Dedicated to Old and Modern Kinson

Using the Tithe Map & the Canford Award as useful resources


In Sussex, on a Friday night, on the 13th day of October, 1066, one army drank & danced round fires on a hill now called "Battle" for the last time. On Telham Hill which slopes down to Senlac Bottom, an opposing disciplined army confessed their sins and attended Mass.

Next day, as the heavy autumnal mist lifted, a fierce battle raged from nine in the morning until the afternoon shadows fell. Duke William emerged the victor and Harold, the Red Dragon of Wessex, lay dead with his Saxon thanes. To secure victory, the Normans had charged on horseback across a few small meadows and the destiny of England was settled. Despite losing three horses from under him, Duke William emerged unscathed. Good fortune was with him that day!

Even in the village of Cynestans Tun, now Kinson, the effects of this change in England`s destiny were to be felt for many centuries to come, for the whole area came under the control of the Canford Manor. Prior to the Norman Conquest, Canford was held by Ulwen , a Saxon thane.

William the Conqueror bestowed the Manor on Walter de Eureux, whose family later became Earls of Shaftesbury. It would be true to state that over many centuries, the fortunes of those who held Canford were closely linked to the Crown.

For the sake of brevity, in 1611, Henry, Earl of Huntingdon, sold Canford to John Webb of Salisbury, who was created a Baronet. Canford remained in the Webb family for almost two centuries. The last Baronet, Sir John, died in 1797, and devised the property to Edmund Arrowsmith in trust during the lives of his daughter the Countess of Shaftesbury, of her daughter, Lady Barbara Ashley, who married the Hon. W. F.S. Ponsonby, later created Lord de Mauley.

After Lady de Mauley died in 1844, the estate was sold to Sir Josiah John Guest, a South Wales iron-master. There followed a long and close association with the Guest family, who still have business interests in Dorset. Canford House was sold in 1922 and became a school. An older generation remembers the family for their generosity and with some affection.

This account describes the history of central Kinson and the Kinson Common in more recent times. It is an important part of modern Bournemouth.

Old and modern names for the Kinson Common

Old and Modern names
The Kinson Tithe Map of 1839, and the Canford Award which was prepared 1805-1822. record many of the old names long forgotten.
Many areas of the Common are now known by modern names which were given to them in 1982 and fully accepted by Bournemouth Council and others.

Old Names and New Names

The Trinacria (pre 1977) Kinson Common.
Hill Close (149) Pond Scrub.
Long Close (133) Poole Lane Meadows.
Wood & Furze (134) Blanchard`s Copse.
Scull Pit Wood
Furze Ground (132) Poole Lane Heights.
Long Moor (126) Central Bog.
Furzy Ground (125) Two Barrow Heath.
Lower Captain King`s (124) Central Sallows & Great Oaks.
Ridgak or Redgate Moor (135) Gover`s Glade (2000).
Dragonfly Hollow & Pepin`s Pond.
Ridgak or Redgate Hill (136) Glenmeadows, following Allotments sale.
Barn Close (137) Fryer Close (part).
Barn Close (137) A small track survives leading to double gates by the side of Fryer Close/Kinson Rd.
Captain King`s (113). Site of the former Kinson Swimming Baths (part).
Ancient Lane by (123) & (122) A part of Footpath E56.
Ancient Lane by (115) A part of Footpath U32.
Gulliver`s land by (107) A part of Montgomery Avenue.
Whitefield (122) The Kinson Cemetery & South Kinson Drive.
Formerly known also as Nine Corners.
(117,118,119,120) South Kinson Drive.
Next Whitefield (121) Majority of South Kinson Drive & homes.
Part remains as Two Barrow Heath, and is the reasonably flat tufty grassed area.
Ancient Copse (127) A small area may still remain intact near to
Paget Road/ Main Track to Poole Lane.
Kinslade (128) Part of West Howe Close & South Kinson Drive areas.


Anyone looking at a local map can quickly find Poole Lane, Kinson Road and the modern South Kinson Drive. The busy Wimborne Road passes through the centre of Kinson which locals still refer to as "The Village".

