Map of the week – Bournemouth 1811
Ordnance Survey Old Series 1:50,000 (and present day OS 1:50,000)
At the start of the 19th century the area was largely a remote and barren heathland, used only by smugglers and revenue troops.
A man called Tregonwell is regarded as the first inhabitant of Bournemouth. In 1810 he visited the beach with his wife. She loved the area and persuaded him to build the first house. By 1840 a small village had sprung up. By 1851 Bournemouth was still a little village with a population of only 695, but it was growing rapidly and by 1861 the population had grown to 1,707.
The railway reached Bournemouth in 1870, which caused the town to boom. By 1881 the population of Bournemouth stood at 16,859. Ten years later it reached 37,000.
In two hundred years Bournemouth has grown from Tregonwell’s single house to a population of 183,491 making it the largest settlement in Dorset. With Poole to the west and Christchurch in the east, Bournemouth forms the South East Dorset conurbation, which has a total population of over 400,000.