BOURNEMOUTH'S gardens, located in the very heart of the town, offer tranquil respite to the hustle and bustle that surround them.

Around 200 years ago the area contained nothing but unkempt vegetation and marshlands, and it wasn't until 1840 that the area began to be developed.

The park was first opened to the public in 1859, but the Upper, Central and Lower Gardens weren't joined up to make one garden until 1872.

In the slideshow above are some of the pictures taken in the gardens over the years – more to come in Part 2 on Saturday!