 A good point to start from, especially when undertaking any research into Old Kinson, is the inn still referred to affectionately by some as The Dolphin Inn.

Under, perhaps, its earliest landlord, the hostelry appears to have changed its name from The Globe to The Black Horse. In the year this happened, the licence was probably co-held and one partner, who took complete control, renamed it The Dolphin Inn in the 1750`s.

Others that followed kept the same name for a time. By 1763, the hostelry changed hands twice in this year under the name of The Dolphin & Chequer.

The County Archivist confirmed in 1968, the pub was named The Dolphin & Checquer in 1771. The same licence holder who retained it to 1795, was also well known to Custom officers in 1784. The closing inventory of the individual concerned clearly mentions The Dolphin House, with no mention of the words chequer or checquer.

From 1796 to 1988, the hostelry continued under the name of The Dolphin Inn. In c1988, the named was changed to Gulliver`s Tavern. In November, 2018, following renovation, it is now known as The Acorn.

The Kinson Common stretches from almost the centre of the village right up towards the East and West Howe areas. In view of its geographical location, it is referred to by some as "The West Howe Common". To avoid any confusion, the name of the Kinson Common is derived from the Ancient parish or Tything of Kinson whose boundaries stretched down as far as the shores of Poole. Whatever name the area is referred to, most will soon be able to find "The Common". The site is well used and appreciated by locals and visitors to this part of Bournemouth.

One fact which must be stated is that although the Kinson Common, or more correctly now, the Kinson Common Local Nature Reserve, was never actually registered as a common. Also, any Rights of Common have long since been forgotten about, if ever they even existed.

Two streams flow through the Common, one cut through the ancient Long Moor joining another which entered the system from the Brook Road area. Both streams joined at a place now known as "The Waterfall", and still flow as one down through the valley, past "The Bunny", where it continued its journey in an open manner before disappearing underground close by St. Andrew`s Church.

With a good and natural source of water for farming and human consumption, it is not hard to see why this area was ideal for habitation, something which also did not escape the attention of the ancient and early people that came before us.

So let us begin our journey around the area and look at each named area. The ancient Poole Lane was once a direct route to and from Poole. The rediverted lower end of Poole Lane now exits onto Wimborne Road opposite Home Road. By The Acorn, the old route of Poole Lane is closed to through traffic and is now named School Lane.

Opposite to The Acorn, several ancient lanes took those on foot, horseback or by carriage , down towards Millhams and to Longham and beyond. In times of flooding, when muddy tracks were impassable, a longer journey had to be taken via Bare Cross (Bear Cross).


Stoney Close in Kinson (139)

This close and land near Poole Lane, (former site of the Osprey Public house), were once owned by Isaac Gulliver and eventually passed into the possession of the Fryer Family who owned Pelhams. Mary Rodwell is recorded as being a tenant of this close, together with considerable farmland in Kinson. William Oakley, in 1711, rented out two closes to Joseph Lockyer. Gravel Pitt Close & Lake Close were described as lying against Stoney Lane containing about three and a half acres.

The modern Kinson School, now known as Kinson Academy, from 2019, has occupied a part of the close since 1936. Modern homes, also dating to the 1930`s, were built by Wilson`s of Poole. The row of shops facing the Wimborne Road are known as Bank Buildings. It is hard to imagine now that cattle and horses once grazed on this land. In 1867, the Rev. H. E. Fryer, sold this land. It then came into the possession of the Canford Estate.


This Lane was made up in 1921 to highway standards, becoming Kinson Road. Part of the present layby adjoining Kinson School, also a small "island ", a tiny portion of Kinson Close, are all that remains of days gone by.

Without realising those that use the layby are brushing past a relic of Isaac Gulliver`s once huge and tremendous empire!


This good sized close probably commemorates a lady named Mary Amey who married a Thomas Spencer of Hampreston. How appropriate it is that the land is now used by primary school children. This acquisition to educational use came about in the 1970`s.

The land has always been subject to flooding and explains why no buildings were raised on this close. In more recent times, a special bank was created to prevent flooding of the present school buildings.

