THE LIBERTY OF WESTOVER
WITH THE PARISHES OF
HOLDENHURST AND BOURNEMOUTH
As has been seen, (fn. 1) the hundred of Holdenhurst,
which existed in 1176, was probably co-extensive
with the modern liberty of Westover. This hundred
was, however, soon after extended and became known
as the hundred of Christchurch, the district of Westover, which was held as one large manor and comprised that part of the hundred which lay west of
the Stour, (fn. 2) being absorbed into it. (fn. 3) In course of
time Westover emerged as a separate hundred. In
the hundred court rolls for 1500–1, (fn. 4) 1540–5 (fn. 5) and
1560, which are extant, the tithings represented
were North Ashley, Muscliff, Muccleshill, Throop,
Holdenhurst, Iver and Luckton. The liberty, however, continued for many years to be included in
Christchurch Hundred, (fn. 6) which in 1571 was called
'the hundred of Christchurch Westover.' (fn. 7) By 1620
it seems to have become definitely detached, (fn. 8) although
up till 1692 the loose description of 'the hundred of
Christchurch and Westover is found.' (fn. 9) In 1595 the
liberty contained, in addition to the tithings mentioned above, part of the tithing of Lougham in the
parish of Hampreston, Dorset, this part being a
detached portion of the parish lying in Hampshire on
the county boundary. (fn. 10) It was, however, transferred
to Holdenhurst some time after 1861. (fn. 11) North
Ashley was still in the liberty in 1831, but a year
or two later was transferred to Ringwood Hundred. (fn. 12)
The tithings of Hurn and Parley were returned in
1841 as being in the liberty, (fn. 13) but this was probably
INDEX MAP TO THE LIBERTY OF WESTOVER
The liberty has always belonged, with the hundred
of Christchurch, to the lord of the honour of Christchurch (q.v.).
The parish of Holdenhurst (Holeest, xi cent.;
Holeherst, xii cent.; Holhurst, xiii cent.; Hollehurst, xiv cent.; Holnehurst, xv–xvii cent.; Holnest,
xvi cent.; Holnirst, xvii cent.) comprises an area of
3,080 acres, of which 52 acres are covered by inland
and 6 by tidal water; 1,579¼ acres are arable, 778¾
permanent grass and 273 woods and plantations. (fn. 14)
Until 1894 the parish was much larger, and comprised
7,390 acres, of which 70 were covered by water. (fn. 15)
In that year the part of it adjoining the county
boundary was formed into the separate parish of
Winton, while that part lying on the coast was
detached from the larger portion of the new parish
of Bournemouth. In the same year a small portion
of Christchurch parish was added to Holdenhurst,
and in the following year a further small piece of
Holdenhurst was added to Bournemouth. (fn. 16) Finally
in 1901 yet another portion of the parish was detached
and added partly to Bournemouth and partly to
Southbourne. (fn. 17)
The village is prettily situated in the north-east of
the parish on a road which running south-east joins
the Christchurch and Bournemouth road in the
hamlet of Iford (Huver, Huvre, Luvre, xii and xiv
cent.; Ever, xv cent.; Iver, xvi cent.), where the
river is crossed by a fine bridge. (fn. 18) From the village
another road runs west beside the river to the hamlets
of Throop (La Throp, La Thorpe, xiv cent.; Throupe,
xiv and xv cent.; Troppe, xvi cent.), where is a water
mill, Muccleshill (Makeleshulle, xiii cent.; Mukeleshull, xiv cent.; Mulkeshull, xv cent.; Mokylshyll,
Muggeshyll, xvi cent.) and Muscliff, where is an old
tannery. Littledown House is the property and
residence of Mr. James Coward Cooper-Dean, J.P.
