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Queen's House Lyndhurst
Originally uploaded by Missy2004.
At the top of the High Street, Queen’s House is a familiar sight to people entering Lyndhurst from this direction.. The principal building owned by the Crown in the New Forest, it is the local headquarters of the Forestry Commission, and also has attached the Verderers’ Hall, home of the ancient Verderers' Court.
It is characteristic of a 17th century mansion, and is the only surviving major building of the Charles I period in the whole of Hampshire.
But the first record of a building on this site is in 1297, in the reign of Edward I.
The Queen in question: Eleanor of Castile, Edward’s first queen, who made Lyndhurst her home when the king was away fighting the Welsh - Edward completed the conquest of Wales in devastating campaigns of 1276-77 and 1282-83, and built huge castles to keep it secure.
Rebuilding took place in the reign of Henry VIII, and, more substantially, between 1634 and 1672 in the reigns of Charles I and his son, Charles II – the work was interrupted by the English Civil War. Bricks for this later re-building were made at Clayhill, on the outskirts of Lyndhurst.
Charles I hunted from Lyndhurst, and, probably, so too did the second Charles and also James II. The last sovereign to stay at the house, though, was George III for a short period in 1789.
The tenancy was held by royal dukes from 1771 until 1850 - the last royal resident was His Royal Highness Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, seventh son of George III, who lived in the house from 1827 to 1849.
On the death of Adolphus, Queen’s House became the New Forest, Deputy Surveyor’s official residence, and then from 1915 until 1961, the living quarters were let privately. In 1966/67 the house was adapted to provide Forestry Commission office accommodation.