Bitterne is now a suburb of Southampton on the opposite side of the Itchen, but it may claim to be the original town from which the Saxon settlement arose. It is the site of the Roman Clausentium, an important station between Porchester and Winchester, and when the Saxons came up the water and landed upon the peninsula between the two rivers they probably found a populous town on the older site. This conjecture would account for the name given to the new colony - Southhame tune - ultimately borne by the county-town and the origin of the shire name. It is as the natural outlet for the trade of Winchester and Wessex, standing at the head of one of the finest waterways in Europe, that Southampton became the present thriving and important town.

To-day its commercial prestige, if not on a par with Liverpool, Hull or Cardiff, is sufficiently great for the town to rank as a county borough. The magnificent docks are capable of taking the largest liners, and as the port of embarkation for South Africa its consequence will increase still more as that great country develops. On the banks of the Itchen many important industries have been established during the last quarter of a century and, as a result of this and the inevitable disorder of a great port, Southampton's environs have suffered. But more than any other town in England of the same size, have the powers that give yea or nay to such questions conserved the relics of the past with which Southampton is so richly endowed. The most famous of these is the Bargate (originally "Barred" Gate), once the principal, or Winchester, entrance to the town. It dates from about 1350, though its base is probably far older. The upper portion, forming the Guildhall, bears on the south or town side a quaint statue of George III in a toga, that replaced one of Queen Anne in stiff corsets and voluminous gown. The various armorial bearings displayed are those of noble families who have been connected with the town in the past. Within the upper chamber are two ancient paintings said to represent the legendary Sir Bevis, whose sword is preserved at Arundel, and his squire Ascupart. Sections of the town wall may be found in several places, but the most considerable portion is on the north side of the Westgate, where, until the middle of the last century, when Westernshore Road was made, high tides washed the foot of the wall. The arcading of this portion is much admired, and deservedly so. So far as the writer is aware, no other town in England has medieval defences of quite this character remaining. The picturesque Bridewell Gate is at the end of Winkle Street and not far away is all that remains of "God's House" or the Hospital of St. Julian, "improved" out of its ancient beauty. The chapel was given to the Huguenot refugees by Queen Elizabeth; a portion of the original chancel still exists and within the Anglican service continues to be said in French. The house known as "King John's House," close to the walls near St. Michael's Square, dates from the twelfth century and is therefore one of the oldest in England. Another old building in Porter Lane called "Canute's House" is declared by archaeologists to be of the twelfth century, but Hamptonians, with some degree of probability, claim that the lower walls are certainly Saxon, so that the traditional name may be right after all. In that part of the town nearest to the docks are several stone cellars of great age upon which later dwellings have been erected, in some cases two buildings have appeared on the same sturdy base. A particularly fine crypt is in Simnel Street, with a window at its east end. At the corner of Bugle Street is the "Woolhouse," said to belong to the fourteenth century; very noticeable are the heavy buttresses that support this fine old house on its west side. Another old dwelling in St. Michael's Square may have been built in the fifteenth century. Tradition has it that this was for a time the residence of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

The reference to Canute's House brings to mind the tradition, stoutly upheld by Hamptonians, that it was at "Canute's Point" at the mouth of the Itchen, and not at Bosham or Lymington, that the king gave his servile courtiers the historic rebuke chronicled by Camden. By him, quoting Huntingdon, we are told that "causing his chair to be placed on the shore as the tide was coming in, the king said to the latter, 'Thou art my subject, and the ground I sit on is mine, nor can any resist me with impunity. I command, thee, therefore, not to come up on my ground nor wet the soles of the feet of thy master.' But the sea, immediately coming up, wetted his feet, and he, springing back, said, 'Let all the inhabitants of the earth know how weak and frivolous is the power of princes; none deserves the name of king, but He whose will heaven, earth, and sea obey by an eternal decree.' Nor would he ever afterwards wear his crown, but placed it on the head of the crucifix." There is little doubt that Southampton was one of the principal royal residences during the reign of the great Northman, and nearly a hundred years before, in Athelstan's days, it was of sufficient importance to warrant the setting up of two mints.

