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Shipbuilding back in Buckler's Hard

Published 26/04/2015

A university project is to bring shipbuilding back to Buckler's Hard near Beaulieu in Hampshire
A university project is to bring shipbuilding back to Buckler's Hard near Beaulieu in Hampshire

A village forever associated with Nelson's Navy is to once again echo to the sound of shipbuilding.

Over the May Day bank holiday weekend archaeology students will be working at Buckler's Hard on the Beaulieu River in Hampshire.

From the University of Southampton, the students will be converting oak timbers from the Beaulieu Estate into the main components of the framework of a ship.

They will use tools and techniques from the 18th and 19th centuries at a time when all that stood between Britain and invasion from France was the excellence of the British Navy.

Under the leadership of master shipbuilder Henry Adams, Buckler's Hard was a major shipbuilding centre due to its position on the Beaulieu River and the abundance of oak, beech and elm trees in the nearby New Forest.

Three ships built at the Hampshire village - the Euryalus, Swiftsure and Agamemnon - fought at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Horatio Nelson served on the Agamemnon as a captain in the 1790s, while it was on the Euryalis that the dispatch was written containing the news of the victory at Trafalgar and of Nelson's death.

Buckler's Hard also played a significant role in D-Day in June 1944, with many landing craft sailing for Normandy from the Beaulieu River.

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