History of New Milton

Milton and seven other manors, within the parish bounds from about 1270, were first detailed in Domesday (1086).  ‘Middletune’ (meaning ‘middle farm’ of other-tons) and 6 others were outside the Forest, but their woods were under Forest Law.  Barton became known world-wide from 1766 when fossils were found in the cliffs and hundreds of Stone Age axe heads have been found near the coast since the mid 19th century.

The area is amazingly rich in medieval documents, Bashley having been owned by Christchurch Priory and most lands to the south by Winchester College.  The medieval Church in Old Milton, St Mary Magdalene’s, was pulled down in 1832, except for the Stuart Tower, and rebuilt.

Parish records begin in 1654, there being a Poor House from the 1790s and in 1836 a National (C/E) School was erected just east of “The George” close to Old Milton Green.  The first Secondary School was at Ashley (1939) and it amalgamated with Gore Secondary in 1970 to form Arnewood Comprehensive.

The greatest changes came when Milton Station was built in 1886 (the line opened in March 1888).  Winchester College and the Barton Court estate’s lands were sold for housing.  The beach became open to the public.  The Water Tower (a Listed Building)  was built as early as 1900, the year when England’s 1st reinforced concrete bridge was also built at Chewton, on the Hampshire/Dorset border.

A Mrs Newhook opened a sub P.O. opposite the Station Hotel in 1895 and in January 1896 Lyminton P.O. and the Civil Parish agreed to the name she used, namely New Milton Sub P.O.  The name was adopted by the Railway in April 1897.

With the outbreak of the 1st World War Barton became a hutted camp for sick British troops; soon replaced by Indian soldiers.  The 1917 Obelisk, referred to as “The Indian Monument” at the southern end Barton Court Avenue commemorates their stay.

In 1903 Barton Common was bought by the solicitor, Alexander Paris, who tried to close it to people who had previously exercised common rights there.  This, and his attempt to close the southern end of Angel Lane, took Milton men to London to participate in High Court actions against Mr Paris, during the period 1909 -11.

Largely as a result of the efforts of the Rector, Mr Kelsall, much of Whitefield was preserved as a War Memorial Recreation Ground in April 1920.  The ground was bought for £1850, raised by public subscription.  Then a Mr Matterson bought the rough land to the north and handed it over to the Trust so it could be used to create Bowling Greens and Tennis Courts.

From 1926 to 1932 New Milton was an Urban District Council. 1928 is noteworthy for the foundation of a most important feature of the Town’s weekly life – `The New Milton Advertiser’ the local paper which is now linked with `The Lymington Times’, greatly extending the paper’s coverage.

April 1974 saw the end of the extended Borough of Lymington, and New Milton became a Neighbourhood Council in the newly created New Forest District Council.  In 1979 as part of the Local Government Reorganisation New Milton Town Council was formed