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Hambledon Hill's special history day

New France Old England (NFOE) in action, are coming to Hambledon Hill

DORSET, UK. The National trust is exploring thousands of years of human history at a very special family event at the foot of Hambledon Hill on Sunday 18 September. The Trust is holding a day of history activities at the foot of Hambledon Hill National Nature Reserve, near Child Okeford, to celebrate this very dramatic Dorset hill fort. Activities for all ages will run between 11am and 4pm on the day, centred on the thousands of years of human occupation linked with the hill.

Visitors to the event will be transported back in time with Ancient Craft and the Ancient Wessex Network Neolithic and Bronze Age encampment providing demonstrations, including pottery making and flint knapping, dating from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. This year, the Trust will also be joined by New France Old England (NFOE), a group of historical re-enactors portraying the 18th-century life and times of Colonial North America at a time when Britain and France battled for control of the continent.

The conflict, known as the French and Indian War, was part of the global Seven Years’ War (1754-63), and is well known through the story The Last of the Mohicans. There is a connection to Hambledon Hill - General Wolfe, the hero of the Battle of Quebec which was the last great battle of this war, attended a military camp on the hill in 1756.

Throughout the day, the soldiers and civilian re-enactors of New France Old England will welcome visitors into their 18th-century tented encampment. Visitors can experience a little of the everyday life of those who lived on the turbulent frontier.

Soldiers will be carrying out drills (as part of a show and tell demonstration) and training for future battles, civilians will be cooking over smoky fires, and there’ll be the chance to chat and hear of the hardships and excitement of life over three centuries ago. A highlight of the event is the noisy and smoky demonstrations of how the soldiers fought and how their weapons worked, as New France Old England transports the whole family back in time.

Clive Whitbourn, National Trust Ranger for Hambledon, hopes the day will attract people who may not know about this historical and wildlife-rich gem. “Whether it’s the history of the hill that people are curious about, an interest in living history and archaeology, or simply a desire to explore this stunning National Nature Reserve, the day promises to provide something for everyone.”

There will also be an opportunity to join guided walks led by the National Trust’s knowledgeable staff. Dorset Food & Drink producers, UK Charcuterie, will be doing a deer roast and serving up other delicious treats, whilst Grounded Coffee will be providing hot drinks from their fabulous Land Rover coffee bar and ice-cream from their period Bedford Ice Cream van. There will be a picnic area where visitors can enjoy their lunch whilst taking in spectacular views of the hill and the opportunity to buy Dorset made arts and crafts by printmaker and artist Lisa Berkshire.

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