The only medieval church remaining to Southampton is St. Michael's, which has a lofty eighteenth-century spire on a low Norman tower. Here is another of those black sculptured Tournai fonts one of which has been noticed in Winchester. The interior must have presented a curious appearance in the early years of Queen Victoria. During her predecessor's reign the incumbent placed the pulpit and reading-desk at the west end and reversed all the seats so that the congregation sat with their backs to the altar. The purpose of this is beyond conjecture. St. Mary's, designed by Street, was erected on the site of the old town church in 1879 as a memorial to Bishop Wilberforce. All Saints' in High Street is a classic building standing on the ground occupied by a very ancient church. Isaac Watts was deacon of Above Bar Chapel, noteworthy for the fact that the immortal hymn "Oh God, our help in ages past" was first sung within its walls from manuscript copies supplied to the congregation by the young poet. Among other famous men who were natives of Southampton may be mentioned Dibdin and Millais.

As might be expected from its geographical position and the many centuries it has been a gate to central England, Southampton has had a chequered and eventful history. Before the days of those supposedly impregnable forts in Spithead which bar to all inimical visitors a passage up the Water, the town was not immune from attack from the sea and in 1338 an allied French, Genoese and Spanish fleet sailed up the estuary and attacked the town to such good purpose that the burgesses were forced to fly and from a safe distance saw their homes burned to the ground. Another assault was made by the French in 1432, but profiting by bitter experience, the citizens had by now constructed such defences and armed them so well that this attack was an ignominious failure.

The port was the scene of several great expeditions overseas before it gave its quota to that greatest of all crusades in 1914. It saw the start of Richard Lion-Heart's transports, filled with the chivalry of England, on their way to challenge the power of Islam. The town records show that 800 hogs were supplied by the citizens for feeding the army en route. Perhaps the most famous of the sailings was that of the twenty-one ships that carried the English army to the victory of Crecy. Again seventy years later there was another great sallying forth to the field of Agincourt, nearly frustrated by the machinations of Richard, Earl of Cambridge. This scion of the Plantagenets and his fellow conspirators were beheaded and afterwards buried, as recorded on a tablet there, in the chapel of God's House. From Southampton the Mayflower and Speedwell sailed in 1620: the latter being discarded at Plymouth.

The modern aspect of Southampton's streets is that of the bustle and activity of a midland town, and the narrow pavements of Below and Above Bar have that metropolitan air which a crowd of well-dressed people intent on business or pleasure gives to the better class provincial city. It would seem that the inevitable accompaniment of such prosperity is the meanness of poorly-built and squalidly-kept suburbs. When the superb situation of Southampton is considered one can but hope that some day, in the new England that we are told is on the way, a great transformation will take place on the shores of Itchen and Test.

The excursion that every visitor should take is down the Water to Cowes. Few steamer trips in the south are as pleasant and interesting. In consequence of the double tides with which Southampton is favoured, the chance of having a long stretch of ill looking and worse smelling mud flats in the foreground of the view is almost negligible. Unless a very thorough knowledge of the shore is desired, the view from the deck will give the stranger an adequate idea of the surrounding country. The passing show of shipping, of all sorts, sizes and nationalities, is not the least interesting item of the passage. The writer's most vivid recollection of Southampton Water in the early summer of 1918 is not of the beautiful shores shimmering in the June sun, but of an extraordinary line of "dazzle ships" in the centre of the waterway, moored bow to stern in a long perspective, or it would be more correct to say, want of perspective, the brain and the eye being so much at variance that the ends of the line could scarcely be believed to consist of ships at all.

The ruins of Netley Abbey can best be seen by taking the pleasant shore road from Woolston and Weston Grove. The distance is a little over two miles from the Itchen ferry. The so-called Netley Castle was once the gate-house of the Abbey, converted into a fort when Henry VIII devised the elaborate scheme of coast defence that has dotted the southern seaboard with a more scattered (and more picturesque) series of Martello towers.

The ruins of the Cistercian Church which once graced this shore and raised above the trees its lighthouse tower, a seamark by day and a beacon by night, are among the loveliest in Wessex. Though perhaps these relics of a former splendour, when they consist of more than a few bits of broken masonry, should rather be said to be heartrending in their reminder of what we have lost.

