BOURNEMOUTH may not be a particularly old town, but it's certainly not without its history.

The Daily Echo explores just a few of the many interesting points of the coastal resort's past.


Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, was buried in Bournemouth

Bournemouth Echo:

Mary Shelley published Frankenstein more than 200 years ago on January 1, 1818.

In 1849, Mary’s son, Sir Percy Florence Shelley bought Boscombe Cottage, which had been built in 1801. He intended to turn it into a home for his mother.

However, Mary died from a brain tumour in 1851.

Mary wanted to be buried with her parents, so Percy had their coffins exhumed and interred in a family plot at St Peter’s Church in Bournemouth.

Bournemouth Echo:


JRR Tolkien lived in Bournemouth

Bournemouth Echo:

After penning The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy JRR Tolkien retired with his wife Edith in 1968 to Woodridings, a bungalow at 19 Lakeside Road.

Tolkien lived in the three-bed bungalow, which backed onto Branksome Chine, until his wife's death in 1972 when he moved back to Oxford.

Although no real evidence of his ownership remains, the beams which formed part of his study are still visible.

It came on the market for £1 million in November 2006, sold by the person who bought it from Tolkien himself.

The bungalow was demolished in September 2007 to make way for housing.

Bournemouth Echo:

The author, who died in 1973, is said to have found respite from his growing fame there and at the Miramar Hotel, Bournemouth, which he and his wife frequently visited.

A commemorative plaque can be seen on the front of the hotel.

Bournemouth Echo:


One of the men suspected of being Jack the Ripper was from Bournemouth

For the past century Montague Druitt, whose grave lies in Wimborne Minster Cemetery, has been a prime suspect of the Jack the Ripper killings, accused of strangling, stabbing and mutilating at least five women victims in seedy Whitechapel in 1888.

As the son of a leading surgeon, Druitt fitted the bill for those who argued that the killer's ruthless and precise methods of mutilation and organ removal suggested a medical background.

And he was also damned by the comments, written in a memorandum, by investigator Inspector Macnaughten.

After Druitt's drowned corpse was recovered from the Thames, Macnaughten said: "From private information, I have little doubt that his own family suspected this man of being the Whitechapel murderer. It was alleged that he was sexually insane."

Bournemouth Echo:


Bournemouth was once Hampshire and not Dorset

Bournemouth was once part of Hampshire and not Dorset – and not that long ago either.

Poole was situated just to the west of the border and was considered part of Dorset.

During a 1974 local government shuffle, it was thought that it would be more desirable for Bournemouth and Poole to be part of the same county.

Bournemouth became part of Dorset on April 1, 1974.

Bournemouth Echo: Section of a 1759 map of Hampshire by Isaac Taylor.


The Beatles were big fans of Bournemouth

You wouldn’t associate Bournemouth with the Beatles in the same way you would Liverpool, but the Fab Four clearly had a love for the seaside resort.

George Harrison wrote Don’t Bother Me - the first song he composed for the Beatles - while in Bournemouth and John Lennon purchased a house for his Aunt Mimi in Sandbanks.

The band played numerous gigs in town in 1963-64 – the most they played for a time anywhere outside of London.

The cover photograph for With the Beatles - the band's second studio album - was shot in the Palace Court Hotel on Westover Road.

Bournemouth Echo: Supplied by Nick Churchill.  Harry Taylor picture of the Beatles on the balcony of the Palace Court Hotel, Bournemouth, in August 1963.