Brockenhurst residents angry over Rose and Crown name change
A change of name for a New Forest pub has been criticised as "alienating" by heritage campaigners.
The Rose and Crown in Brockenhurst has been rebranded "The Huntsman" during a refurbishment by owners Revere.
The New Forest Association (NFA) said its research showed the original name dates back centuries and is "intertwined with village history".
A post on the pub's Facebook page said the new name reflected the forest's past as a royal hunting ground.
'Stuck like glue'
Proposals for illuminated signs on the Grade II-listed building were refused by the National Park Authority (NPA), but the name change did not require planning permission.
The New Forest Association said it had unearthed evidence of the name recorded in a map survey by Thomas Richardson in 1787, as well as earlier references to the "Three Crowns".
Vice-chairman Graham Baker said the name change was "alienating the village and regular visitors."
"The Rose and Crown is one of the oldest buildings in the village and its name has stuck like glue for centuries," he said.
"A mere name change may seem like a standard practice, but in the New Forest our heritage is written in the names of our woodland inclosures, our villages, and even our humble pubs."
A planning report by the NPA said the name was linked to the pub from about 1900, but said earlier mentions could have referred to different buildings.
"The authority would need to be able to demonstrate the change in the name has caused negative implications on the historic interest of the listed building which is not considered to be justified in this case," it concluded.
Revere has not yet commented, but a post of the pub's Facebook page said the name was chosen as the New Forest was originally a royal hunting ground.