|A 1920 account describes well the growth of the town in the previous century:|
Just a little more than a century ago was built at Bournemouth or 'Burne Mouth' the first 'marine residence' which was destined to be the forerunner of the many beautiful villas and mansions now erected amidst the wealth of foliage and in full light of the sunshine which has since gained for the spot the envied title of the 'Evergreen Valley'. It is incorrect, however, to assert that the place was entirely unknown prior to the coming of its first important resident, Mr. L.D.Tregonwell, who has been called 'The Founder of Bournemouth'. More than three centuries before it was traceable as Bournemouth or Bornemouth in the Calendar of Domestic State Papers.
This beautiful and favoured spot is now the site of a large and delightful town, with a population of over 80,000, which has grown to such vast dimensions in the space of a few decades, and whose sea front witnesses annually the landing of tens of thousands of delighted visitors and tourists from its unrivalled fleet of pleasure steamers.
|The Streamlet, the Bourne, which gives its name to the town, but a very few years ago meandered on its way to the sea, not through delightfully grassed, tree-environed, and flower-bedecked gardens, but through reeds, gorse, heather and bracken in which the wild birds had their retreat, and yellow-hammers, finches, larks, tits and wild-fowl had their almost untrespassed-upon domain.|
The then village, set chiefly in what is now known as the centre of the town, looked out upon fields (now the Lower Pleasure Gardens) in which cows pastured, and urchins played. In those days, the chief industry was 'the taking of casual visitors, the fishing and a little farming'.
Nowadays, it is indeed difficult for the visitor to conceive that but comparatively few decades back Bournemouth was given to such pursuits. Upon an old map, published in 1642 is marked 'Allom House' and this indicates one of the earliest industries connected with the district.
Westcliff, Bournemouth, in 1916. There might have been little habitation of this area until about 1800, but there was considerable industrial activity based around the mineral deposits in the chines - Allom Chine became Alum chine.|
The horizon is the Purbeck hills at Studland round towards Swanage.