The History of Redhill Park & Common

How people have changed the area known as Redhill common

In 1802 the Christchurch Enclosure Act protected this area from all building development.

During the Napoleonic wars, a food shortage led the main farm landowners in the Stour Valley to sponsor an act of Parliament that would finish common rights on the heaths of Bournemouth, so food could be grown on it instead.

Local farmers protested and you can find reports made at the time about what happened in a local studies booklet No 612, called 'Farmer West and Muscliffe'.

As Bournemouth grew and most of the small properties that needed turf for fuel were demolished, the land at Turbary Common became public parks.

Lots of conifers were planted on the heaths here in the 19th century.  These famous pine trees are a reminder of the attempt to enclose common land.  More trees were planted in the 1920s by the unemployed ex-servicemen who made up the British Legion.

In the 1930s tennis courts, a playground and bowls green were added and in 1937 the name was changed from Redhill Common to Redhill Park. The pavilion was built the following year.

During World War two the park was used as an, Air Raid Wardens’ first aid station and a water tank was sunk into the ground. After the war this was turned into a children’s paddling pool.

The 1950s to today

Two football pitches and another children’s playground were added.  With the increasing use and popularity a Parks Department building was needed and finally built in the 1980s.

It wasn’t until 1998 that the ecological value of the site was seen.  Now we have the opportunity to begin a heathland regeneration project to return it to its original state.

This will be much better for the local wildlife and make it more appealing to human visitors too.