THE TRUSTY SERVANT dates back to the 1800’s and has in the pub a picture of it dated 1903 – which is the earliest picture we have found of The Trusty Servant as a pub. The pub has links with Winchester College (it is believed they may have owned the land at some point) as The Trusty Servant is from their college.
Minstead is referred to in the Doomsday book as Minstede (Mint – place). It was said to be held by the sons of Godric Malf, a name reflected in Malwood, the site of an ancient British fort less than a mile to the North West . It seems probable that Jutes rather than Saxons settled in this locality – as late as 1100 the Forest is referred to as Ytene, which means “land of the Jutes”.
Both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (famous as the creator of Sherlock Holmes) and his wife are buried near the large oak on the south side of the churchyard. He lived at Bignell Wood, a house on the northern edge of the parish and refers to Minstead Church in his novel “The White Company” which is set in the 14th Century when Beaulieu Abbey dominated the life of the Forest . Conan Doyle died at his home in Windlesham and was buried there, vertically, but later after his wife died his body was removed to its final resting place in the churchyard at Minstead.