lawns graced the grounds. Peaches, nectarines, grapes, orchids, and carnations were grown in the greenhouses.
The Three Tuns Pub
The Three Tuns
The thatched roof pub, the Three Tuns is one of three in the village. All Saints Church, at Thorney Hill, between Burley and Bransgore is a 1908 grade 1 listed building. The village church, St Mary the Virgin, was built in 1823 on the village outskirts at a cost of £2800. Constructed of brick with stone dressings, its tower contains one bell. Three stained glass windows and a 16th century octagonal font grace the interior. Henry Wilberforce, son of William Wilberforce known for his campaign against slavery, was once the vicar and founded a school in the village in 1841. Part of the school's roof was thatched and part was slate.
woodland walk
Woodland walk near Bransgore
Clay pits and spoil tips give a clue to what was once the area's major industry-brick making-in the mid 1800's. Bransgore provided the clay for the red bricks, and sand was found nearby. The town of Bournemouth was a ready market for the bricks.

On England's south coast, the village of Bransgore, on the edge of the New Forest, is a short distance from popular beaches and the towns of Christchurch and Bournemouth with all their attractions.

©2001 by Barbara Ballard. Reproduction of this work in whole or in part, and reproduction in electronic media, without documented permission from the author is prohibited.

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