News from the Past: about

News from the Past covers Victorian Bournemouth and its neighbouring hamlets
Bournemouth within Greater Westover


News from the Past contains posts relating to the economic, social, and cultural history of Victorian Bournemouth and its neighbourhood.

The posts depend on analyses that combine primary sources with genealogical exploration.

Usage of primary material comes for the most part through on-line access, thereby reducing the project’s carbon footprint. This archive contains other material.

The site welcomes constructive collaborative contributions, in particular shared private material such as diaries, letters and photographs.

The project’s horizon encompasses a community inclined towards deepening and broadening knowledge of the subject and its implications.

The posts of News from the Past highlight the historical path of Victorian Bournemouth. Along this way, a resort colony, intended for affluent vacationers and invalids, changed its identity. A parallel community of working people helped grow a greenfield site into a bustling borough in under a century.


A Victorian ‘new town’, Bournemouth came into existence during the 1830s. Some private settlement had occurred two decades before, but without apparent commercial objectives. The Marine Village (late 1830s), however, embarked on planned development for the purposes of delivering revenue to its investors. From the beginning, it experienced regular economic and social growth on its way to achieving a national reputation.

In a sense, matters began with the Bath Hotel, established beside the sea, overlooking a beach used by smugglers in earlier times. The settlement spread northwards from the hotel. 

As the settlement progressed, its population came into contact with a range of villages in its immediate vicinity. Early connections with Poole and Christchurch occurred. During the course of the Victorian period, the settlement moved from a vacation resort to a borough. On the way, it absorbed the neighbouring villages. It remained separate from its ‘bookend towns’ Poole and Christchurch.

In the early part of the 21st century, however, Poole and Christchurch councils merged with Bournemouth’s to form Bournemouth-Christchurch-Poole.