This is a walk of about 2km from the Royal Oak at Fritham to the cache site along a mainly level all-weather track. The cache is a click plastic box in a typical cache hiding spot. The last 100m is on a track with a clay base which is regrettably cut up by horse riders, and may be gloopy when wet.
Track near Sloden Pottery
This cache is dedicated to the memory of Heywood Sumner.
To cap his achievements as a leading figure in the Arts and Crafts movement in the late 19th century, he arguably created the science of modern archaeology. Prior to Sumner, archaeology was focused on the retrieval of artefacts rather than the interpretation of their context. Sumner, particularly through his skills as an illustrator and writer, set standards of recording which have been an inspiration to the generations of archaeologists that follow in his footsteps.
Sumner and his family moved to the house he had built at Cuckoo Hill near Fordingbridge in 1904. Most of his key field archaeology was done within a day’s ride from his home. The map below is from his 1913 interpretation of the site of the Roman Potteries near Fritham. You could print out the map and take this opportunity to travel back through time to the early part of the 20th century and beyond to the 3rd.
The cache is close to the north east intersection of the large Enclosure and the smaller Inclosure shown on the map, and is adjacent to two pottery kiln sites. The earthworks can just about be seen, but I’m not hopeful you will find any pottery! Most of it has been removed to local museums, and you are not permitted to start your own excavations without the appropriate authorizations.
The cache, a 0.5 litre black plastic box, has been placed under the agreement between the Forestry Commission and the Geocaching Association of Great Britain. We understand there is a New Forest Letterbox Cache in the vicinity. It has no markings on the outside, whereas all official Geocaches should be clearly marked. If you find "The Wrong Box", please just put it back.
Recommended reading:- Heywood Sumner’s Wessex by Barry Cunliffe.
Recommended parking for this cache is the car park at Fritham, which is also convenient for the Royal Oak for refreshments afterwards.
ATTENTION - WARNINGS
You may see warning signs regarding forestry operations. It is easy to disregard these as many are abandoned after the work is completed. However, Geocachers are smart enough to use their common sense. Do not go close to areas where machinery is being used - the workers may not know you are there.
Do not climb on stacked timber! Despite appearances, it can sometimes move easily and cause horrendous injuries.
In October the stags are rutting. A bit noisy at times, and best observed from a discreet distance.
If you see dead or injured livestock, note the position and please call the Forestry Commission on 023 8023 3141.
This cache has been placed in accordance with the GAGB New Forest guidelines. There are other organisations that hide boxes in the New Forest. Make sure you find the right box!
Please note there is no night caching allowed in the New Forest, and gated car parks may be padlocked after sunset.