East Boldre

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East Boldre
East Boldre Church.JPG
St. Paul's church, East Boldre
East Boldre is located in Hampshire
East Boldre
East Boldre
Location within Hampshire
Population847 [1]
832 (2011 Census)[2]
OS grid referenceSU374003
Civil parish
  • East Boldre
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtSO42
Dialling code01590
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
List of places
50°48′04″N 1°28′15″W / 50.8011°N 1.4707°W / 50.8011; -1.4707Coordinates: 50°48′04″N 1°28′15″W / 50.8011°N 1.4707°W / 50.8011; -1.4707

East Boldre is a linear village and civil parish situated near Lymington, Hampshire, England. East Boldre is surrounded by the New Forest and forms part of the district of New Forest.

The Anglican parish church is dedicated to St. Paul and there is a baptist chapel which was founded in 1810. There is a traditional local pub, The Turfcutters Arms, and a post office. The parish includes the adjoining hamlet of East End.


People have lived in the East Boldre area since prehistoric times. Over thirty Bronze Age barrows lie within the parish boundaries.[3]

The village of East Boldre was originally a straggling hamlet and was known as Beaulieu Rails. This earlier name reflected the fact that the settlement had grown up along the wooden railings defining the western boundary of the Manor and parish of Beaulieu.[4] The residents were described in a parliamentary report in 1834 as "for the most part smugglers and deer-stealers."[5]

The first church was a Baptist church founded in 1810.[6] The Anglican church of St. Paul was built in 1839, but was restored and the chancel added in 1891.[7] The ecclesiastical parish of East Boldre was formed in 1840.[7][8] There were 650 inhabitants in 1871.[8] The village hall was built in 1917.[9] In 1929 East Boldre Civil Parish was created from the Parish of Boldre.[3]

An airfield was built in East Boldre in 1910.[9] There was a flying school here for two years before the airfield reverted to quiet grazing land. In 1914 one of the sheds on the airfield was taken over by the Royal Flying Corps and by 1915 the demand for pilots for World War I was so great that a training school called RFC Beaulieu was built on the area.[9] On 24 October 1917, the village post office at East Boldre was accidentally damaged by a British aeroplane, and for six months the elderly inhabitants had to live under tarpaulins in the house even whilst transacting postal business.[10] The camp was closed in 1919.[9]

In 1942, during World War II, a three runway airfield, RAF Beaulieu, was built on the opposite side of the road.[9] It was used by both the Royal Air Force and then later by the United States Army Air Forces. After the war, the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment (AFEE) came to RAF Beaulieu, and used the former airfield as a parachute dropping zone until September 1950.[11] The site was then neglected and the Air Ministry relinquished control of the land in 1959.[11] Today model aircraft are flown on the site on a regular basis.[11]

The film director Ken Russell and his fourth wife Elize lived in a thatched cottage in East Boldre. On 3 April 2006 the cottage burned down, destroying most of their possessions, including much of Russell's movie-making equipment. They afterwards moved to nearby Lymington.[12][13]


  1. ^ "2001 Census Neighbourhood Statistics - Civil Parishes in the New Forest". neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b East Boldre Archived 18 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, www3.hants.gov.uk, retrieved 10 July 2011
  4. ^ East Boldre: A New Forest Squatters Settlement 1700 - 1900
  5. ^ Report on the Administration and Effects of the Poor Laws, more particularly in the County of Hants, page 2, (1834). Selection of reports and papers of the House of Commons: Volume 43.
  6. ^ East Boldre Baptist Church, East Boldre, www.genuki.org.uk, retrieved 10 July 2011
  7. ^ a b Victoria County History, (1911), A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4 - Boldre, Pages 616-623
  8. ^ a b William White, (1878), History, gazetteer and directory of the county of Hampshire, page 211.
  9. ^ a b c d e History, East Boldre Parish Council, retrieved 10 July 2011
  10. ^ EAST BOLDRE POST OFFICE. (Hansard, 5 March 1918)
  11. ^ a b c Beaulieu Airfield Archived 26 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Hampshire Airfields, retrieved 10 July 2011
  12. ^ Wife escapes as blaze destroys Ken Russell's home, The Independent, 4 April 2006, retrieved 2 December 2011
  13. ^ Stage & Screen: Ken Russell, Daily Echo, 21 June 2007, retrieved 2 December 2011

External links[edit]

Media related to East Boldre at Wikimedia Commons