White Hart Cottage history

Freshford enjoys a rich history and has been the choice for filmmakers (above), artists and musicians.  

The cottage also features in Somerset archives. In a document of 1667 it is mentioned that ..."Richard Hudd senior, Paul Hart and William Allen digged and made a well at the east end of the house at Park Corner. They have free acess to fetch water for their necessary use." This well still sits behind the wall in the courtyard garden, with records dating back to the early 1700's when the house was extended.

 White Hart Cottage c.1860

White Hart Cottage c.1860

There is much history behind the White Hart ("hart" is an archaic word for a mature stag and was the personal badge of Richard II.) Since time immemorial, the white hart stag has been a part of British folklore, its mystical quality led to it being adopted as an English symbol and icon, with a number of old hostelries named after the White Hart scattered around the country.

It is understood that the ‘new forest white hart stag' which spans neighbouring Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire is a direct descendant of the same white deer that Henry VII hunted in the area in the 15th century. We are delighted that the cottage has held this name through history.