Tag Archives: history

Girl Guiding UK at Lepe Country Park

english_compact_pantoneHere at Lepe we have been welcoming groups from Girl Guiding UK to discover the fascinating history of our underground monitoring post.

The 2nd Dibden Purlieu Brownie Pack joined us on a special evening to find out all about the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) and the work they did to protect the local people. They used their reporter skills to find out how the underground monitoring post was used to monitor radiation and warn the public. We then used our findings to write postcards to loved ones.

The girls worked so hard that they all achieved their Culture Badge!


Holbury and District Trefoil group also came along to Lepe to meet two ROC volunteers in person and ask them all about their duties as part of the ministry defence.

DSC_9178webAs well as talking through the equipment and its uses we viewed the monitoring post using our inverted periscope; to see down below ground.

If you are interested in bringing a Brownies or Guides group along to work towards their Culture Badge, or if you know a Trefoil group that would like to come and find out more, then please contact Nia.Crouch@hants.gov.uk.

New Forest Heritage Weekend

To celebrate the rich history and heritage of the local area the New Forest recently held an event as part of the national Archaeology Festival.


Expert archaeologists and local historians ran a host of activities throughout the day, including guided history walks along Lepe Beach and talks covering a wide range of areas from new Lidar technology to Hampshire’s tourism industry since 1914.


Lepe also opened their new interactive periscope allowing you to see the Underground Monitoring Post as it would have looked in the 1960s. It gives information about the Royal Observer Corp’s role at Lepe Country Park during the Cold War and how the post would have been used.

The gate to the monitoring post is now open daily for the public to see the periscope. We are also holding a family workshop 27th August 10am -12pm to inspire all ages in this local heritage.

Teacher Training at Rockbourne Roman Villa

Rockbourne Roman Villa is a unique opportunity for schools to discover life in Roman Britain and now we are offering teachers the chance to develop their knowledge and practical skills to bring the subject to life inside and outside the classroom.

Continue reading Teacher Training at Rockbourne Roman Villa

Discovering Lepe’s Cold War History

The exciting new Heritage Lottery Funded Project at Lepe Country Park.

1. Post illustration
© Royal Oberver Corps

Lepe Country Park has been awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to renovate the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) Monitoring Post. The underground post will be restored to its original 1960s condition when members of the ROC were first stationed there to monitor the effects of a nuclear blast should Britain come under attack.

DSC_4902webThe fascinating remnant of the Cold War lies hidden from view at Lepe Country Park. Thorough research will be carried out to uncover why a network of Monitoring Posts were built to protect our shores and how the volunteers charged with manning the post felt about their responsibilities.

“At a given instruction I was to go to the post at Lepe where I would be given arms and would stay until after an Atomic Explosion. After the all clear I would be given a set beat and would be responsible for law and order. At the time I was not happy … to leave my family. Thankfully the orders never came.” Keith David Laurence, Special Constable

We will be hosting an array of activities for families, schools and all our visitors to get involved in over 2015. Contact nia.crouch@hants.gov.uk to find out more.






Children discover local WW2 history when evacuated to Testwood Lakes

At Testwood Lakes Nature Reserve in Totton children can see genuine WW2 remains and artefacts and experience what life was like for an evacuee in the New Forest. Oakwood Primary School Year 3 children from Southampton have been studying their local history from the WW2 era this autumn term. To get some real ‘hands-on’ experience they donned 1940s costumes, made gas masks and identity cards and headed for the ‘Testwood Lakes Evacuation Centre’.

Continue reading Children discover local WW2 history when evacuated to Testwood Lakes

South West Hant’s Museums Prepare for New Curriculum

Our three museums in and around the New Forest have launched a new school programme for 2014.

Continue reading South West Hant’s Museums Prepare for New Curriculum

Hidden Histories

Despite expecting gale force winds and driving rain on Monday, I was lucky enough to enjoy a beautiful and fascinating afternoon at Ashley Walk. Various educators and staff from visitor information points in the New Forest were treated to a day of fantastic training, showing us how to get the best from the “New Forest Remembers”  project run by the New Forest National Park Authority.

Continue reading Hidden Histories