The History of Bransgore
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.
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."
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 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.
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.
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