Maritime Museum%2C Buckler's Hard

Buckler’s Hard: Discover maritime history with Literacy and History workshops

The village of Buckler’s Hard has a lot to offer school pupils, from teaching them about naval history to allowing them to explore the natural surroundings, and find out about its World War Two involvement.

Buckler’s Hard is an 18th century shipbuilding village where ships for Admiral Lord Nelson’s Trafalgar fleet were built. The village sits by the Beaulieu River which has an interesting naval past. 

The river played an important role during World War Two and Buckler’s Hard is believed to have been a landing point for smugglers, from the late 18th century. The cottage which is now the chapel of St Mary’s is also thought to have been the centre of smuggling operations and visiting pupils will be able to look through a window in the floor which reveals the cellar below which was used to store smuggled goods. 

The Maritime Museum and the recreated labourers’ and shipwright’s cottages within the village are well suited for History and Literacy visits and reveal the area’s connections with Nelson and details about the people who lived there during the 18th century. Schools can also take a river cruise to put into context the geographical perspective of the village settlement.

What workshops are available for schools?

Buckler’s Hard offers educational programmes which involve viewing recreated cottage interiors of the 1700s and costumed guides who can give role playing tours for school visits to get children interested in maritime history and the building of ships during the 18th century..

A new shipbuilding settlement workshop allows pupils to learn about the development of Buckler’s Hard from a small landing place into a shipbuilding centre. Schools will discover how ships were constructed and also what life was like in the 1700 settlement. This workshop is suitable for Key Stages 1 and 2.

Suitable for Key Stages 1 to 3, the Ships and Seafarers, Houses and Homes workshop involves role play where children play 18th century visitors viewing the place where ships for Nelson’s navy were built. Pupils will learn more about the master shipbuilder Henry Adams and life in the 18th century shipbuilding village. 

The Buckler’s Hard Caching workshop, meanwhile, gets schools using IPads to navigate their way through the village using an interactive map to follow a trail. By working in teams, pupils can get to grips with co-ordinates and codebreaking which tie in with the Maths curriculum. The puzzle app is suitable for Key Stages 1 and 2.

Schools can also walk the Woodland Trail which takes students along the river, discovering the varied species of trees that would have been used to construct ships in the 18th and 19th centuries.

What else does Buckler’s Hard offer schools?

Workshops and programmes are all tailored to incorporate areas of the National Curriculum and multiple subjects can be combined into one visit, with a wide choice of cross-curricular programmes. 

Buckler’s Hard is currently developing STEM programmes to adapt to curriculum changes to focus more on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. 

This year, STEAM activities will also be introduced to incorporate elements of Art and Design in to existing programmes.

Schools can get combined tickets to the Maritime Museum and the chapel of St Mary’s when visiting Buckler’s Hard.

Visiting schools can also combine their visits with a trip to Buckler’s Hard’s sister attraction, Beaulieu, also located within the New Forest.

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