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The New Forest: Day Two

Fordingbridge and New Forest National Park


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After a lie-in our first stop of the day was in the little town of Fordingbridge, north of our campsite and on the boundary of the New Forest. We bought sandwiches, snacks and drinks at a Tesco Metro and wandered over to a riverside park to eat our lunch on the banks of the River Avon. To get there we crossed the medieval Great Bridge with its seven elegant arches; as we ate our lunch we had a great view of the same. Then we walked down the road a bit to explore further. As we re-crossed the Great Bridge I noticed a statue of the artist Augustus John, who lived in Fordingbridge from 1927 until his death in 1961. Most of the shops were closed, because it was a Sunday, but we did go into a little temporary local art exhibition, where Dave bought some cards.

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After Fordingbridge we drove further into the New Forest, stopped and went for a walk on the heath. It was very calm and peaceful. We saw several new Forest ponies, not on the heath itself but in a bracken patch and a copse. I really liked that. Some of the ponies were bay coloured and some were black and white.

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The next stop was something I was particularly keen to see while we were in the New Forest. This was the Rufus Stone, a stone that marks the spot where William II, nicknamed 'William Rufus', met his death in 1100 (though the accuracy of the marker placement is disputed). He was shot in the chest in the middle of a hunting excursion; some think it was an accident, some think it was deliberate. Supposedly, a nobleman called Sir Walter Tyrrel was aiming for a stag, but his arrow glanced off an oak tree instead and hit the king. The original marker was placed in the glade in the 18th century and after repeated vandalism, was given a cast iron cover in 1841. This is what we can see today.

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We read the marker's inscriptions (which also date from 1841) and took some photos before walking down the road to the Sir Walter Tyrrel pub, which stands in the open with a green on the other side of the road. New Forest ponies roamed. We enjoyed a drink in the beer garden before heading back to the car.

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We had dinner and a drink or two in the bar/restaurant/clubhouse again in the evening.

Posted by 3Traveller 13:56 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged bridges art united_kingdom camping dave british_countryside new_forest_national_park rufus_stone Comments (0)

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