The parish of Bournemouth was formed in 1894,
as has been stated, (fn. 19) from Christchurch and Holdenhurst. Since 1902 the parish has included those of
Pokesdown, Southbourne and Winton, and it now
comprises 5,919 acres, of which 97 acres are covered
by tidal and one by inland water; 93 acres are foreshore, 581¾ are arable, 300 permanent grass and 71/8
woods and plantations. (fn. 20) Cliffs extend along practically the whole of the coast, their average height
being about 100 ft. The greatest altitude in the
parish (one of 142½ ft.) is upon the county boundary
just west of Winton. The earliest mention of the
name that has been found is in 1574, when Bournemouth was regarded as one of the most likely places
for an enemy to land. (fn. 21) Men were soon after told
off to act as guards there and at other places along the
coast. (fn. 22) Attention was again called to the danger in
the next century, when Chewton Bunney, Boscombe
and Hengistbury were also pointed out as likely places
for a landing. (fn. 23) In 1654 there was a marine storehouse at Bournemouth. (fn. 24) Boscombe (then Bascombe)
and Alum Chine both appear upon John Norden's
map of 1595. (fn. 25)
The town, built upon the cliffs at an average height
of over 100 ft., and intersected by the Christchurch
and Poole road, is one of the most striking examples
of modern development. A hundred years ago the
country between Christchurch and Poole was open
heath-land, with scarcely a house or a tree upon it.
Upon the passing in 1802 of the Inclosure Act (fn. 26)
thousands of acres were inclosed and planted with
Scotch firs, and it is to the valuable medicinal properties of these trees, combined with the invigorating
sea air, that the town owes its origin. In 1810 the
first house was built by Mr. L. D. G. Tregonwell,
who is styled upon his tomb in St. Peter's churchyard 'the founder of Bournemouth.' It now forms
part of Newlyn's Royal Exeter Hotel. A few more
houses sprang up, and in 1836 Sir George W. Tapps-Gervis, bart., began to lay out the land on the east
of the Bourne stream. Westover Villas and the Royal
Bath Hotel were built the following year, when also
gardens were set apart for the public. Since then
Bournemouth has steadily grown, and has enjoyed an
increasing reputation as a health resort for those
suffering from pulmonary diseases. It is now a
fashionable residential town with several suburbs,
those of Branksome Park and Upper Parkstone being
wholly, and that of Westbourne partially, in the
county of Dorset. The iron pier, now 1,000 ft.
long, is approached through a gap in the cliffs. It
was opened in 1880 and lengthened in 1894; at its
entrance are waiting-rooms and a clock tower. A
short drive and promenade under the East Cliff has
recently been constructed from the pier entrance
towards Boscombe. Each cliff is supplied with an
elevator from the beach, while upon the West Cliff is
a coastguard station. The line of this cliff is broken
by three chines: Durley, Middle and Alum Chine.
Along the banks of the Bourne—a small stream which
flows south through the town and falls into the sea
near the pier—pleasure-grounds have been laid out
for a distance of more than a mile. There are two
stations: the Central station opened in 1886, and
the West station opened in 1873. The chief of the
numerous hospitals and homes are the Royal National
Sanatorium for Consumption and Diseases of the
Chest, built in 1858; and the Royal Victoria Hospital, opened in 1890 by King Edward VII, then
Prince of Wales, as a memorial of the Jubilee of
Queen Victoria. There are cricket and football
grounds and golf links in Meyrick Park, which
belongs to the corporation and has an area of about
130 acres. In Talbot woods to the north are two
tumuli, one of them known as Robin Hood's Barrow.
Springbourne is a north-eastern suburb in the direction of Holdenhurst, while on a road running north
from Bournemouth is the large detached suburb of
Winton, on the commons to the east of which are six
tumuli and the sites of two more. Just north of
Winton is the hamlet of Moordown. Between
Bournemouth and Christchurch, which continual
building operations have almost united, are situated
Boscombe, Pokesdown and Southbourne-on-Sea. The
first of these is a suburb of Bournemouth, from which
it is separated by the Boscombe Chine Gardens. The
pier built at the end of Boscombe Chine is 600 ft. in
length, and was opened in 1889. The Royal Boscombe and West Hants Hospital was established here
in 1876. There is a railway station on the main
Bournemouth line, as also at Pokesdown. On
Littledown Common to the north are brick works
and a tumulus known as Thistle Barrow. The cliffs
between here and Southbourne-on-Sea, which at one
point reach an altitude of 141 ft., are well wooded.
