Local community site for Broadstone, Dorset, since 1999

History of Broadstone

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The name “Broadstone”

Where does the name “Broadstone” come from? There appears to be no conclusive evidence to corroborate this, but the name probably originates from a number of “broad stones” that were laid across the Blackwater stream for people to cross over without wetting their feet. This stream flows in the valley between Clarendon Road and Springdale Road and the stones were located close to the Brookdale Farm.

A Brief History of Broadstone

In 1840 the first house of any real size was built, close to the pond. It was known as ‘Broadstone Farm’. A railway track was laid past the farm in 1847.

In 1872 the first railway station – ‘New Poole Junction’ – was built. The station was given this name because Poole town itself would not have a railway station in the town, preferring it to be a little way away.

The station was later re-named ‘New Poole Junction and Broadstone’.

In 1887 the station name was changed to ‘Broadstone and New Poole Junction’. In 1890 when Poole got its own station the ‘New Poole Junction’ was dropped from the name, and the station finally became ‘Broadstone’ station. In 1889 the Railway hotel was built. The railway was closed in 1966.

First Church

The building of the first church in Broadstone began in about 1853 in order for the children of Broadstone to gain some ‘religious knowledge’. The site was started with a £5 donation from Messrs W. and A. Waterman. They and the congregation worked together to build the church, which was built of ‘Cob’ and later became the Scouts hut. The total cost came to approximately £50.

Lavender Farm

At the turn of the century (1900), two local men decided that instead of keeping cattle they would convert part of their holding into a lavender farm – lavender perfume was extremely popular at this time. Sixty acres of lavender were planted. From the lavender an oil was produced which was sent to a factory built at Broadstone to be turned into perfume. Lavender perfume was marketed in bottles with pictures of Broadstone on the front – some of these still survive today. Slowly the business declined and the factory became the headquarters of the Broadstone Athletic Club until it burnt down in 1935.

Schools

Before the passing of the Education Act in 1870, Broadstone had little in the way of a school. There was a little ‘dame’ school in a cottage. In 1871 this building was given to the village and became Broadstone School – it was used as a school, during the week and as a chapel on Sundays. It is still in use as Broadstone’s First School today.

The school bell, presented to the school by Sir Henry Austen Layard, an archaeologist is over 3000 years old!

In 1877, a new classroom was added to the school. The school had 130 children on the register in 1889, which increased to 210 in 1901. However, this decreased to 174 in 1925. In 1957 four new classrooms were added, and in 1959 there were over 450 children on the register. In the fifties and sixties, further schools were built to cater for the increased population.

Famous Person

The most famous person to live in Broadstone was the biologist Alfred Russel Wallace. He and Charles Darwin were the co-discoverers of the theory of evolution. Wallace moved to Broadstone in 1902 when he was 78 years of age. Wallace Road in Broadstone is named after him.

Post Office

In 1880 a post office counter was installed inside one of Broadstone’s most well known shops – French and Watkins – a general store particularly well known for its bread, which was supplied to much of the surrounding countryside.

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About Author

David is a retired Traffic Systems Engineer, previously working at Siemens, Sopers Lane, Poole. He has worked in Brazil for 17 years, returning to the UK in 1990, and living in Broadstone since then. David is Secretary of Poole Heart Support Group, and runs a number of charity and non-profit organisation websites.

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