The Fleur de Lys
Pilley Street, Pilley, Lymington, Hampshire
Built as a pair of cottages in 1096, this is the oldest pub in the New Forest. There is a list of all proprietors to the 15th century. Carbon testing shows the building has history from the eleventh century. At the pub is a medieval wishing well, a dovecote and a pair of ghosts, one of which is a grey haired woman who frequents the kitchen, the other an old man. The French connection is from the Norman period. It pertains to when authorities gave the tract of land to William de Vernum and the Fleurs de Lys was part of his armorial bearings. The Children of the New Forest (1847), that most splendid of children’s books, mentions this inn. The two bars are named after characters from Captain Marryat’s book, Jacob Armitage and Beverley of Arnwood. The inn , witnesses describe, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in The White Company. In the ancient fireplace is a recess where there are an hourglass and ancient saltcellars. The first recorded pub proprietor was Benjamin Stones in 1498.