Upon them are situated Boscombe Manor, late the
property of Lord Abinger, and Wentworth Lodge,
the residence of Viscount Portman.
From Pokesdown, also practically a suburb of
Bournemouth, a road runs south-east to Southbourneon-Sea, a watering-place of recent development,
situated on the wooded cliffs which fall away from
here to the east. The pier, which was recently
much damaged, is now being demolished; on either
side of it parades have been constructed at the foot of
the cliffs. To the north of Southbourne, on the
banks of the Stour, are the hamlets of Tuckton and
Wick. At the former a fine bridge over the river
was built in 1882, the distance to Christchurch being
thereby much lessened. (fn. 27) Close by is the site of a
tumulus; near the latter is another tumulus.
Many famous men have spent the last years of their
lives at Bournemouth, attracted hither by its healthgiving qualities. Thomas Wentworth Beaumont,
politician and one of the originators of the Westminster
Review, died here in 1848. (fn. 28) Other notable persons
who have died here are Thomas Erskine the judge in
1864; John Keble in 1866; Thomas Baring, M.P.,
in 1873; John Wyatt, army surgeon, in 1874; John
Nelson Darby, Plymouth Brother and founder of
the Darbyites, in 1882; Thomas Pownall Boultbee,
divine and author, in 1884; the first Earl Cairns,
Lord Chancellor, in 1885; Sir Francis Bolton, soldier
and electrician, in 1887; Sir Bartholomew Sulivan,
admiral and hydrographer, and Thomas William
Saunders, legal author, in 1890; Sir Arthur Blyth,
premier of South Australia, in 1891; César Jean
Saloman Malan, oriental linguist and biblical scholar,
in 1894; Robert Eli Hooppell, antiquary, in 1895;
Sir John Charles Bucknill, physician, in 1897, and
General Sir George Henry Willis in 1900. Bournemouth was the birthplace in 1830 of Sir Charles
Parker Butt, who became a judge of the High Court.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, authoress, second wife
of the poet, died in London in 1851, but was buried
at Bournemouth. Robert Louis Stevenson lived here
1884–7 in a house at the head of Alum Chine.
Frederick Apthorp Paley, the famous classical scholar
and author, spent the last seven years of his life at
Boscombe, dying there in 1888; John MacGregor, the
'Rob Roy' of canoeing fame, died there in 1892.
Edward Morison Wimperis, the water-colour painter,
died at Southbourne in 1900.
In 1856 the Bournemouth Improvement Act was passed and a body of
commissioners constituted to discharge
the duties of a local government authority. In 1890
the town received a royal
charter of incorporation, and
ten years later the municipal
borough was constituted a
county borough. In 1895
part of Pokesdown civil parish
was constituted an urban district, and three years later
the civil parish of Winton
became one also. In 1901,
however, both were dissolved
and the areas they comprised
added to the county borough,
together with part of the
parish of Holdenhurst and
such part of the parish of
Southbourne as was not already in the county borough.
In the same year it was redivided into the present eleven
wards; these are Boscombe East, Boscombe West,
Branksome, Central, East Cliff, Malmesbury Park,
Southbourne, Springbourne, Westbourne, West Cliff
and Winton and Moordown. (fn. 29) The corporation
consists of a mayor, eleven aldermen and thirty-three
councillors. The borough has a separate commission
of the peace and a separate court of Quarter Sessions. (fn. 30)
Borough of Bournemouth. Quarterly or and azure a cross paty quarterly between in the first and fourth quarters a lion holding a rose, in the second six martles, and in the third four salmon swimming all countercoloured.
