Forthcoming Events

Visit to Gardens at Walhampton School. 

5.30 pm. 28th of May











As the 2021 lockdown is now being relaxed we are now planning to hold our first physical event on the 28th of May when we will be holding a Garden Visit and Tour at Walhampton School. In line with Government restrictions numbers will be limited 30 members.

Tickets for Members Only can be purchased here. Walhampton Tickets

We are pleased to announce that with lockdown easing, the Head of Walhampton School has graciously accepted our request to go ahead with our planned visit to the school gardens, to be guided by David Hill. There will be a limit of 30 people in total for this visit. The date is Friday 28th May and the proposed start time is 5.30 PM.

With the limit on total numbers being on the low side for such an interesting event, we strongly recommend that members apply early: applications from paid up members will be given initial priority and, after the first 20 have been accepted, additional applications will be placed on a stand-by list. The entry fee will be £10 and light refreshments will be served.

A contribution from the proceeds will also be made to the restoration of Admiral Sir Harry Neale's Coxswain's Shell House Grotto in the grounds. The cost of entry to this visit will include a donation of £5.00 per ticket to help pay for the restoration of the shell grotto in the grounds of the School built most likely between 1815 and 1820. Details of the grotto can be found here: Walhampton Grotto

Sir Harry Burrard inherited Walhampton House from his uncle, also called Harry Burrard in 1791 and it was his main residence until he died in 1840.

The gardens and grounds stretch to over 100 acres and are particularly fine. A full description of the grounds and gardens, produced by the Hampshire Gardens Trust can be found here. Description of Walhampton Grounds

Previous Events: 

Talk by Rosalyn Goulding. St Barbe Museum

"Command of the Seas:

The Navy and the New Forest Against Napoleon"



Date  Wednesday 14th April 6.00 pm via Zoom 
(Zoom open from 5.30pm)
Speaker:  Rosalyn Goulding of
St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery
Topic: "Command of the Seas:
The Navy and the New Forest Against Napoleon"


Rosalyn's talk explores Britain's naval battles against Napoleon and the role played by the New Forest.

Between 1793 and 1815, Britain was at war with revolutionary France. This talk explores some of the key naval engagements in the run up to the decisive victory at Trafalgar in 1805, as well as what life was like in the navy at the time. It focuses on the important contributions of three local admirals, Cornwallis, Peyton and Man, all of whom are buried at Milford churchyard. 

Donald Mackenzie is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Command of the Seas: The Navy and the New Forest Against Napoleon
Time: Apr 14, 2021 06:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 455 346 2400
Passcode: LymSocTalk



Talk by Historian Barry Jolly.

The Real Sir Harry - The Man, the Myth and the Monument













We were very pleased to have been able to host our final event before the “lockdown” when Barry Jolly gave a fascinating talk to about 40 Friends and supporters on the 13th of M arch at the Lymington Centre


Summary of the Talk

What do we really know about our local hero, Admiral Sir Harry Neale?  His achievements are listed on the Burrard-Neale Monument as having taken 20 enemy ships in many gallant actions, and maintaining the loyalty of his crew during the mutiny at The Nore, thereby rewarded by the friendship of George III and the thanks of the City of London.

Careful examination of the facts leads to an alternative interpretation; not less praiseworthy butraising doubts about the motivation and identity of the promoters of the monument. Sir Harry was unquestionably favoured by George III, Queen Charlotte, and their daughters; later also by William IV and Queen Adelaide, but the thanks of a grateful nation were limited to a private meeting of merchants and shipowners in London, not even addressed personally to Sir Harry but to the captains, officers and crews’, and a generous donation to the crew by the people of Ludlow.

Royal favour had its downside, as Sir Harry spent much of the wars against the French on royal protection duties, thereby limiting the opportunity for achievements in battle. His haul of 20 shipsover a period of 20 years was actually very modest.

His marriage to Grace Neale is frequently misrepresented; his wife was actually heiress to both her father and, subsequently, her grandfather. It was the latter who stipulated that any husband should change his name to inherit, a stipulation that very plainly stated that the name Neale be adopted instead of –not in addition to -any other: no Burrard, with or without a hyphen.

Interestingly, Grace’s mother remarried, also inheriting with a change of name to Duckett. Her son George Duckett was MP for Lymington from 1807 to 1812, and his daughter, Isabella, in turn married Sir Harry’s nephew, George Burrard, in 1839.

The memorial gas lamp erected by public subscription in 1833 was dedicated to Sir Harry and George Burrard Esq. –his nephew, and not his brother Rev George Burrard. Sir Harry’s name is correctly registered as Sir Harry Neale. Yet only seven days after his funeral, a proposal for a memorial to Sir Harry Burrard-Neale was agreed and put into effect. One name in life; another in death.

