Just over a century ago one of the world’s most expensive places to live was just a beautiful undeveloped peninsula at the entrance to Poole Harbour covered in sand dunes. 

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Among the few residents were the dwellers of shanties and huts which had been built without permission on the peninsula.

Sandbanks was formed by the sand washed up into vast piles 100ft high by the changing tides.

The peninsula was firstly known as ‘Parkstone-on-sea’, and over time became known as  ‘Sandbanks’.

Bournemouth Echo:

Records show that in 1870 there was a lifeboat station situated on the headland. This was joined by a hotel in 1880 which was built on the southern peninsular, known today as the Haven Hotel. 

Lord Wimborne was the owner of the hotel and understood the importance of protecting the penisula from erosion.

However, he didn't want the burden of the cost so sold some of the land to the Poole Harbour Commission for a small fee if they paid for the coastal protection.

This transaction meant this part of the coastline has been preserved.

To help fund the coastal protection, the Harbour Commission had to sell plots of land, with 40 going up for auction in June 1896, selling for £125.

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By 1911 Sandbanks became more accesable with the new roads but it was only after WWI that the area really gained in popularity, helped by the opening of the steam-driven chain ferry to Studland in 1926.

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With beach huts lining the seafront and the addition of a cafe and pavilion, Sandbanks rocketed in popularity as a destination.

The dunes were removed to make way for more public attractions like gardens, play areas a new pavillion, beach huts and crazy golf.

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Bournemouth Echo: