Brockenhurst, named in the Domesday Book as Brocests, is in the heart of the New Forest. Surrounded by everything rural,
it is still in easy reach of Southampton, , Winchester and Bournemouth.
It is said that it was an ancester of Purkiss the grocer who discovered the body of William Rufus after he had been killed in the Forest in
1100 by an arrow. In about the year 1087, Rufus had his horses shod and his armour, pikes and his arrow tips all made at the smithy which stood on the site of the present 'Island Shop'.
There are several churches including a Roman Catholic completed in 1939 and St Nicholas', mentioned in the Domesday Book
of 1086. In the churchyard is an old yew tree known to be at least 1,000 years old. Also in the churchyard is the grave of 'Brusher' Harry Mills who died in 1905. He of the parish. He was the
local snake catcher and his gravestone was subscribed for by the people of the parish. One villager used to recall how her grandmother often met him whilst out walking in the Forest. 'Brusher' would
be carrying his sack full of snakes, and he would say to her "Put your hand in, Mother" - an offer she hastily declined!
In the summer the village is filled with visitors.
There are many attractive cottages, some of them Thatched. One of the latter, Ash Cottage, once the home of Miss Bowden
Smith, was the first village school and pupils paid 1d a week to attend. Shops, garages, hotels, guest houses and rest homes provide work for local people. There is also an engineering works and
stables, One public house, the Rose and Crown, provided the village with its first bus service. Many of the villagers work at the oil refinersy at Fawley and other establishments connected with the