A FORMER major shipbuilding centre in Hampshire is about to turn the clock back 300 years.

A group of Living History characters will show visitors to Buckler’s Hard what life was like in the village in the 18th century, when many of the warships used by the Royal Navy were built there.

Some of the vessels that fought at the Battle of Trafalgar were launched at Buckler’s Hard, which overlooks the Beaulieu River.

Families visiting Buckler’s Hard between April 5-21 will be able to meet Master Shipbuilder Henry Adams and his son Balthazar, who lived and worked in the village when Nelson’s Trafalgar fleet was being built.

A Beaulieu Estate spokesman said: “A labourer’s wife will tell you about family life in the village.

You can see how her humble cottage and the shipwright’s cottage across the road would have looked in the early 1800s. In the New Inn, you can hear residents from the time gossiping about local matters.”

Other attractions will include a fun family quiz trail around the village, with children picking up a chocolate treat at the end.

Buckler’s Hard includes a maritime museum that tells how ships were built at Buckler’s Hard for more than 100 years.

Buckler’s Hard and the Beaulieu River played an important role during the Second World War.

Sections of the Mulberry Harbour used during the D-Day landings were built there and hundreds of craft involved in the invasion sailed from the Beaulieu River.

The Beaulieu River is thought to have been used by smugglers in the late 18th century and one of the cottages, now a chapel, was the centre of operations.

A viewing window in the floor beside the altar reveals the cellar below, probably used as a store for smuggled goods.