Coastal heritage

Keyhaven. Credit Barry Whitcher

Managing the past for the future

In 2009 the New Forest National Park Authority with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, the Crown Estate, Hampshire County Council and Exxon Mobil based at Fawley set up the Coastal Heritage Project.

The project recorded, promoted and encouraged protection of the huge variety of archaeology found along the New Forest coast and worked to ensure long term protection of this important resource for the enjoyment of future generations.


The Study Area measured just under 400kmĀ², and encompassed the whole New Forest Coast - defined in the west by the county boundary between Hampshire and Dorset, and in the east by the boundary with Southampton City. It also included a substantial marine zone, stretching six nautical miles from the low water mark of the New Forest coastline.

Phase I (desk based investigation) and Phase II (fieldwork) projects identified over 2,900 archaeological sites within the Study Area ranging from pieces of pottery to abandoned villages and castles. A total of 437 new sites were discovered during the field assessment by archaeologists and volunteers. Two new wreck sites were discovered in the Solent adding to our knowledge of maritime activity along the New Forest coast. 

Information from the project help inform decisions about the future management of the coastal margin, especially as we respond to rising sea levels and specific threats to archaeological sites. This local project forms part of the larger national English Heritage Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment programme.

Learn more about the New Forest's coastal heritage

Reports and documents

Phase III: Final report

The final report of the New Forest Coastal Heritage Project combines the results from the initial desk based assessment (research phase I) and fieldwork phase (II) to provide an enhanced overview of coastal change within the New Forest coastal zone.

Main report (810 KB)


Figures 1-10

Figures 11- 15


Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

Appendix E

Appendix F

Additional Reports

If you would like to read either Phase 1: Desk Based Assessment or Phase II: Field Survey Report for the Coastal Heritage Project please contact the National Park Archaeologist and we will send you an electronic copy.

Copies can also be found on the Archaeological Data Service webpage.


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