ALTHOUGH it may not be a particularly old town - Bournemouth has its fair share of quirky and interesting historic facts.

From connections to Jack the Ripper to Hollywood stars once living in town.

Here the Daily Echo explores five more amazing parts of the coastal resort's past.

Some of these things you may know already, while others will likely come as a surprise.


Jack the Ripper detective lived in Bournemouth

On September 1, 1888, Inspector Frederick George Abberline began to investigate the brutal murder of Mary Ann Nichols and there his hunt for Jack the Ripper began.

The Dorset man witnessed a lot; the corpses were disembowelled, slashed and arranged in specific poses. After viewing the body of final victim, Mary Jane Kelly, whose organs had been ripped out and placed around the bed, Abberline said: “It was like hell in there.”

He had his suspects, including Montague John Druitt from Wimborne, and wife-poisoner Severin Klosowski.

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Klosowski is believed to have written a confession before his hanging but evidence of this was never found.

Abberline retired to 195 Holdenhurst Road in Bournemouth, in 1904. It was here he died in 1929 and was buried in Wimborne Road Cemetery.

Abberline was not honoured with a gravestone because he had no close family to pay for one. This was rectified in 2001.

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Bournemouth has links to Hollywood

Born in Wales in 1974, Christian Bale was a pupil at Bournemouth School when he landed his breakthrough role in Steven Spielberg’s 1987 film Empire of the Sun, starring alongside John Malkovich. In 1991, when Christian was 13, his parents divorced.

While his mother wanted to raise him in Bournemouth, his father David wanted him to be in LA. When he was 17 he moved to California with his father and other sister, Louise.

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Ben Hardy, the actor that played Peter Beale in Albert Square from 2013 to 2015, was born in Bournemouth.

Ben went on to star in Hollywood movies such as X-Men: Apocalypse and Bohemian Rhapsody.

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Langtry Manor Hotel was once used as a royal 'love nest' by a prince and his mistress

Langtry Manor was once the seaside retreat of Edward, Prince of Wales, and his lover, the actress Lillie Langtry.

The Prince of Wales bought the plot near Bournemouth’s East Cliff in 1877 and had his mistress design a home that became their retreat from prying eyes.

The foundation stone bears the date 1877 and is engraved with the initials ELL - Emile Le Breton Langtry.

Lillie designed a magnificent dining hall with the wood painted in dark enamel. Beneath the minstrels’ gallery is the inscription: “They say. What say they? Let them say.”

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The King’s chamber has a lofty ceiling designed to disperse his cigar smoke.

Things turned sour at the house in 1880 when the couple are thought to have fallen out over a fancy dress party at which Lillie wore the same outfit as him.

Lillie became a social outcast, resumed her acting career and eventually returned to the USA.

The hotel has had many of the original features restored in recent years.

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Bournemouth was once home to a ‘giant’.

Named Moyuen in the late 20th century, The Ashleigh Hotel on Southcote Road in Boscombe was home to the remarkable Chang Woo Gow At eight feet tall and weighing 26 stones, he was known as "Chang the Chinese Giant" and travelled the world as a curiosity.

Chang earnt good money during his time on the road before settling in Bournemouth to run a Chinese teahouse with his wife.

It’s thought he came to the town in 1980 as he suffered from tuberculosis and Bournemouth was a health resort.

He succumbed to his illness in 1983 and was buried with his wife, who died shortly beforehand, in Wimborne Road Cemetery.

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The UK's very first beach hut is on the seafront

Britain’s oldest beach hut sits proudly on Bournemouth seafront.

The very special wooden chalet, the first council-owned hut in the UK, was built in 1909.

The hut still has its original structural foundations, with just a few maintenance updates.

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The colourful structure enjoyed its moment in the spotlight when, in 2011, a blue plaque was unveiled by seaside enthusiast Jean Smith.

Hut number 2359 is constantly maintained to make sure it not only remains standing but is also still enjoyed.

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