New Forest bedroom, Brusher Mills

This room is named after a Brockenhurst local character named Brusher Mills. A.K.A The Snake catcher. Don’t worry we certainly don’t include snakes with your room!

Unwind in this characterful room with furniture including open-fronted wardrobe and table made from Ash. Plus a hand-made four-poster bed created from Silver Birch and Oak. A truly New Forest experience.

All the furniture is hand-crafted by New Forest designer and artisan Rob Dyer. This rear-facing room gets the afternoon sun and is perfect for a romantic getaway.

Who was Brusher Mills?

Named Henry and known as Harry, Brusher Mills grew up in the village of Emery Down. He worked as a labourer. In his forties he moved into an old charcoal burner’s hut in woodlands near Sporelake Lawn (near Brockenhurst, and took up catching snakes for a living)

Armed with a forked stick and a sack, he set about ridding local properties of grass snakes and adders. He sent some to London Zoo as food for the birds of prey. And he used others to make ointments to treat snake bites and other ailments.

It is thought he caught around 30,000 snakes during his 18 years as a snake catcher. These days he would have to choose a different profession because all New Forest reptiles have special protection under wildlife laws.

How did he get his nicknames?

He is said to have been given the ‘Brusher’ nick-name for sweeping the cricket pitch at Balmer Lawn between innings whenever a match was played.  A simple man who loved the simple life. He lived contentedly in his mud hut apart from a spell in the workhouse after catching influenza.

He was a popular character in Brockenhurst, regularly enjoying a tipple at The Railway Inn (now named The Snakecatcher in his honour). Brusher Mills also became a popular tourist attraction at the local fairs.

Just a short stroll from Cottage Lodge The Snakecatcher pub is a great venue for a typical pub lunch or dinner and it also benefits from a large garden (ideal in fine weather) and you can also find out more about the man himself.

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