Branksome, Dorset

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Location
50°43'30"N
001°54'54"W
Country
 United Kingdom
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Description

Branksome is a suburb of Poole in Dorset, England. The area consists of residential properties and also a number of commercial and industrial areas. It borders Parkstone, another small Poole suburb, to the west and north west, Alder Hills to the north east, Branksome Park (a more affluent forested area) to the south and Westbourne (a suburb of Bournemouth, Poole's conurbation neighbour) to the east. Until the early part of the 20th century Branksome had its own council, the Branksome Urban District Council. This council's former headquarters was made into an Elderly Persons' dwelling in 1987 and called Bob Hann House after Robert George Hann, Mayor of Poole 1968/69, who was Chairman of the Poole Borough Housing Committee from 1973 until his death in 1986.

Overview

Until the late 19th century the area was mainly unbuilt heath and woodlands. With the development and growth of nearby Bournemouth and later Poole the area became popular as a place to live, mainly because the area was relatively undeveloped but yet was within commuting distance between Poole and Bournemouth. With the development of the railways, Branksome continued to grow, served by the new Victorian line between Wimborne, Poole and Bournemouth. Branksome railway station which still serves the area today helped encourage a massive growth in the early 20th century. Most of the houses in Branksome today are from the Edwardian period and before the Second World War except for a 1970s development off of Winston Avenue known as the Farnham Estate and also a small amount of in-filling. The area became an official suburb of Poole in the 1960s and by the 1980s almost all open areas of Branksome were built upon. The area however still has some heathland towards the Wallisdown and Canford Heath areas, as well as a large and popular park known as the Branksome Recreation Ground, which is home to Parkstone Cricket Club. Branksome merges with the area known as Branksome Park, an area of more expensive properties.

Commercial development

There are three main areas of commercial development within the Branksome Parish. The main area, Poole Retail Park (sometimes known as Redlands after the pipe factory once on the site) is situated along the main Poole to Bournemouth A35. It is commercial and shopping area that includes several large chain stores. These include: John Lewis Home Store Homebase Home Sense Carpet Right Home Bargains Next Home Oak Furnitureland Boots Pets at Home DW Fitness ClubThe John Lewis store named John Lewis at Home opened in Branksome on 22 October 2009. The £6 million development is one-third of the size of a normal John Lewis department store and is the first of a new experimental format for the retailer focusing exclusively on homeware.Accessed from Alder Road but essentially part of the Poole Retail Park area is the Tangerine Confectionery factory which manufactures sweets. The second area is situated on the old Gas Works site near to Yarmouth Road and Bourne Valley Road, known as Branksome Business Park it contains a number of industrial units. The Third area is situated to the northern end of the parish and is known as the Sharp Road Industrial Estate. Just outside the parish and to the west lies another substantial industrial area which includes a post office sorting office and other commercial developments On Alder Road with the junction of Sharp Road is a McDonald's Restaurant Branksome has three main supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Lidl. Both the Tesco and Sainsbury's stores have petrol filling stations attached. Mainly along the A35 are a number of small independent retailers and fast food outlets and also one of the 18 Bowlplex "bowling alley/total entertainment centres" in the UK. Eden Vauxhall is located on the A35, near to Bowlplex. The major Insurer Liverpool Victoria is situated towards the east of the boundary in a large building contained within the County Gates Roundabout. Along Alder Road are a number of small independent shops known locally as "Alder Parade"

Railways

Branksome is served by hourly South Western Railway trains, calling at Branksome railway station on the South West Main Line between Weymouth and London Waterloo. However the closure of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway cut the direct line linking to Bath.

Road Transport

The National Express coach departure point and the start of the Wessex Way road leading north out of the conurbation of Poole and Bournemouth towards Ringwood and ultimately the motorway network starting with the M27 near to Southampton. Branksome also has excellent bus links to Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch with buses from the two main providers (MoreBus Co & Yellow Buses) providing regular services.

Education

Branksome is home to Bishop Aldhelm C.E/V.A Primary School

Environment

Branksome Woods is in the area.

Places of Worship

Branksome contains a number of places of worship within the Parish Boundary St Aldhelm's C of E Church Gateway Church Parkstone Baptist Church Dorset Islamic Cultural Association

Medical

The Heatherview Medical Centre is located near to the Sainsbury supermarket off Alder Road in Alder Hills.

Politics

Branksome is part of the Talbot and Branksome Woods ward for elections to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council which elects two councillors. Branksome is part of the Bournemouth West parliamentary constituency. The old Branksome Town Hall is in Shillito Road, located in the Newtown & Heatherlands Ward of BCP Council (in Poole Parliamentary Constituency), and is close to the boundary of Alderney & Bourne Valley Ward. Each ward elects three Councillors.

Industrial Heritage

Sharp, Jones and Co - Pipe Manufacturers Bournemouth Gas Works Railway Viaducts Electricity Sub Station Old clay work ponds

Notable residents

Lord Ventry – Airship Pioneer. Owned a large house and land in between Poole Road and Lindsey Road.
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