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History


The Bell Inn is privately owned by the Crosthwaite Eyre family and has been part of their family for over 230 years making it one of the oldest family owned pubs in Hampshire. It’s a love story between the family and the New Forest which is centuries old and which originated in the 11th Century.

Today, The Bell Inn is a much loved landmark in the tiny village of Brook, the Crosthwaite Eyre family are just as passionate about the New Forest by being actively involved in the ongoing conservation of the area so that future generations can enjoy this mystical, ancient woodland.

The Bell Inn was a founding partner of the New Forest Trust. This Trust supports activities and organisations who strive to conserve the flora, fauna and commoning practices of this special area. To date, we have contributed over £25,000 to the trust from room sales and special dishes on the menu.

The Crosthwaite Eyre family has always been instrumental in bringing together the elements of concern for the New Forest including the 1877 New Forest Act, which prohibited further enclosures by the Crown. The New Forest Act also laid down that, in future, the Forest Verderers should be seven in number: one official Verderer appointed by the King and six elective Verderers chosen by the Parliamentary Electorate together with the Commoners.  It was fitting that an Eyre should have been the first Verderer elected under this system. Since this time the Crosthwaite Eyre’s have still been elected Verderers, the latest been Oliver Crosthwaite