Not so beautiful is the great pile, a mile to the south, built during the Crimean war for the invalid warriors and named after their Queen. A short distance away is another great building, or series of structures, erected during the Great War, to further our claim to the empire of the air.

The Hamble river is the only considerable stream before the barrier spit of Calshot Castle is reached. This comes down from historic Bishop's Waltham with its considerable remains of the "palace" of the earlier Bishop of Winchester. After passing Botley, an ancient market town, the river widens into an estuary haven altogether out of proportion to the stream behind it, and at Bursledon, where it is crossed by the Portsmouth highway, it becomes really beautiful: the curving banks are in places embowered in trees that descend to the water's edge. When the tide is full the scene would hold its own with many more favoured by the guide books. The fields around are devoted to the culture of the strawberry for the London market, and the crops are said to be finer than those of the better-known Kentish districts.

Two finds from the stream bed are in Botley market hall, a portion of a Danish war vessel and an almost entire prehistoric canoe.

A name better known to the majority of our readers will be that of the Meon, a further reference to which district will be found in the concluding chapter. The waters of this longer stream rise on a western outlier of Butser Hill and, draining a remote and beautiful district served by the Meon Valley Railway, reach Titchfield Haven over three miles below the Hamble. Titchfield, two miles as the crow flies from the sea (for we are now on the open waters of the Solent), is a pleasant old town with an interesting church and the gatehouse remnant of a once famous abbey of Premonstratensians. Part of the tower and nave of the church are Saxon, and the remainder is in a whole range of styles. A chapel on the south was once the property of the abbey and is called the Abbot's Chapel, this has a fine tomb of the first and second Earls and first Countess of Southampton. Perhaps of more interest to some visitors will be the flag hung near the opening to the chancel. This was the first to fly over Pretoria after the British occupation.

The western shore of Southampton Water may be accepted as the eastern boundary of the New Forest, as the straight north and south valley of the Salisbury Avon is its western barrier. From the sea at Christ-church Bay to the Blackwater valley west of Romsey is about twenty miles and all this great district partakes more or less of the character of the country seen from the Bournemouth express after it leaves Lyndhurst Road. To attempt to describe in detail this unique corner of England would be beyond the possibilities of this book or its author, and only the barest outline will be attempted.

One authority claims 95,000 acres as the extent of the Forest. The present writer would increase this estimate considerably. About two-thirds of the more central portion are crown lands, and as will be seen by the most superficial view (from the afore-mentioned express train for instance) much of the central woodland is interspersed with farms and arable land and a large extent of open heath, as are those outlying fringes in the Avon valley and elsewhere. It is unaccountable that the word "forest" should have so altered in meaning during the course of centuries that its earlier significance has almost become lost. The word is associated in every one's mind with the density of tropical foliage or the dark grandeur of northern fir woods. Forest as a topographical suffix denotes a wild uncultivated tract of hilly or common land, more often than not quite bare of trees. The great expanse of Radnor Forest is well known to the writer and not even a thorn bush comes to the mind in picturing its miles of fern-clad billowy uplands.

The "New" Forest was first so called by the Conqueror. He brought within its bounds certain tracts that had been preserved by his predecessors, but that he "burnt and razed whole villages, and converted a smiling countryside into a wild place devoted to the king's pleasure" is extremely improbable, unless we may credit William with an altruistic care for the sport of his great-grandchildren at the expense of whatever little popularity he may have had in his own time. Undoubtedly the folk of this part of Hampshire felt aggrieved at losing their rights over a great stretch of wild common where the more democratic Saxon kings had taken their pleasure without interfering with the privileges of the churl. That certain small settlements were at some time abandoned is attested by names such as Bochampton, Tachbury, Church Walk, etc., and it is said that Rufus established certain dispossessed peasantry in far-off portions of his kingdom. The Conqueror's immediate successors made cruel and arbitrary laws, in connexion with the preservation of the deer, that were much mitigated by the Forest Charter of 1217 which provided that death should no longer be the penalty for killing the King's deer, but merely a fine, or imprisonment in default.