The manor of WESTOVER (Westower, xiii-xviii cent.) comprised the
district west of the Stour, afterwards
known as the liberty of Westover, and was probably
co-extensive with the manor of HOLDENHURST,
which at the time of the Domesday Survey belonged
to the king and was assessed at 18½ hides and half a
virgate, and worth £24 by the tale. In the time of
Edward the Confessor it had been worth £44, when
it was assessed at 29 hides and half a virgate, of
which 7 hides were in the Isle of Wight. It was
held at that time by Earl Tostig, but had been afterwards granted to Hugh de Port. Since then 3½ hides
had been absorbed into the forest. (fn. 31) It was included
in the grant of the Christchurch estates made by
Henry I to Richard de Redvers, and being appurtenant
to the honour of Christchurch followed the descent of
the same (q.v.).
Ministers' accounts for the manor for the years
1289, 1301 and 1419 are extant. (fn. 32) From an extent
of Christchurch Manor in about 1300 it appears that
the king as lord could claim the second best sheep
from every customary fold of Wick in Westover, the
tenants in return having pasture for their sheep outside the ditch of Hengistbury in the demesne arable
lands. (fn. 33) Some of the court rolls for the years 1560,
1594 and 1595 survive, from which it seems that for
the purposes of the court baron the manor of Christchurch was known as 'the manor of Christchurch
cum membris.' (fn. 34)
The manor of MUSCLIFF (Museclyve, xiiixiv cent.; Moseclyve, xiv-xv cent.; Moseclyre, xv cent.)
originated in an estate held there for one-eighth of a
knight's fee of the lords of Christchurch, (fn. 35) the last
record of whose ownership is in 1414. (fn. 36) In about
1250 the estate was held by John Lancelevee, (fn. 37) but no
other record of its tenure has been found until the
year 1506, when Reginald Filliol and his wife suffered
a recovery of the manor. (fn. 38) Three years later they
conveyed it to Richard Elliot, (fn. 39) from whom it passed
to Sir Thomas Elliot, kt., who settled it upon his
wife Margaret for life. Upon his death he was
succeeded by his cousin Richard Puttenham, who in
1547 conveyed the manor, subject to the life interest
of Margaret, to John Lennard. (fn. 40) He still owned it
four years later, (fn. 41) but from that date no further record
of it has been found. It seems to have become
merged into the chief manor of Christchurch.
There was at Stourfield in the 15th and 16th
centuries a deer forest and chase which belonged to
the lords of Christchurch. (fn. 42)
At the time of the Domesday Survey there was a
mill at Holdenhurst, owned by the king. (fn. 43) It
passed to the abbey of Quarr, and then to
Christchurch Priory, and is now held by the lords of
Westover. (fn. 44)
The church of ST. JOHN THE
was built in 1834 on the site of the
ancient chapel in a style approximating to that of
the 13th and 15th centuries.
There are two bells, the smaller dated 1701, the
larger undated but inscribed '+ Ave maria gracia
PLENA' in Gothic capitals.
The first book of registers has baptisms and burials
1679 to 1759 and marriages 1680 to 1753; the
second and fourth have marriages 1754 to 1796 and
1797 to 1812, and the third has baptisms and burials
1759 to 1812. There are churchwardens' accounts
The cruciform church of ST. ALBAN was built
The handsome cruciform church of ST. AMBROSE,
consecrated in 1907, is of stone in 15th-century style.
The church of ST. AUGUSTIN is cruciform,
built of stone in 1891 in 17th-century style.
The church of ST. CATHERINE, SOUTHBOURNE, built of stone about 1898, is a cruciform
structure excellently designed in late 13th-century
style, with aisles and north porch.
