Springbourne History

A selection of maps of Springbourne from 1805 to the present day can be found by clicking on the Maps button on the menu on the left hand side.

In The Beginning

In the beginning, there was a vast heath that stretched from Christchurch in the east to Poole in the west with just the odd farm, manor  and village (notably Holdenhurst and Throop) to break it up. The soil of this land belonged to the Lord of the Manor but this right to the soil was watered down by the law of common land - i.e. the rights of tenants etc. on the land to grazing and turf cutting.

All over the country, towards the end of the 18th century, areas of such land were slowly being 'inclosed' i.e. fenced off for the use by individuals rather than the general populace. It seems the motivation for enclosure was due to high cereal prices and general famine. By enclosing lands, the land owner could cultivate it, grow more food and consequently earn more wealth.

Keen to jump on the enclosure bandwagon, the primary landowners of the area got together and managed to get a private Act of Parliament passed in 1802 - The Christchurch Enclosure Act, described as "an Act for dividing, allotting and enclosing certain commonable lands and waste grounds within the Parish of Christchurch, and the Parish or Chapelry of Holdenhurst in the County of Southampton".

The passing of this Act meant that three Commissioners: Richard Richardson of Lincolns Inn Fields; John Wickens of Mapperton, (the one near Blandford, not the one near Beaminster) and William Clapcott  of Holdenhurst were appointed to implement the Act. They spent three years working on it and finally came up with the Christchurch Enclosure Award in 1805. This award carved up the lands into numbered plots. The three plots that make up modern day Springbourne are numbers 71, 74 and 218 (see this map).

Original Land Owners

The original purchasers of the three plots of land making up Springbourne under the Enclosure award were:

 Plot No.  Purchaser
71  Earl of Malmesbury
74  Sir George Ivison Tapps
218  Dr. William Farr



Elaine M. Findlay
April 2006