The wild life of the Forest is much the same as that of the remoter parts of rural England, apart from the ponies and the deer. Of the latter only a few still roam the glades. An Act was passed in 1851 for their removal, when the number was reduced from nearly 4,000 to about 250 of two kinds - fallow deer and red deer. Latterly roe deer have appeared, adventurers from Milton Abbey park. The New Forest pony was a distinct breed and the writer has been told that it was the descendant of a small native horse, but its characteristics have been lost through scientific crossing with alien breeds. A legend used to be current in the Forest that the ponies were descended from those landed from the wrecked ships of the Spanish Armada, but there is a limit to what we may believe of this wonderful fleet. Most villages along the south coast having rather more than the usual proportion of dark-haired folk have been claimed as asylums for the castaway sailors and soldiers of Spain by enthusiastic amateur anthropologists.

Before breaking-in, the Forest pony is a wild and often vicious little beast - more so, perhaps, than its cousins of Wales and Dartmoor - and a "drive," when the little horses are corralled, is an exciting and interesting affair, human wits being pitted against equine, not always to the advantage of the former.

Small companies of rough-coated donkeys may occasionally be seen, in an apparently wild state, roaming about the more open parts of the Forest. Some years ago the breeding of mules for export was a recognized local concern, but this seems to have fallen into desuetude.

Badgers and otters are common, as is the ubiquitous squirrel. The badger, however, is seldom seen by the chance visitor by reason of its nocturnal habits, but it is said to be more numerous than in any similar wild tract in the south. The smaller wild mammals, carnivorous and herbivorous, and a truly representative family of birds, including one or two rare visitors, have here a perfect sanctuary. The forest is obviously a happy hunting ground for the lepidopterist and botanist. The latter will find many of the rarer British orchids in the central "dingles" and on the more remote western borders. During the Great War a large number of trees were felled and the usually silent woods re-echoed with the noises of a Canadian lumber camp. About this time great flocks of migratory jays from central Europe were noticed in the eastern parts of the Forest. For the pedestrian who toils over the Forest roads in the height of summer there is one form of wild life in evidence that claims his whole attention, and that is the virulent and audacious forest fly. Only the strongest "shag" and gloved hands can keep this horrible creature at bay.

The observant stranger will notice a large proportion of small, dark folk among the inhabitants of the Forest. It is a fascinating matter for conjecture that these may be remnants of the Iberians that once held south Britain or even, perhaps, of a still older people left stranded by the successive races that have swept westwards by way of the uplands to the north.

The western shore of Southampton Water has little of interest to detain the visitor. The small town of Hythe, almost opposite Netley Abbey, has nothing ancient about it, though it is a picturesque and pleasant little place. Fawley, nearly opposite the opening of the Hamble, has a fine late Norman church with much Early English addition. Calshot Castle is another of those forts of Henry VIII already mentioned, and once round the corner of this spit we are in the Solent at Stanswood Bay. A few miles farther and the beautiful estuary of the Beaulieu river runs into the recesses of the Forest. Small steamers sometimes bring holiday-makers from Southampton to the port of Beaulieu, called Bucklershard, where, over a hundred years ago, there was an attempt to make a new seaport. It is difficult to believe that this quiet creek was, during the second half of the eighteenth century, the birthplace of many "wooden walls of old England." Here among other famous ships was launched the Agamemnon, commanded by Nelson at the siege of Celvi, where he lost his right eye. An unfortunate disagreement between the shipbuilders and the Admiralty, in which the former were so ill advised as to seek the help of the law, led to the abandonment of the yards. At St. Leonards, nearer the mouth of the estuary, is the ruin of a chapel belonging to the Cistercians of Beaulieu and also portions of their great barn, said to be the largest in England (209 feet by 70 feet). The great Abbey church, nearly four miles off, was entirely swept away during the Demolition. It was here that the wife of the King Maker took refuge after the death of her husband at the battle of Barnet. A few days before, on the actual day of the fight, arrived Margaret of Anjou with reinforcements for Henry VI. Some years later, after his repulse at Exeter, Perkin Warbeck sought sanctuary, the right of which had been granted to the monastery by Pope Innocent IV. The monks' refectory is now the parish church and a very fine and interesting one it makes. Considerable portions of the domestic buildings remain. Palace House, the residence of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, was once the gatehouse of the abbey.