CHRIST CHURCH, dating apparently from the
first half of the 19th century, consists of a single hall
with sanctuary recess at one end and vestries and a
parish room at the other. It is completely inclosed
by other buildings, mainly shops.
The church of ST. CLEMENT is cruciform, built
of stone in 1872 in 14th-century style. The tower
is an addition of 1893. There is an 18th-century
Italian reredos in the chapel.
The church of ST. JAMES, POKESDOWN, is a
small structure, built of stone in 1858 in 13th and
The cruciform church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, MOORDOWN, was begun in 1873 and
continued in 1886 in 13th-century style.
The church of ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST,
BOSCOMBE, built of flint and stone with tile roofs
in 1894 in 14th-century style, is cruciform.
The church of ST. LUKE, MOORDOWN, begun
in 1898 of brick and stone in 14th-century style, is
The church of ST. MICHAEL AND ALL
ANGELS is cruciform, built of stone in 13th-century
style in 1874, with a tower added in 1901.
The cruciform church of ST. PAUL was built in
1881 in 13th-century style of grey and red brick
with an outer facing of stone.
The church of ST. PETER is a cruciform church
built of stone in 14th-century style about 1845 and
enlarged at subsequent dates. The tower contains
The cruciform church of ST. STEPHEN was
built of stone in 1881 in 13th-century style.
The church of ST. SWITHUN in Jervis Road, a
cruciform structure in 14th and 15th-century style,
built in 1876, is a chapel of ease to St. Peter.
The church of HOLY TRINITY is a brick
structure in the Romanesque style built in 1869,
having a narthex, and a campanile with five bells to
the south of the narthex.
With the exception of a silver chalice of 1578 at
St. John's, Holdenhurst, and a paten of 1701 in the
same church, all the plate of the Bournemouth
churches is modern. Very careful and elaborate
descriptions of each piece are given in Church Plate
of Hampshire (1909), by the Rev. P. R. P. Braithwaite.
There was in 1086 a chapel in
Holdenhurst, (fn. 45) a third part of the
tithes of which belonged to Christchurch Priory. (fn. 46) The chapel passed to Richard de
Redvers under his grant of Christchurch Manor, and
he granted it to the priory in about 1100, (fn. 47) several
of his descendants confirming the grant. (fn. 48) The chapel
was served by the priory until the Dissolution, after
which it was in the charge of the vicar of Christchurch. (fn. 49) The chapel ceased to be in charge before
1808, (fn. 50) but the living continued to be a perpetual
curacy annexed to Christchurch vicarage until 1875,
when it was constituted a vicarage, in the gift of the
Bishop of Winchester.
The tithes have always been held with those of
Christchurch; both have now been commuted for a
St. Alban's is a district church of St. Augustin.
St. Ambrose is a chapel of ease to St. Peter's.
The parish of St. Augustin was formed in 1900
from St. Stephen's. The living is a vicarage in the
gift of the bishop.
The district of St. Catherine's, Southbourne, was
formed in 1885. The living is a vicarage in the gift
Christ Church is now worked as a mission.
St. Clement's parish was formed in 1871 from
Holdenhurst; the living is a vicarage in the gift of
Mr. A. Darby.
The parish of St. James, Pokesdown, which includes
part of Boscombe, was formed in 1859 from Christchurch. The vicar of Christchurch is patron.
The parish of St. John the Baptist, Moordown,
which included Winton, was formed in 1874 from
Christchurch and Holdenhurst. The living, a
vicarage, is in the gift of the bishop.
The parish of St. John the Evanglist, Boscombe,
was formed in 1890 from St. Clement's. The living
is a perpetual curacy in the patronage of the Peache
St. Luke, Moordown, is a district church of St.
John the Baptist.
The parish of St. Michael was formed from St.
Peter's in 1874. The living is a vicarage in the gift
of Miss Durrant and Mrs. J. B. Wanklyn alternately.
The parish of St. Paul was formed from St. Michael
in 1890; the living is in the gift of trustees.
