MOORDOWN FARM

...it probably all started here...

The photos shown below are of Moordown (Hunt's) Farm from the early years of the 20th century....

(click on the photos to view them full size - use your back button to get back here)

These first two are from Bob Watton..

The first shows the farmhouse itself on the left in the distance, and was taken from somewhere around what is now the junction of West Way and Haverstock Rd, looking south west....

 

The next is taken looking slightly further west, and shows the rear of 106 Malvern Rd on the top right.

Bob advises that was the Watton family home some years ago (it's now been converted to flats - known as 'Catherine Court' - opposite the end of Evelyn Rd)...

 

Although the actual photos appear to be taken from slightly different locations, I couldn't resist trying to fit them together :) - just to see what the panoramic view might have looked like, from what later became West Way...

The site is now filled with the homes in West Way, Homeside, Moorvale and Minterne Rds.... 

Thanks for these photos Bob, they're magnificent!...

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This next one was probably taken in the 1920s...

...and is the view looking along what is now Minterne Rd, from the junction with Homeside Rd. The houses on the hill in the distance are nos. 38 and 27 Forest View Rd.

(Just left click on the photo to see a larger version, or right click to download it - use your back button to get back here)

This second one was taken in the mid 1930s by Douglas Adams, from his home at 2a, Oakwood Rd

and shows the newly built houses in West Way and Bankside Rd in the distance

(again - just click on the photo to see a larger version - use your back button to get back here).

 Our thanks to Douglas' daughter, Marion Dolton, for this lovely image.

You can see the view, taken from the same place today, by clicking HERE 

As you will see, much of the vista is now obscured by trees and foliage - even in winter time. You can just make out the (now) white farmhouse,  behind the trees on the left. 

(I would just like to add my thanks to the Harris family at 2a, for allowing me into their home to take this photo.... very kind!)

 

The recorded history of Moordown Farm (also known as 'Charminster Farm' or 'Hunt's Farm') goes back well over 200 years. You can read more about that early history in Michael Stead's notes:

  HERE

So far, we have only located those two photographs of the farm, and of the land before the housing development 'took over', but we have been fortunate enough to obtain copies of photos taken by Paul Miles, who lives in nearby Oakwood Rd, just prior to the final auction. Our thanks to Paul for his permission to reproduce the photos here... 

Just click on the button below to open a PDF of Paul's 1978 photos, together with copies of the two photos shown above.........

It would be lovely to find some more... so if you know of any, do let us know......and any other snippets on the history of the Farm would also be most welcome...

What would be a nice would be a photo of the earlier farmhouse... but it seems unlikely we'll find one...unless you know differently of course?...

If we use our imagination, then the photo below, of a Moordown Farm worker's cottage in Charminster Rd (located on the corner of what is now Malvern Rd) might perhaps give us an idea of what the farm may have looked like, in earlier times. This photo is from around 1900..

Thanks to Elaine Davies for finding this one, amongst the wonderful collection of old Bournemouth photos on 'flickr', posted by 'Bournemouth Grant'. 

Just click on the picture itself, to go to the original site in that collection..

 

It is however entirely possible that farming on the site may well extend back, in various forms, for a further 2000 years, to the Bronze Age....  

Artifacts from around that period have been discovered at nearby Redbreast Hill, and indeed along some of the other local 'downs' that overlook the Stour Valley. Flints have been located in nearby Oakwood Rd, that may well be from the Bronze Age. It is entirely possible that this was the earliest inhabited spot in the whole of the Bournemouth area....

As the development of the  Bournemouth suburbs extended north, towards the Stour, in the first half of the 20th Century, more and more of Moordown Farm was sold off for housing land, until this final ended with the last auction in the late 1970s...

Today, there are very few physical reminders of Moordown Farm itself remaining...the last Victorian farmhouse - very much modernised - is still there in Homeside Rd, next to Sylmor Gdns.  At the top of that small estate there is still a small area of beech wood (the only place in Bournemouth where beech trees still grow 'in the wild', so to speak).

That area remains because of the insistence of the last owner of the farm - William Hunt - that this small area of land should remain undeveloped, as the final remaining few acres of the farm land fell under the hammer in 1978. As a keen ornothologist, perhaps Mr. Hunt had felt a responsibility to leave some habitat for his beloved wild birds...

 

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c. MLHS 2017