The project included a major exhibition held at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington between 4 June and 31 August 2019. Cornwallis, a resident of Milford-on-Sea was the architect of the blockade of Brest and the victory at Trafalgar. The exhibition focussed on the life of Cornwallis and two other local admirals in the Georgian Navy – Peyton and Man – with particular reference to what life was like in the Navy and to the events at sea between 1803 and 1805, which led to the victory at Trafalgar.
Together with St Barbe Museum, and the New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) the Society created an exciting, interactive exhibition that appealed to visitors of all ages. A large number of historical objects and images held by national museums, local archives and private collectors were displayed.
The exhibition is the centre piece of Cornwallis Remembered 1819-2019 and includes the renovation of the ledger on Cornwallis’ tomb and of the memorial tablet to Admiral Peyton within the church, a service of remembrance at Milford Church, a re-enactment of the arrival of the news from Trafalgar, a reception on the village green and a commemorative dinner. The project also developed a Naval Heritage Trail from Hurst Castle to Lepe, tracing the strong naval connections from Milford to Buckler’s Hard at Beaulieu.
The estimated cost of the whole project was £23,600 of which the main costs related to loans, transport costs and learning materials. When the society applied to HAT they had already raised £21,000 and the Trustees were delighted to provide the remaining funding. The exhibition was held June to August 2019, a time when Milford and Lymington more than doubles in size with visitors and reached a wide and diverse audience. The first 3 weeks of the exhibition saw 900 visitors.