Winton Forum


The Creation of Queens Park

Queen Alexandra
Alexandra - Queen of Queens Park

Queens Park and Charminster lie on an area of land once known as "Poole Heath", "Poor Heath" and finally "the Great Heath".

The origins of Queens Park lie in turbary - the ancient right to cut turf for use as fuel.

This was effectively ended by legislation in the early 1800s, but in response to local protest five lots of land were set aside specifically for cutting turf.

One 147 acre plot, known as Lot 60, was to eventually become Queens Park.

The others would end up as Seafield Gardens, King's Park, Redhill Common and Meyrick Park.

Changes afoot

The growth of the railway and easy importation of coal gradually reduced the importance of turbary, and by the beginning of the 20th century, the time had come to change the role of Plot 60 to recreation.

This was the dawn of the Edwardian age in which thoughts turned more to pleasure than toil. In 1901 the Borough Surveyor was told to prepare estimates for turning the whole of Common 60 into a park. They even made plans for a cricket pitch.

The coronation of King Edward VII took place the following year and in its honour Plots 59 and 60 were respectively named Kings Park and Queens Park. They were both symbols of the Edwardian era.

It is not known if Queen Alexandra ever saw "her" park. The king probably glimpsed Plot 60 at some stage during one of his many visits to be entertained in Bournemouth by his mistress Lily Langtry.