19th century churches in Bournemouth (Lead author: JT)
The town of Bournemouth was founded as a health resort at the beginning of the 19th century, when Lewis Tregonwell of Edmondsham built a house near the mouth of the Bourne stream for his wife, who had been ill, and the sea air proved a tonic for her. Other families followed his example, and many of the larger buildings near the cliffs were built as private houses.
As the town grew, churches were built to serve the residents and visitors who were accommodated in hotels and nursing homes. Most of the churches within the town centre of Bournemouth are built of rock-faced Purbeck Freestone, with Bath Stone dressings. The ‘mother church’ in the centre of town is St. Peter’s, SZ08884 91221, built between 1854 and 1879 on 1840’s foundations. Close examination of the walls will show that many different beds of the Middle Purbeck limestone were used.
St. Ambrose in West Cliff Road is the exception, as it was built entirely with Bath Stone in 1893-1900. It is very close to Bournemouth West Station at SZ07137 90867.
Boscombe Convent was built of Purbeck Freestone, in two phases. The earliest phase of 1888 has Chilmark stone dressing, the second phase of 1901 has Portland stone dressing.
Text and photographs by JT 12.01.18
Others are: St. Stephens, SZ08529 91518, built 1881-98, with the tower in 1907; St. Andrew’s at 8, St. Stephens Road SZ08526 91373 near Richmond Hill, built 1891. The building stones were brought by rail, the Purbeck limestone from Swanage through Wareham, and Bath Stone on the Somerset and Dorset Railway, to the nearest station according to the progress of the railway, and by 1874 to Bournemouth West station.