Mysteries in the archives

In most of our blog posts, we take the opportunity to introduce you to documents held at Hampshire Record Office that we know something about. The main qualification for items to appear this week, by contrast, is that we don’t know much about them, or at any rate not as much as we should like to.

When we catalogue documents, we do try to work out the places and people that they relate to, although this can take a little detective work: sometimes, for instance, we can identify the location of a building shown in a photograph by comparing it with other photographs of a likely building. Most of the photographs that we receive arrive as part of the archive of a family, an estate or an organisation, and that can give us a clue to the likely location.

There are times, however, when there are no clues that give us any idea of the likely area to look in. It’s frustrating to think that a photograph we are struggling to identify may be the only illustration we hold of a particular scene, but if we cannot work out where it was taken, future researchers will be unable to make use of it.

f 79a01-G1-05Can you identify this pub?

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The Mottisfont Eagles

The National Trust’s Mottisfont Abbey is today best known for its late 20th century rose gardens, created by the late Graham Stuart Thomas within the walls of the former kitchen gardens. Back in the 1890s the garden buildings included an extensive aviary, home to what was then said to be England’s largest collection of eagles and other raptors. The birds belonged to Daniel and Richard Meinertzhagen, the eldest sons of the family then in residence at the Abbey.

The Mottisfont Eagles and Adams the bird keeper HRO Ref 12M96-37
The Mottisfont Eagles and Adams the bird Keeper HRO Ref 12M96/37

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