Discover: The Rufus Stone

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Josh Taylor

I’m Josh and I’m part of the communications team at New Forest National Park. I have worked for the New Forest National Park Authority for around eight months. Prior to this I worked at Isle of Wight Council as a Communications and COVID Support Officer. I have always been in the media field and studied Multimedia Journalism. I love the variety that my job brings, from the different teams I get to work with, such as rangers, education and archaeology teams, to the topics I cover such as animals, arts, youth work and more.

My story takes place in a part of the New Forest that is very connected to my family, The Rufus Stone. This is a historical site, the place where King Rufus (William II) was shot and killed, believed to be in a hunting accident.

The connection this place has to my family is it’s believed that, through my mum’s side, we are related to Perkis (spellings vary) the Charcoal Burner. He is thought to be the one who found King Rufus after the accident and took him to his final resting place in Winchester.

But, that’s not why this place holds memories for me, that’s another story. Whilst on a family holiday to the Forest when I was younger, maybe six or seven, we visited the Rufus Stone. I don’t remember an awful lot of the trip, we had come down to visit my grandparents. It was in the Autumn, possibly October half term, as I remember seeing pigs out and about for pannage.

While we were there my dad and my older brother were playing around and my brother pushed my dad backwards a bit too hard, he stumbled into me and knocked out one of my teeth – just a baby one don’t worry! I was traumatised, not because of the pain but, because I was worried the tooth fairy wouldn’t come. My family scrambled around for quite a while in the Autumn leaves unable to find my tooth. This story does have a happy ending though. My mum told me to leave a hand-written note by my bedside explaining what had happened and that the tooth fairy would understand. Lo and behold I woke up the next morning with a pound coin under my pillow.


Find out more about the rich history and culture of New Forest National Park


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