The living of St. Peter, Bournemouth, is a
vicarage, the parish being formed in 1845 from
Christchurch and Holdenhurst. Sir G. A. E. Tapps-Gervis-Meyrick, bart., is patron.
The parish of St. Stephen was formed out of St.
Peter's in 1882; the living is a vicarage in the gift
of Keble College, Oxford.
The parish of Holy Trinity, Bournemouth, was
formed in 1867 from St. Peter's and Holdenhurst.
The living is a vicarage in the gift of trustees.
There are three Congregational chapels at Bournemouth, one at Boscombe, and one at Moordown.
There are also Congregational chapels at Pokesdown, Winton and Throop; while there are Baptist
chapels at Bournemouth, Pokesdown and Boscombe.
The Wesleyans have chapels at Westbourne, Springbourne, Pokesdown, Boscombe and in the Winton
and Malmesbury Park district, while in Bournemouth upon Richmond Hill is the Punshon Memorial Wesleyan Church. The Primitive Methodists
have chapels at Bournemouth, Pokesdown, and
Springbourne, and there is a Unitarian chapel at
Bournemouth. There is a Roman Catholic church
at Boscombe in the Christchurch road, while at
Bournemouth upon Richmond Hill is the Oratory of
the Sacred Heart, and at Pokesdown the Convent of
the Holy Cross. At Bournemouth in Exeter Road
is St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, and in the
Avenue Road is a Meeting House of the Society of
(i) Parish of Holdenhurst. (a)
Charity of Thomas Brown. See under
Christchurch. The share applicable
in this parish amounts to about £2 17s. 6d., of which
10s. is payable to the minister for a sermon on
1 January, the residue being applicable in clothes,
bread or otherwise.
(b) Charity for Parish Nurse. The official trustees
hold a sum of £3,150 5s. 10d. consols, producing
£78 15s. yearly, forming part of a sum of stock transferred under an Order of the Court of 25 May 1903
in the matter of the Attorney-General v. Sir George
Eliott Meyrick Tapps-Gervis-Meyrick and another
(1891 A. 394), whereby a scheme also was established
for providing a nurse for this parish and its immediate
neighbourhood. See also under Bournemouth.
(ii) Parish of Bournemouth. (a) The Herbert
Convalescent Home, founded in 1867 as a memorial
to Sidney Lord Herbert of Lea, has endowments from
legacies and gifts of General Bowles, Dr. Lambert, Rev.
William Savage, and others, of about £300 a year.
(b) The Royal Victoria Hospital, founded in 1837,
has an endowment fund of £2,103 7s. 5d. consols,
constituting Meyrick's Annuity. A sum of
£2,103 7s. 5d. consols is in the hands of the official
trustees for the benefit of the Royal Boscombe and
West Hants Hospital.
(c) A sum of £5,000 consols for the Meyrick
Scholarships in connexion with the Bournemouth
Technical and Secondary School, is administered by
a scheme of the Court established under the Order of
Court of 1903. (fn. 51)
(d) The official trustees also hold a sum of
£1,671 17s. 9d. Bournemouth Corporation 3 per
cent. Stock as a Scholarship Fund in connexion with
the school at Lansdowne, the administration being
regulated by a scheme of 12 March 1907.
(e) The official trustees also hold a sum of
£1,739 2s. 3d. consols under the will of Charlotte
Augusta de Winton, one moiety being applicable
towards maintaining a branch of the Royal Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and the
other moiety for the like purpose in Weymouth.
(f) In the ecclesiastical parish of St. Clement.
The school consists of schoolhouse, playground, and
2 acres of land, conveyed by deeds of 10 March
1879 and 1 November 1880. A small portion of
the land was sold with the sanction of the Charity
Commissioners, and the proceeds applied in improving
the estate, and the remainder let on building leases
for ninety-nine years at ground rents amounting to
about £110 a year.