A return must now be made to Southampton, and the Christchurch road taken through Totton to Lyndhurst. The station for the latter town is over two miles away on the Southampton road, where the railway makes a wide detour to Beaulieu Road and Brockenhurst. The absurd title given to Lyndhurst by local guide-books, "Capital of the New Forest," is uncalled for. Certainly it is nearly the centre of the district and is within convenient distance of some of the most beautiful woodlands, but nothing could be a greater contrast to the surroundings than this new-looking brick excrescence. It has one fine old Jacobean building - the "King's House," where the Forest Courts are held. The Verderers, of whom there are six, are elected by open ballot. They must be landowners residing in or near the Forest and may sit in judgment upon any offence against Forest laws. These Verderers Courts have been held since Norman days and the old French terms "pannage," "turbary" and so on, are still used. Further, the old name for the court, "Swain Mote," indicates a Saxon origin for this seat of greenwood justice.

The spire of Lyndhurst church can be seen for miles wherever high ground and a break in the woods render this possible. It surmounts a mid-Victorian erection of variegated bricks in about the worst possible taste for its situation. The one redeeming feature is a wall painting of the Ten Virgins by Lord Leighton.

A little over two miles away, and on the road to the Rufus Stone, is Minstead church, which will make a different appeal to the understanding stranger. This is (or was lately) a charming survival from the days of our grandfathers with a three-decker, old room-like pews, and double galleries. Malwood Lodge, close by, is a seat of the Harcourt family, and not far away, about a mile and a half from Minstead church, is the spot where William Rufus was killed by that mysterious arrow which by accident or design, relieved England of a tyrannical and wicked king. The "Rufus Stone," as the iron memorial is called, with its terse and non-committal inscription was placed here by a former Lord de la Warr. The body was conveyed to Winchester in the cart of a charcoal-burner named Purkiss, and descendants of this man, still following his occupation, were living within bow-shot of the memorial one hundred years ago. The family "enjoyed for centuries the right to the taking of all such wood as they could gather by hook or by crook, dead branches, and what could be broken, but not cut by the axe." It is said that the train of accidents that befell the Conqueror's family in the Forest was considered by Hampshire folk to be a just retribution for his iniquity in "making" it. His grandson Henry, his second son Richard, and lastly his third son Rufus, all met a violent death within its glades.

A short distance westwards we reach the "Compton Arms Hotel" and Stoney Cross, from which an alternate route through beautiful Boldrewood can be taken back to Lyndhurst or a long and lonely but good road followed all the way to Ringwood, nine miles away on the Avon. The traveller who would explore the recesses of the forest remote from the beaten track should make his way north and west from Stoney Cross through the sandy heaths of Eyeworth Walk and the mysterious depths of Sloden with its dark yews of great and unknown age. Not far from Stoney Cross on the way to Fritham, are a number of prehistoric graves clustered closely together, and an interesting relic of the Roman occupation exists at Sloden where there are mounds of burnt earth, charcoal, and broken pottery. The locality has long been known as "Crock Hill" and is evidently the site of an earthenware factory. The road going south and west by Broomy Walk leads to Fordingbridge on the Avon. Here is a beautiful and interesting old church, a typically pleasant Hampshire town, and a quiet but delightful stretch of the river.

The straight high road, that runs south from Lyndhurst through the thick woodlands of Irons Hill Walk and the giant oaks of Whitley Wood, reaches Brockenhurst in four miles. This small town, to the writer's mind, is pleasanter and less sophisticated than Lyndhurst, though boarding-houses are as much in evidence and the railway station is close to the main street. The church stands on a low hill among the trees of the actual forest. Here was recently to be seen, and possibly is still, a quaintly ugly survival in the squire's pew, placed as a sort of royal box at the entrance to the chancel. The building is of various dates and contains a Norman font of Purbeck marble. The enormous yew of great age will at once be noticed in the churchyard.

