<a name=start></a> History of Boscombe continued



Boscombe Spa

A scheme for the development in what it described as the 'picturesque Village of Boscombe Spa' was prepared for the Malmesbury Estate in about 1866 or 1877 to make available building plots for the erection of marine villas to be let on long leases.

The Spa was related to a natural spring of mineral water containing properties similar to Harrogate which had been discovered near the foot of the hill; this would be available for invalids and could combine the advantages of a Spa with those of sea air and bathing.

The scheme was not implemented; instead about 19 acres of land was obtained by Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, on part of which he built a house for himself named Boscombe Towers, in 1868, Sir Henry became closely associated with the development of Boscombe Spa for a considerable number of years.

Sir Henry recorded in his memoirs that he had bought from Lord Malmesbury a small building property near the sea in the neighbourhood of Bournemouth. He laid out the land in building sites, for the erection of villas, designed in a variety of styles by Robert Edis,FRIBA. Several sites on the main road were for shops, so that an area near the Crescent became the shopping centre for the Spa.

Several roads in the area were given names associated with the Drummond Wolff family. Georgina for his mother, Walpole and Orford for his mother's family, Adeline for his wife and his daughter, Horace and Cecil for his two sons, Drummond and Wolff for himself. Other roads were named after his political associates; Churchill and Randolph for Lord Randolph Churchill, Borthwick and Wharncliffe for others, Owls Road after the political journal to which Sir Henry was a contributor for some years. Roumelia Lane related to the East Roumelia Commission of 1878 of which Sir Henry was a leading member.

Boscombe chine 32Kb
Boscombe chine new

In order to encourage the taking of the mineral water from the spring at the mouth of the Chine, small thatched roof building resembling a summer house was erected over the spring, and for a time this became a fashionable meeting place. The Chine itself was partially laid out and a broad pathway provided. A rustic bridge was constructed across the Chine.

Another factor in the development of Boscombe as a seaside resort was the formation in 1892 of the Boscombe Spa Hotel Company, founded by a group of local gentlemen, who wished to provide a hotel 'for the class of visitors who frequent this beautiful seaside place'

Completion of the hotel was announced in September 1874 in the following terms: 'This hotel is now open; suites of apartments, Coffee room (commanding views of the Channel, the Isle of Wight and the Dorsetshire coast), Smoking Room, Good Saddle Horses and Carriages with Careful Drivers. A bus meets all trains'.

The Hotel closed in 1880 and its contents were auctioned. In the autumn of that year the premises were opened as a school, named Bournemouth College, providing boarding facilities for boys. This school continued until August 1885. In October 1885 the Boscombe Chine Hotel was established in the buildings, and these were extended during 1888-89. It has been extended and modernised at various dates, and continues to the present time as Chine Hotel

next chapter The Village Expands.
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