The gas lamp was an acknowledgement of Sir Harry’s gift of all the gas lamp standards in the town. This act of apparent benevolence also had a political motive: from 1832, Sir Harry could no longer simply nominate himself as member of parliament for Lymington, there were now 270 voters to take into account. Any doubts on this point were removed when the other member for Lymington, the non-resident John Stuart, financed the gas lighting in the church at his own expense in November 1833.

The driving force behind the memorial to Sir Harry was clearly his brother, now Rev Sir George Burrard. Like the Neales and the Ducketts, George wanted to ensure the continued usage of the Burrard name; an ornamental obelisk on his own land, with Sir Harry’s name amended to Burrard-Neale and some typically extravagant (and not entirely accurate) paeons of praise adorning the four sides, presented the opportunity.

In this he was supported by the local gentry, many of whom had strong naval connexions. Subscriptions flowed from far and wide, including from members of the Royal Family, members of parliament, the navy and army, the clergy and many others of really quite humble origins. Noticeably, the Burrard family did not contribute, but the Rev Sir George thanked the organising committee as follows: ‘Most deeply do I feel this mark of confidence and esteem which is now evinced towards myself’; strange words in respect of a memorial to his brother.

Perhaps a more fitting tribute came from the pen of an old naval comrade, Admiral Sir Thomas Byam Martin:

“There was implanted in his heart a principle of Christian benevolence, which made him truly the friend of the friendless. There was nothing from his earliest years, to his death at the age of seventy four, for which he was so remarkable as his attention to the interests of the poor, but it was without parade, and never done “to be seen of men.” It was necessary to know from others the extent of his generosity, and the endearing affability which rendered his visit to the cottagers, far and wide around Walhampton, so gratifying to the inmates”.

Barry Jolly.

Standing room only at Friends of Sir Harry talk from Dan Snow



















A large and excited audience of 180 people filled the Fuller-McLellan Hall at the Lymington Centre on Friday night to hear about the Lymington Society and Friends of Sir Harry’s project to restore the Burrard Neale Monument and an eagerly anticipated talk by TV personality and historian Dan Snow, entitled “Sir Harry Burrard Neale’s Navy – The Superpower of the Age”

Don Mackenzie, Chair of the Friends, opened the evening with a brief resume of how the Lymington Society had worked with the Town Council to raise the necessary funds from local donors and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)  to restore the Walhampton Monument to Sir Admiral Harry Burrard Neale, in a project mostly completed by late Summer this year.

Following this, the Society has now set up the Friends to take forward the HLF requirement to have an organisation in place to help maintain the monument and the surrounding site, and to ensure that the life and times and the achievements of this naval hero are kept in the public eye.

Dan Snow was then invited to talk, and he soon set about his task with gusto. In his opening remarks Dan thanked people for attending and supporting the Friends and he urged people to join the Lymington Society. He said what a pleasure it was to live in a community where the heritage of the area was supported by such volunteer activity.

He then went on to describe how the period from the Glorious Revolution in 1688 to the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815, sometimes known as the “Long 18th Century”, saw the British and the French fight repeated wars over many continents, until Britain finally emerged as the undisputed world superpower. The implications of this are to be seen to this day with English as the main global language and British ideas of democracy and economics spreading worldwide.

Key to this was the strength and power of the British Navy, which was supported by the main political parties of this period, namely the Whigs and Tories, who both undertook to build the largest and most powerful navy in the world - whatever the cost.  During this period the navy grew from about 100 ships to over 600 and influenced every aspect of national life, driving industrialisation of the country with its huge demand for the vast amount of manufactured items needed to build and support such a huge enterprise, which at times consumed as much as a third of the GDP of the country.

A video of the evening is available on YouTube. Click here

Dan then described how the newly developed techniques of supplying a blockading force of ships enabled the British navy to keep French navy ships in ports such as Brest for years. This led to undisputed British naval superiority, leading to the capture of many French possessions and colonies worldwide.

Following a question and answers session, a vote of thanks was proposed, and a presentation was made to Dan of a framed engraving of the Burrard Neale Monument from 1855 as a token of thanks from the Friends and the Lymington Society.

Speaking after the event, Don Mackenzie said:

“The Friends of Sir Harry and the Lymington Society are extremely grateful to Dan for so kindly giving up his Friday evening to give such a fantastic and riveting talk about the period from 1688 – 1815, when Britain finally emerged as the undisputed world superpower, due in no small measure to the strength and professionalism of the British Navy.

We are also grateful for the support he gave to the Friends and the thanks he gave to the Lymington Society and other local volunteers who do so much to help look after the heritage of the local area.

We were fascinated to hear from Dan how the naval mutinies of 1779 were turning points where the future of the country was truly seen to be on a knife edge, with mutineers blockading London and expressing revolutionary ideas.

As Dan described, Sir Harry Burrard Neale rose to national prominence at this time due to the actions of him and his crew in sailing away under fire from the mutineers which then caused the mutiny to collapse.

