Burley Rails Cottage (Illustration by Will Drew)

Burley Rails Cottage (Illustration by Will Drew)

Burley Rails, a woodman’s cottage, was built in 1811. The woodman was responsible for the fencing to keep the Commoners animals out of the tree-growing nurseries called Inclosures or Enclosures

There are many cottages of the same design within the New Forest, most remain Crown properties and are occupied by people who have chosen to live and work in the New Forest such as Keepers, Agisters, Forestry workers and Crown employees.

Sometimes these jobs are a lifestyle choice as these people may also be the Commoners who own the livestock; horses, cattle and pigs; de-pastured in the open forest.

These Crown cottages, being tenanted, have, apart from essential additions, remained the same for hundreds of years.

In 2011, two hundred years after the cottage was built, Tracy Thew, a lady who loves to bake moved into Burley Rails.

Having made shortbread for family and friends for many years. Tracy decided to offer these, melt in the mouth shortbread, to people visiting the New Forest

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