Since the 16th Century there has always been an inn on the site of the Montagu Arms. Originally a meeting place for farmers and parish officers the inn, then known as ‘The Ship’ and then ‘The George’, was very much the heart of the picturesque Beaulieu village.
The inn was a hub for timber auctions and lectures, with its own farmland a cattle market was held at the inn every year until 1809. The annual Beaulieu fairs originating from 1607 were also held at the inn as well as weekly markets.
The original building front was demolished in 1887, with the new arts and crafts style building, incorporating Monty’s inn, was completed in 1888 under the direction of local architect W. H Mitchell.
In 1926 a new north-east wing was added by Bizan and Fletcher to form the hotel as we know it today.
Since then, The Montagu Arms Hotel has played host to discerning clientele including Sir Arthur Conan Doyal, most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes; British Actor Henry Irving; Writer, Sir H. Rider Haggard and former French president, General Charles de Gaulle.
In 1943 the Montagu Arms Hotel was one of a number of public buildings used by the home-guard as a firing position in the event of invasion during world war 2. A scrapbook of top secret orders, letters and hand drawn maps by war-time Home Guard commander, Sir Morgan Crofton, revealed a rare insight into the real ‘Dad’s Army’ of the New Forest.
The current owners acquired the hotel in 1970 and it has remained a cherished privately owned hotel ever since.
As a grade 2 listed building, both the exterior and interior of the Montagu Arms Hotel offer quintessential English charm and timeless sophistication. Elegant original features including oak flooring, panelling and old brick fireplaces pervade the country house hotel providing an opulent and comfortable atmosphere – the perfect setting for romantic retreats, lavish weddings, weekend breaks or corporate events.