The Friends are very grateful that so many people attended the talk and we hope they enjoyed the “tour de force” that Dan gave in his thrilling presentation of the events of the so-called Long Century.

We also hope that they will now wish to join the Friends and attend our future events, including the tour of the gardens of Walhampton House, home to the Burrard Family and Sir Harry which takes place in May next year.

Talk flyer.jpg

Major Lecture Organised by The Friends of Sir Harry and St Barbe Museum Announced

Sir Harry Burrard Neale and the Nore Mutiny - Hero or Villain??

By Dr Ann Coats


The Historic Naval Mutinies of 1797. The Role of Sir Harry Burrard Neale of Walhampton. 

Lymington Baptist Church – New Street - Lymington –

Friday June 28th at 6.00 pm for 6.30 pm


Come and hear all about Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale’s part in the infamous naval mutinies of 1797 which shook the country, and which many thought could herald the horrors of the French Revolution coming to Britain

Starting in the Solent at Spithead, the naval mutinies spread to the important naval anchorage at the Nore at Sheerness and then to the British naval fleets in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans.

Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale from Walhampton was widely credited, at the time, with helping to break the main, and most revolutionary mutiny at the Nore anchorage and was nationally renowned for his exploits – as a result of which he became close friends with the royal family.

The Nore Drum, presented to Sir Harry by a grateful nation, is Lymington’s most precious artefact and is on permanent loan to the National Maritime Museum. But some have suggested that Sir Harry was responsible for brutally suppressing the mutiny with cruel consequences for some of the sailors that took part.

Dr Ann Coats, from Portsmouth University, has co-authored the definitive account of these monumentally important times in our national history, when the very future of the country was thought to be in the balance. Her book,  The Naval Mutinies of 1797: Unity and Perseverance, examines the huge impact of these crucial events and Dr Coats is widely seen as the most authoritative scholar on these events.

The Friends of Sir Harry – part of the Lymington Society – is organising jointly, with St Barbe Museum and Gallery, an important lecture by Dr Coats on this fascinating time in our nation’s history to coincide with St Barbe’s major exhibition “the Command of the Sea - The Navy and the New Forest against Napoleon” which starts on the 8th of June. Amongst many fascinating images and artifice on display will be the Nore Drum presented to  Sir Harry after the mutiny was over.

Organised by St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in partnership with the Milford on Sea Historic Records Society and the National Park Authority, this major exhibition will explore some of the key naval battles in the run up to the decisive victory at Trafalgar in 1805, as well as what life was like in the navy at the time. It will focus on the important contributions of three local admirals, Cornwallis, Peyton and Mann, all of whom are buried at Milford churchyard.


Tickets for the Lecture are £5.00 to include refreshments and can be purchased

at St Barbe Museum or on the door on the night.

Admission free to new members of the Friends of Sir Harry joining on the night.

You can buy tickets online at Eventbright

The formal launch of Friends of Sir Harry at St Barbe Museum


The Friends of Sir Harry was launched at St Barbe Museum at a reception on Friday 15th February 2019. 



Friends formed for Local Naval Hero

Public Launch at St Barbe Museum Lymington for ‘Friends of Sir Harry’
6.00 pm – Friday 15th of February 2019

The Lymington Society is pleased to announce the launch of the ‘Friends of Sir Harry’ following the completion of the restoration work on the Burrard Neale Monument at Walhampton.

The Friends will aim to ensure that the Monument and other related memorials in the town are looked after, and that the achievements of Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale continue to be appreciated in the years ahead. Anyone wishing to join the Friends or interested in finding out more is welcome to come along. Lord Montagu, Patron of the Friends, as well as Sir Desmond Swayne MP TD and Mayor Anne Corbridge will be attending to support the Launch.

Please join us for a Drinks Reception followed by a programme of
information about the Friends, the life and times of Sir Harry and
the history of the Monument. Read full press release here.


Past News and Events

Pennington Infant School Workshops

Over 60 young people from Pennington Infant School took part in a week of workshops and visits to the Monument.  They learnt all about the life and times of Sir Harry, built monuments to their own heros, handled objects from the period and even took part in some marching and saluting of Captain Hardy on the final day.  The young people will be showcasing their monument models at the Family Picnic Day on 20th July at the school.

Monument Visits

Infant School students became investigators for the day on a trip to the monument.  They were given tasks sheets to find out all about Sir Harry and the monument as a start to a more extensive project back at their school.

Family Fun Day

Friday 20th July from 1pm at Pennington Infants School, Lymington

The school will be hosting an end-of-term family picnic and Friends of Sir Harry will be joining them to celebrate the start of the Burrard Neale HLF restoration project. there will be stands and displays from many local museums and organisations as well as work on display created by young people from the school.  This will be a fun filled afternoon and an opportunity to meet some of the people behind the Burrard Neale project.

Heritage Lottery Funding Secured!

Details to follow...

Burrard Neale 250 Celebrations

Details to follow...