Friday 11 March 2011

Bailey's Hard

Just off the main footpath between the Beaulieu village and Buckler's Hard in the New Forest is the less well known Bailey's hard. Vessels for the British Navy were built in the little creek as long ago as 1680 surrounded as it is by oak woodland, sheltered with access to the Solent it was an ideal site for ship construction.

Today you can still see why it was such a good location, the Beaulieu river is at high water and the small creek off to the right. In the foreground the site is still used as a hard, but only to store dinghies from the yachts moored in the river.

The site was also used for brick production, the with the remains of this beehive kiln still intact. Presumably with access to the water, boats were used to transport the bricks, but a small railway was also built during the 1850's.

This detail of the kiln shows the massive steel belt which runs right around the circumference, under tension to hold the structure together.


  1. the raiway ran from nr the top of the lane from the clay pits down to the brickworks, I was brought up a child in the converted brickworks in the late 1950 to 1977 when my gran moved to Beaulieu its self


    1. Hi. I am writing a children's story which has a timeslip back to the brickworks at Bailey's Hard - to 1892.
      I'd be really interested if you have any more information about the brickworks or photos.
      Did the railway tracks still exist in the 1950's?
      Where exactly were the clay pits and was there still evidence of them in the 1950's?
      Some of the people who lived at Bailey's Hard in 1891 originally lived in Kent and returned to Medway - where I now live - by 1901 - although one person stayed in the New Forest area and died there circa 1945.
      Thanks, Jennie

    2. The cattle grid at the top of the lane, used to be made of old small guage railway lines, from the tramway. It was replaced about fifteen years ago.

    3. Hi Jennie.
      Were doing some archaeology next year on the Baileys hard area. If you have any other info about the people or buildings then maybe you can email peter at consultant dot com. Thanks.


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