In the 1870s Westbourne was described as a hamlet built around Seamoor Road, an important position on the old Bournemouth Poole boundary.

The County Gates here not only marked the boundary between Poole and Bournemouth but also the entrance to Branksome estate. A picture taken at the turn of the century shows a little bus waiting to make a trip to Sandbanks; also in the picture are three women standing on the other side of the road exchanging gossip.

The site of this picture is very different today, because this is one of the busiest traffic junctions of the area, a meeting place of westbound cars and those from Poole, Swanage and Sandbanks.

Westbourne will be remembered by tens of thousands of holiday-makers who started their holiday at West Station Terminus. During the August peak period over a dozen packed trains would arrive each weekend, those travelers arriving during the night and early morning thronging the Pleasure Gardens waiting for their holiday accommodation to become available at midday. Unfortunately the station was destroyed in 1965.

Florence Nightingale had an interest in Westbourne when in 1867 she was a prime mover in the building of the Herbert Home Hospital, but the area's most famous resident was none other than Robert Louis Stevenson who lived at 'Skerryvore' on the West Cliff between 1885-1887. While at this rather ordinary house he wrote Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Monitor page
for changes
   it's private   

by ChangeDetection

2000 The Dorset Page