St Barbe’s collection contains over 22,000 items relating to the area between the Solent Coast and the New Forest, with significant material about the surrounding towns and villages of Ashley, Barton, Bashley, Boldre, Downton, Everton, Keyhaven, Milford, New Milton, Pennington, Pilley, South Baddesley, Sway, Wootton and Tiptoe.

The collections and the stories that they tell reflect many aspects of life in the area from prehistory to the present day including domestic life, industry, shops, trades, farming, leisure, sport, war, holidays and the local environment.

You can explore our collections database online.

If you have something which you think might be of interest to the museum please contact us.

King Research Room

Our research facility offers an opportunity to delve deeper into the collections at St Barbe. Are you interested in learning more about your local family history, where you live or the development of local towns and villages? Or perhaps you’re a local historian writing a book on the area. Visit the research room to explore our extensive collection of photographs, postcards, maps, ephemera, books and information. 

We also hold the parish records on microfiche and the archive of the ‘New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times’. 

As of December 2020, we are pleased to announce that we now hold eminent local historian Jude James’ research notes. 

Staff and volunteers will be on hand to help you find out more.

Photograph of two people working with documents in the King Research Room.


The Museum offers a free enquiry service relating to our collections and local history, run by a small team of staff and volunteers. We are also able to provide image reproductions and licences for material held by St Barbe for a small fee. If you would like to make an enquiry or find out more about reproduction costs or licences then please contact us at

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