Bournemouth Bicentenary Day

Today, Monday 14 June, is the 200th anniversary of Lewis Tregonwell coming to Bournemouth with his wife Henrietta.

The couple drove over by carriage from Mudeford so that Tregonwell could show his wife the delightful spot known as ‘Bourn’. She loved it and both resolved to build a house on the side of the chine. This was the beginning of development.

If they had not come maybe the Dorset heathland would have remained much longer and the Bournemouth Coast Path would have been the Poole or Poole Bay Coast Path. Or even just the Christchurch Coast Path.

Tregonwell knew the coast well and this was the attraction. Later Henry James was to marvel at the view of the bay whilst expressing dislike of the ‘new houses’.

The Tregonwells came back on 4 July, bought the land on 25 September and moved into the house in 1812. So there will another anniversary to keep in Golden Jubilee/Olympic Year. The house is now the Royal Exeter Hotel.

This year’s Bournemouth 2010 celebrations continue. Last Friday there was a special Mass at the Sacred Heart Church which was known to Aubrey Beardsley who spent a lot of time looking at the sea from his Boscombe hotel. Next month there are events to mark the anniversary of the 1910 air show which was of course part of the centenary programme. The occasion was marred by the accident which killed Charles Rolls of Rolls-Royce fame.

About Leigh Hatts

Leigh Hatts is an experienced walker and has known the local coastline since childhood. He is the author of many successful walking guides.
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