|The directory of community and business organisations in Broadstone Dorset|
|Residents Association MagazineWinter 2000/2001 - 12|
IN SEARCH OF A NAME: THE BROADSTONE ENIGMA
My visits to the Dorset Record Office (DRO) in Dorchester have revealed that the area later known as Broadstone had been parcelled out as part of the Western Division of the Parish of Great Canford, following the Inclosure Act of 1805 (1) Although officially nameless then, it contained at least one farm, a scattering of houses and three industrial premises and was at the nub of a well founded road system with the Poole to Blandford Toll road cut by what in later times would become known as Dunyeats Road and Clarendon Road.
At the much earlier date of 1765 Isaac Taylor(2) had marked on his map of Dorset the name Broadstones Pond on the line of the Blackwater Stream and therein lies an enigma.
The challenge in these two conflicting pieces of information is to determine precisely when Broadstone received its name and became a centre of population.
Two lines of inquiry are immediately apparent since it should be relatively straightforward to trace the origins of the village from maps in the first instance and also by investigating all of the people who had been mentioned by name in the Inclosure Act and other early documents.
And so the search began. If Isaac Taylor knew of Broadstones Pond, other cartographers should be in possession of the same information and at some stage the village itself would have been called Broadstone.
However the maps at the DRO dating from 1748 to 1826 failed to reveal any reference at all either to Broadstone or Broadstones Pond, despite the fact that some, like the Ordnance Survey Map of 1811(3) and the Greenwood Map of 1826 (4) were so detailed that the public houses, the Oak, at Lambs Green, the Lion and the Swan at Merley were included, not to mention kennels, quarries, brick kilns, and an iron mill in various places as well as all the early domestic and industrial buildings in the Broadstone area. It was not until about 1890 that the names Broadstone Junction and Broadstone appeared on an undated map of Dorset drawn up by Bacon (5).
Perhaps there would be more success in tracking down the early inhabitants and learning something of their lives and surroundings. Yet here again there was little other than discouragement. Of the people who had received land from the Inclosure procedure in 1805-1822 William and Christopher Spurner were Poole merchants (6) and one would hardly expect Edward Arrowsmith as Lord of the Manor of Canford to have resided in Broadstone.
Thomas Parr (7), who had been allotted the section of "Land bounded by Lower Blandford Road, Dunyeats Road and a line from the Bowls Club in Dunyeats Road to the boundary of the houses on the south east side of Charborough Road", was a solicitor in Poole, but at least showed some interest in the area by building Pan's cottages (now demolished) at the end of Charborough Road. This piece of land was sold to Elias Sharland around 1856 though it is likely that the cottages would have been built at a much earlier date. Another enigma - for whom and for what purpose?
The other three landowners, John Hudden Lander, William Bird and Isaac Fryer have not yet been located. It may be that they too were residents of Poole, whose details would not have been found in the history of the Canford Magna Estate.
The only other two recorded owners of property in Broadstone in the early 1800s were John Gibbs and William Budden, who attracted a Poor Rate demand for their land at Plainfield Farm and the Great Dunyatts respectively in 1802.
John Gibbs (8) seems to have been a popular, sociable-fellow as on two occasions in 1828 and nine months later in 1829 he was a witness at the weddings of friends, along with William French who must have been a member of the French family which ran a business in Broadstone later.
William Budden (9) with his acre of land between the Dunyatts was much
more elusive. He belonged to a very extensive family living in Great
Canford from 1657 onwards. In all there were seven Williams in the family
but only three would have been living in 1802.
Those who were living and working in the area at the turn of the 19th Century have been very difficult to track down but the map of Broadstone now has at least two more cottages and another track or road, since the buildings were located on what was later to become Charborough Road.
What more have the records revealed? Excitingly, the first official inhabitants of Broadstone and another enigma. To be continued.
1. Canford Magna Perambulation of Manor in Inclosure
Award 1805 Inclosure 20 Western Area D.R.O.
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Last Updated: 20th February 2004