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The strength of Bournemouth as a resort has always been the holiday accommodation poole beauty of its sea-front and gardens. The gardens date back to at least the eighteenth century, when the Lord of the Manor enclosed a few acres of land as a hunting ground and built a lodge - Decoy House - holiday accommodation poole where Debenhams now stands in the Square. holiday accommodation poole
History sometimes results from what doesn't happen, rather than what does; this is the case with the 'discovery' of Bournemouth's sea-front. Young Grosvenor Tregonwell did not survive infancy. His distraught parents, Louis and Henrietta, holidayed locally to relieve their grief. Henrietta fell in love with the serene Bourne Chine and Louis built her a house here.
Bournemouth was then a place of solitude. The Queen Mother's ancestor, Mary Eleanor Bowes, then the richest heiress in England, lived at Pokesdown in the 1790s to escape the clutches of her second husband. This set the tone for Bournemouth, which turned into a select retreat, where the wealthiest people in society came to escape from the world. As the pines, planted by land-owners unsure of quite what to do with their estates, grew, Bournemouth became a pine city by the sea.
The labouring classes were housed in distant artisans' quarters at Winton and Springbourne. Shops were banned in early Bournemouth; tradesmen were expected to call from Poole or Christchurch. When the first citizens finally relented and allowed the railway to approach, it was permitted to do so only in a deep cutting so that it would remain largely unseen. However such lofty isolation was not destined to last. The early villa builders had not provided sufficient infrastructure, roads were poor, and the sewers inefficient. The saviour of the town was Christopher Crabbe Creeke - Surveyor of Nuisances for the Bournemouth Commissioners! He laid out gracefully curving roads around the chines, lined with grand villas, and improved the drains. Enterprising developers like Henry Joy replaced many of the original dreamy villas with terraces of shops and apartments. Retailers like Beale brought all manner of fancy goods into the town and the railways allowed the lower orders to enjoy a cheap day at the seaside.
By 1890, Bournemouth was recognised by Queen Victoria, who granted it the status of a Borough, complete with its own Mayor. The citizens of the town were able to take firmer control of their own destiny. An Undercliff Drive was laid out along the beach (Kaiser William was one of the first people to drive along it), a Pavilion was built and Bournemouth's parks were laid out with drives and golf courses. A municipal orchestra was established at the Winter Gardens. Hospitals, schools, libraries and houses were provided by the local efforts of the people of Bournemouth.
Bournemouth expanded at an astonishing rate, swallowing up Westbourne, Boscombe Spa and Southbourne-on-Sea, which had once been competing resorts. The outlying artisans' areas were quickly included within its expanding boundaries. During the 1920s and '30s many of the town's middle-class suburbs were established at Talbot Woods, Ensbury Park and Richmond Park. Bournemouth provided for itself a succession of transport systems, trams, trolley buses and diesel buses. By the middle of the twentieth century it was one of the major towns of England and it came as something of a shock when local government re-organisation in 1974 removed many of its powers and responsibilities to Dorset County Council. The situation was largely reversed in 1997 when Bournemouth became a unitary authority.
In the course of its expansion Bournemouth took in ancient settlements at Kinson, Ensbury, Muscliff, Muccleshell, Holdenhurst and Wick, as well as the Iron Age port at Hengistbury Head. The town now faces the challenge of preserving the best of its built heritage, nurturing its natural resources which remain the key element in attracting visitors, and providing the facilities needed to provide memorable holidays for visitors and a desirable environment for the residents.
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