The main road continues over Whitley Ridge to Lymington nearly five miles from Brockenhurst, passing, about half-way on the left, Boldre, with an old Norman church among the thickly-set trees on the hill above Lymington River. The village and inn are at the bottom of the valley near a bridge that carries the Beaulieu road up to the great bare expanse of Beaulieu Heath.

After passing the branch railway, and about half a mile short of Lymington, is a fine circular prehistoric entrenchment called Buckland Rings. The road now drops to the one-time parliamentary borough and ancient port of Lymington, now only known to the majority as the point of departure by the "short sea route" to the Isle of Wight, and those who make the passage when the tide is out do not usually regret the shortness of their stay on this particular bit of coast. But their self-congratulation is wasted, Lymington itself is a very pleasant and clean town, even if its shore is a dreary stretch of salt marsh, grey and depressing on the sunniest day. There are some fine old houses in the picturesque High Street, though none of them remember the day in 1154 when Henry II landed on the way to his coronation. The much restored church will be best appreciated for the picture it makes from the other end of High Street.

Though a fashionable resort in those days when any seaside town was a possible future Brighton, Lymington is never likely to become crowded with visitors again, but artists find many good studies on the river and in the town and even on the "soppy" flats themselves, and there are salt baths at high tide for those unconventional holiday-makers who favour the place.

To resume the main route through the forest from Lyndhurst the western road must be taken. It presently turns sharply towards the south and penetrates the fastnesses of the woods lining the Highland Water. Here we find the celebrated Knightwood Oak and the grand beeches of Mark Ash, nearly two miles away in the depths to the right, but worth the trouble of finding. In less than six miles from Lyndhurst the traveller reaches the cross-roads at Wilverley Post on the top of Markway Hill, and in another long mile Holmsley station on the Brokenhurst-Ringwood railway. Then follows an undulating and lonely stretch of four and a half miles of mingled wood and common and occasional cultivated land to the scattered hamlet of Hinton Admiral, that boasts a station on the South Western main line to Bournemouth. There is now but an uninteresting three miles to the outskirts of Christchurch.

The one-time Saxon port of Twyneham and present borough of Christchurch (the change of name, like several others in the country, was due to the over-whelming power of the ecclesiastical as opposed to on the secular) has a similarity to Southampton in its situation on a peninsula between two rivers before they form a joint estuary to the sea. But, alas, although the waterways of the Avon and Stour are considerable, Christchurch Harbour long ago silted up and the long tongue of land that runs eastward across the mouth effectually bars ingress to anything in the nature of a trading vessel.

The town, though pleasant enough in itself, has but one real attraction for the visitor and, judging by the crowds of holiday-makers brought in every day by motor, tram and train from the huge pleasure town on the west, the study of ecclesiastical architecture must be gaining favour with the British public. Or is it that the uncompromising modernity of Bournemouth, without even the recollection of a Hanoverian princess to give it antiquity, drives its visitors in such swarms to the one-time Priory, and now longest parish church in England.

The old Saxon minster, after passing through many vicissitudes (including a particularly humiliating one at the hands of William Rufus, whose creature, Flambard, made slaves of its clergy and ran the church as a miracle show!), became in the middle of the twelfth century an Augustinian priory and the choir of the new building was finished just before 1300. At the crossing of nave and transepts the usual low and heavy Norman tower had been built with the usual result - it collapsed and brought some of the choir down with it. This was again rebuilt during the fifteenth century, which period also saw the rise of the western tower that graces every distant view of the town. The transepts have beneath them Norman crypts, though the structure immediately above is of varying date, with a good deal of original work remaining, including an apsidal chapel. The Lady Chapel was built in the fifteenth century; over it is a room known as "St. Michael's Loft." This served for years as Christchurch grammar school.

