Milton was a civil parish in the New Forest District in southwest Hampshire whose name has now been absorbed into that of its largest settlement, New Milton, a market town. The parish is situated on the edge of the New Forest and the town is about 6 miles (10 km) west of Lymington town centre and 12 miles (19 km) east of Bournemouth town centre.
Milton was part of Lymington Rural District from 1894 until 1926 when it became an Urban District. The civil parish of Rhinefield was created out of part of it at this time. In 1932 it was abolished and absorbed into Lymington Municipal Borough.
Milton dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, and encompasses Old Milton, Barton on Sea, Ashley, Bashley, and one of many settlements named Wootton. It is recorded as having a population of 25,717 in the 2011 census.
For a summary of the earlier history of Milton or Old Milton, see Wikipedia
The parish church of Milton is dedicated to Mary Magdalene and consists of a chancel with vestry, a nave and a western tower. The medieval church was pulled down and replaced around 1830, although the tower is of an earlier 17th century date. In 1835 a Church of England National School was founded on an island of land near the village green. Children were taught there until just after World War I. In 1881, the population of the entire Milton parish was only 1489 people, and Milton was still a small village. The location of the village on the main Christchurch to Lymington road (now the A337) meant that there were two coaching inns - The Wheatsheaf and The George - the former of which is still operating.
In March 1888 New Milton railway station was opened, which is still in operation today. A new town developed, which expanded rapidly with the coming of the railway and the name New Milton was used for the first time. The name can originally be traced back to the Post Office that stood opposite the railway station. In 1895, the owner of the Post Office, Emma Newhook, commissioned a sign, which read - "New Milton Sub Post Office" to differentiate it from the post office in Old Milton. This was officially accepted in 1896, and so the name New Milton caught on. Much of the local farmland has been developed, first in the 1960s for commuter housing and again in the 1970s for small industrial/trade units. There is a mix of housing from cottages on the outskirts to more modern, urban housing in the central area. Milton village subsequently became known as Old Milton and lies between New Milton and Barton on Sea.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article New Milton.
Barton on Sea
Once a coastal village, Barton on Sea is nowadays included as a suburb of New Milton. During the First World War, Barton Court Hotel became a convalescent home for Indian service men and this is commemorated by an obelisk in the village. See also the Wikipedia article, Barton on Sea.
NOTE: The village of Ashley is described here as Ashley in Milton to differentiate from the parish of Ashley near Winchester.
To the east of New Milton is the village of Ashley, which also has a history dating back to the [[wikipedia:Domesday Book|Domesday Book of 1086. In the late 15th century, the manor of Ashley was joined with part of another manor northeast of the parish called Arnewood, and the combined estate became known as Ashley Arnewood. The estate of Ashley Arnewood has long since disappeared, but the name Arnewood still lives on in the name of New Milton's secondary school and the name of one of the health centres. See also the Wikipedia article, Ashley, New Forest