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~~~~ Beaulieu and Buckler's Hard ~~~~

After the sugar venture failed in the 1740's Buckler's Hard later became a major centre for shipbuilding for the Royal Navy, where among the many ships built was the powerful man-of-war the Agamemnon. Launched in April 1781 it was later commanded by Lt. Horatio Nelson who as Admiral Lord Nelson was to die on HMS Victory at the battle of Cape Trafalgar in October 1805. HMS Victory, the world's oldest commissioned ship can still be seen further along the coast in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.


In the foreground one of the historic slipways, more recently they were used during the Second World War when Motor Gun and Torpedo Boats were based on the Beaulieu River.


A beautiful model of the 64 gun Agamemnon in Buckler's Hard Maritime Museum.


Frozen in Time ~ This model, also in the museum gives a bird's eye view of the village at 11am on Friday June 3rd 1803 three days before the launch of 36 gun Euryalus. The Euryalus is the ship on the right while the other is the 74 gun Swiftsure and still over a year away from being launched. This 1/200 scale work of art was created by Gerald Wingrove.


I wonder what stories these timbers could tell?


The secluded Beaulieu River came into its own during the Second World War when over five hundred landing craft and barges used the river. Also concealed in the grounds of the large houses along the river were numerous clandestine organisations, ranging from hydrographic survey, frogmen and commando units and S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive) training schools. The anchor and plaque below are dedicated to the role that people and the Beaulieu River played during the war.


Click on the plaque for a larger and more readable image.


Motor Gun Boat 81.


This strange looking weapon is a prototype Puckle machine-gun, the inventor was Sussex lawyer James Puckle. The gun has round magazines which held seven to nine rounds, one magazine held round bullets and the other square, the round bullets were for firing at Christians and the square were for firing at heathens. Fortunately this evil weapon was never fired.


Passengers disembark after a Beaulieu River cruise.




Today the Agamemnon Boatyard, Marina and river in more peaceful times.

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All Photographs copyright David Packman © 2002 - 2009 (All Rights Reserved)