View across Wilverley Plain towards Brockenhurst. Photo taken from Wilverley Plain car park on a frosty morning on 11 February 2016, with a mist on the horizon.
A view further to the right from previous photo across Wilverley Plain towards Brockenhurst. Photo taken from Wilverley Plain car park on a frosty morning on 11 February 2016, with a mist on the horizon.
Naked Man (site of)
Grid Ref: SU 24520 01751
If you park at Wilverley Post, next to the A35 (Grid Ref: SU 24191 01965), cross over the style next to a wide gate then it's a 5-minute walk . If you park in the main car park at Wilverley Inclosure, it's about 3/4 mile walk.
If you look on the OS Explorer Map OL 22 you will see a dot and the name "Naked Man (site of)" and be wondering what exactly does that refer to.
The Naked Man, called the Wilverley Oak in 1759, was used for hanging highwaymen and smugglers but is now just a dead trunk stripped of all bark, although the oak stump is fenced off making the tree easier to find.
A plaque on the uppermost rail starkly states - THE SITE OF "THE NAKED MAN"
It's unclear as to how this tree became known as the "Naked Man" but as folklore would have it there are two reasonable suggestions. One story is of a man waiting to be hanged being struck by lightning, which stripped him of his clothes. Whilst another story suggests the tree struck by lightning was so badly damaged that it's split trunk and two outstretched branches resembled the figure of a man.
Whatever the true explanation is we will never really know for certain.
So, whilst you're in the area visit this place of notoriety and reflect on days gone by and maybe draw some conclusions of your own.
A dead Douglas fir tree providing some wonderful eerie shapes.