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Boldre, Hampshire

Historical Description

Boldre, a village and parish in Hants. The village stands on the Lymington river, 2½ miles N of Lymington station on the L. & S.W.R. It has a post office under Lymington, money order and telegraph office, Beaulieu. The parish includes also the tithings of Battramsley, Pilley, and Warborne. Acreage, 12,022 of land and 1233 of foreshore and water; population of the civil parish, 2251; of the ecclesiastical (St John), 1141; East Boldre (St Paul), 606. Fully one-half of the surface, comprising 180 acres in Wilberley Walk, 655 in Rhinefield Walk, 1580 in Whitley Ridge Walk, and 3680 in Lady Cross Walk, is in the New Forest. Boldrewood House is now used as a keeper's cottage. Many parts contain fine scenery, and some spots command extensive brilliant views. The living is a discharged vicarage in the-diocese of Winchester; gross value, £301 with residence. The church stands on a hillock, embowered among trees, about a mile from the village, is Early English, much altered by restorations, has a singularly-placed tower, contains a well-preserved piscina, a monumental bust of Kemp, who represented Lymington in the time of Charles I., and the remains and monument of the Rev. Wm. Gilpin, author of "Forest Scenery" and was the marriage-place of Southey to his second wife, Caroline Bowles. East Boldre, a vicarage and a separate benefice, was constituted in 1839, and is in the patronage of the Bishop of Winchester, with net income of £93 with residence. The chapelries of Sway and Baddesley also are separate benefices. There is a Baptist chapel. Gilpin was vicar during thirty years, and died in 1804.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyHampshire 
Ecclesiastical parishBoldre St. John 
HundredNew Forest 
Poor Law unionLymington 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The registers date from the year 1596, and are currently preserved at the Hampshire Archives. It contain the entry of the marriage of the poet Robert Southey to his second wife, Caroline Anne Bowles, 4th June, 1839.

The register dates from the year 1840.


Church of England

St. John the Baptist, Church Lane (parish church)

The church of St. John, built about 1100-1106, and situated, like almost every church in Hampshire woodlands, on rising ground, is an edifice of stone, in the Norman and Early English styles, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch, and a low embattled tower on the south side, partly rebuilt in 1697, and containing 3 bells: the fabric of the church belongs chiefly to the 12th century, the oldest portion, including a Norman arcade of three arches, being on the south side: in the belfry is a piscina, in good preservation, also a fine monumental bust, in alabaster, of John Kempe esq. who represented the borough of Lymington in Parliament in the reign of Charles I.: the stained east window was erected by Mrs. J. Lane Shrubb, of Boldre Grange, in memory of her husband: the west window is a memorial to Charles Winston esq. author of several standard works on painted glass: the church was restored in 1855, and has sittings for over 200. The churchyard is a picturesque and secluded spot, surrounded with stately forest trees and underwood: here was buried William Gilpin M.A. sometime vicar of Baldre and prebendary of Salisbury, and well known as the author of "Forest Scenery"; he died 5 April, 1804.

St. Paul, Church Lane

The church of St. Paul, built in 1839, was restored and a chancel added in 1891 at a cost of £620, and is a small edifice of brick, in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave and a turret containing one bell: there are 250 sittings.



Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Boldre from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Hampshire (County Southampton) is available to browse.


Online maps of Boldre are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Hampshire newspapers online:

Villages, Hamlets, &c


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Hampshire, 1530, 1575, & 1622-34 is available to view on the Heraldry page.

DistrictNew Forest
RegionSouth East
Postal districtSO41
Post TownLymington