About us

Mottisfont 1001
Mottisfont Abbey donated by the family to the National Trust

The Barker-Mill Estates consist of land in Hampshire owned and managed by the Barker-Mill family and its Trustees.

The Barker-Mills have deep and long-established roots in the county having been local landowners and prominent figures in community life for over 500 years. Their ancestors date back to the 14th century and played a vital part in the history of the area through their ongoing investment and involvement within the local community. Today, the family and its Trustees, continue to look after estates to the west of Southampton and in the New Forest.

The Barker-Mill Estates comprise several thousand acres of land in Hampshire, which are under the guardianship of the trustees with the support of the family.

To the immediate west of Southampton the estates include land in the lower Test Valley and parts of Nursling and Rownhams. On the eastern edge of the New Forest the estates cover a 3,000-acre block of land which includes parts of Hounsdown, Eling, Marchwood, Colbury, Ashurst and Longdown.

As well as prominent areas near Southampton and in the New Forest National Park, Barker-Mill Estates owns and manages 1,000 acres of land between Milford on Sea and New Milton.

Although mainly consisting of farmland, grazing paddocks and commercial land units, the estates also feature a wide range of residential rental properties, the majority of which are located in Nursling and the villages of Ashurst and Colbury. Many of the properties are rented by local people.

Family history

The prominence of the Barker-Mill family in Southampton is deep-rooted and recognised on the Bargate, the fortified Norman tower guarding the entrance to the city, where the Barker-Mill family shield still remains on display, alongside those of other great Southampton families.

The first John Mill left his mark as a merchant in Southampton’s thriving and cosmopolitan trading centre, circa 1504. By 1613 the family was well enough established to afford an impressive memorial in Nursling Church, Southampton.

In the 18th Century the family inherited Mottisfont Abbey near Romsey, where trees they planted still grow today. The property has since been donated by the family to the National Trust.

1836 saw the first Barker-Mill. The Rev Sir John Barker-Mill was a jolly figure, famous for his loud check trousers and cherry-coloured ties.

Victorian matriarch Mrs Marianne Vaudrey Barker-Mill was the opposite of Rev Sir John. A good businesswoman, she pulled the Barker-Mill finances into shape, selling land at Millbrook, which grew into Southampton’s massive docks.

Another dynamic Barker-Mill businesswoman followed. Brenda Barker-Mill set up a chauffeur service for tourists after the Great War, taking travellers as far as Edinburgh in a second-hand Rolls Royce. Brenda’s son Peter was an artist but creating vast sculptures and illustrating books didn’t distract him from his local responsibilities.

Following Peter’s death in 1994, he is survived by his daughter Amanda, and son, Adam. Both Amanda and Adam are dedicated to the family and the estates.

Amanda launched Britain’s first Butterfly Farm in the New Forest in 1981 and developed Longdown Dairy Farm as a tourist attraction in 1985.

Adam works as a light artist, creating dramatic installations for exhibition.

Longdown Management

The Barker-Mill Estates are managed by Longdown Management Limited.

Formed in April 1977 the company’s principle function is to manage property belonging to the Barker-Mill family and its Trustees.

In total, Longdown Management handles approximately 2,000 acres of tenanted farmland and a similar acreage of land let on short term tenancies and licenses. It also manages an additional 1,500 acres of woodland, as well as lettings of sporting rights over some of the estates land, lettings of salmon, trout and other fishing on lakes and the southern part of the River Test below the M27 motorway and part of the Lymington River.

Other management includes lettings of mineral extraction and infilling rights. Lettings of over 150 residential properties situated between the Western boundary of Southampton and the Eastern side of the New Forest National Park, are also handled by Longdown Management, as well as the management of various commercial lettings.

Longdown Management is retained to manage land and property for other private and corporate owners.

Our Trustees

Richard Moyse

Richard Moyse was Senior Partner at Boodle Hatfield, a renowned international private client law firm based in London. Now a consultant, he specialises in UK and international planning for individuals, trustees and businesses. He has lectured extensively in the UK and abroad.

Richard was appointed a Trustee in 2000 and became Chairman in 2006, following the retirement of Godfrey Knowles.

His many interests include choral singing, cricket and spending time at his house in France.