Every one will admire the beautiful rood screen, well and carefully restored in the middle of the last century, and the unusual reredos which represents the Tree of Jesse and the Adoration of the Wise Men. On the left of the altar is the Salisbury chantry and in front a stone slab to Baldwin de Redvers (1216). There are several fine tombs in other parts of the church including that of the last Prior, who has a chapel to himself at the end of the south choir aisle. The fine monument to Shelley at the west end of the church is as much admired for its beauty as it is criticized for its "unfitness for a position in a Christian church" (Murray). The female figure supporting Shelley's body represents his wife. Mr. Cox in his Little Guide to Hampshire draws attention to the fact that the conception is "an obvious parody of a Pieta, or the Virgin supporting the Dead Christ" and therefore in the worst possible taste. The poet had no personal connexion with Christchurch. His son lived for some years at Boscombe Manor.

The custodian shows, when requested, a visitors' book where, on one and the same page are the signatures of William II and Louis Raemaekers!

Comparatively few old buildings remain in the vicinity of the great church and the visitor will not need to make an exhaustive exploration of its environs, but before leaving Christchurch the fine collection of local birds brought together and mounted by a resident of the town should not be missed.

Embryo watering places, the conception of the "real estate" fraternity whom Bournemouth has set by the ears, line the low shore of Christchurch Bay between Hengistbury Head and Hurst Castle. First comes Highcliffe, this has perhaps the most developed "front," then Barton, nearly two miles from New Milton station, and lastly Milford-on-Sea, the most interesting of them all, but suffering in popularity by reason of the long road, over four miles, that connects it with the nearest stations, Lymington or New Milton; possibly its regular habitues look upon this as a blessing in disguise. Milford is well placed for charming views of the Island: it has good firm sands and a golf links. An interesting church stands back from the sea on the Everton road. The thirteenth-century tower will at once strike the observer as out of the ordinary; the Norman aisles of the church were carried westwards at the time the tower was built and made to open into it through low arches. The early tracery of the windows should be noticed. The addition of transepts and the enlargement of the chancel about 1250 made the church an exceptionally large structure for the originally small village.

Southbourne, one and a half miles south-west of Christchurch, will soon become a mere outer suburb of Bournemouth. It almost touches Boscombe, that eastern extension of the great town that has sprung into being within the last fifty years. Southbourne is said to be bracing; it is certainly a great contrast to the bustle and glitter of its great neighbour. There is a kind of snobbishness that strikes to decry any large or popular resort, seemingly because it is large and popular, but surely there must be some virtue in these huge watering places that attract so many year after year, and if Southbourne pleases only Tom, and Bournemouth Dick and Harry and their friends, well, good health to them! That their favourite town does not start off a new chapter may offend the latter, but they will perhaps admit that although it is on the west side of the Avon the town among the pines forms, with its sandy chines and the trees that gave it its first claim to popular favour, an extension and outlier of the great series of heath and woodland that has just been traversed and that it makes a fitting geographical termination to south-western Hants.

Though the pines themselves have not been planted much longer than a hundred years, they now appear as the only relics of a lonely and rather bare tract of uncultivable desert. Local historians claim that the beginnings of Bournemouth were made in 1810, but it would appear that only two or three houses existed by the lonely wastes of sand in the first few years of the Victorian era. One of these was an adjunct to a decoy pond for wild fowl. The parish itself was not formed until 1894, and although fashionable streets and fine churches and a super-excellent "Winter-garden" had been erected when the writer first saw the town, not much more than twenty years ago, the front was extremely "raw" and the only shelter during a shower was a large tent on the sands that, on one never-to-be-forgotten occasion, collapsed during a squall upon the crowd of lightly-clad holiday-makers beneath. But this is a very dim and distant past for Bournemouth, the "Sandbourne" of the Wessex novels. The town is now as well conducted as any on the English coast. It is large enough and has a sufficient permanent population to justify its inclusion in the ranks of the county boroughs. It is becoming almost as popular as Ventnor with those who suffer from weak lungs, though it can be very cold here in January.

Bournemouth will be found a convenient centre, or rather starting point, for the exploration of the beautiful Wessex coast. From the pier large and comfortable steamers make the passage to Swanage, Weymouth, Lyme and further afield. Another advantage which these large towns have for the ordinary tourist is that he may generally count upon getting some sort of roof to cover him when in the smaller coast resorts lodgings are not merely at a premium but simply unobtainable at any price.