In days gone by, the Moordown Cricket Club delighted village folk as they sat around the edges of the field to admire many good matches.

A tall oak tree and some holly are to be found growing on an ancient bank at the top of the playing field, which meanders under fencing and follows its route to a point where the present stream once followed a different course.

Where the ancient Redgate or Ridgak Moor petered out onto Amey`s Close, the land is still boggy. It is also believed that an ancient spring still rises here.


Hill Close in Kinson (149)

Hill Close was once used for arable purposes. In earlier times, it afforded a good view over Poole Lane and adjoining farmland owned by Isaac Gulliver in 1775.

Part of the close now remains as grassland with some scrub. The  former Area Health Authority home  once provided a secure environment with excellent horticultural facilities for young adults.

A good walk around Hill Close, now known as Pond Scrub, may be enjoyed and some open glimpses of the natural grassland gives an indication of what the land looked like originally.

On a raised eastern bank, where tall oaks grow, excellent views over Pepin`s Pond and Dragonfly Hollow can be observed. Careful observers will be able to trace the course the natural stream flowed below a line of oaks, before it was diverted in the 1970`s. This raised bank has remained largely intact since the 1800`s or earlier.

A natural hedgeline of blackthorn with some oaks, also more modern additions planted in the recent past, divides Hill Close & Long Close. The original line of the hedge, accurately follows the boundary of these two closes, as defined by the Tithe Map of 1839. No one, as yet, has accurately calculated the true age of this hedge.

In the south-eastern corner, now covered over, are what appear to be the remains of a small building, probably used in connection with agriculture, during the middle part of the last century.

Within living memory, a touring fun fair visited annually. Field Scabious and a small area of Greater Knapweed, sometimes flower here in the summer and are not to be encountered anywhere else on the Common. It is hard to believe now that small numbers of skylarks once favoured this close for nesting purposes.

From the south-western corner of Hill Close, a wider perspective of Amey`s Close may be experienced. Although the lower end of Poole Lane has been well developed, there remains much to remind one of days now gone.

Also in the north-western corner, original Hill Close florishes on School land. Until recently this  area was well covered over with scrub. Late in 2014 this region was cleared and has regenerated. 


Long Close or Scull Pit in Kinson (133)

This large open close has remained relatively intact since the 1800`s. Its primary use was for arable purposes and cereals have been grown here. Horses, cattle and pigs were kept here in the recent past, before the land was acquired by the Borough of Bournemouth.

The land would appear to have always been on the heavy side during the winter periods. As the close slopes down towards the natural stream on the eastern side, there is evidence to suggest that a ditch was created by (134), to take away the excess water. This ditch still fills and empties into the natural stream system.

Back in the 1980`s, the close was renamed Poole Lane Meadows. One half is kept as a short sward for recreation purposes and local children have play facilities housed within a fenced-off area. The lower half of the close is now stock-fenced. This area is rich in natural succulent grasses and flora, with a number of rarer plants to be found.

From time to time, rings appear on the short sward towards the southern end which faces (132). As yet, no one is sure whether this indicates archaeological evidence, or is a permanent reminder at ground level of a past visiting fun fair, or chained horses grazing. With the whole of the Common being very rich in archaeological evidence dating from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age, perhaps when time allows in the future, closer inspection of (133) will be undertaken?

On the Kinson Tithe Map of 1839, the reference number of 133, clearly states the name as Scull Pit. The reference to Long Close has come from the Canford Award of 1805-1822. The name "Scull Pit", may have been popular decades ago? There is evidence to suggest that a human skull was once found in Poole Lane.

However, it must be stated that another field known as "Scull Pits", is noted as plot 55, Lot 7, in a land sale undertaken by the Rev. Fryer in 1867.This land had once belonged to Isaac Gulliver.

"Scull Pits", an arable field covering over two acres, is now covered by homes around the Poole Lane & Wakely Road area, on the southern side of Footpaths E13 & E14.


Wood & Furze or Scull Pit Wood in Kinson (134)

Now known as Blanchard`s Copse, this fine grouping of oaks and associated species command an impressive view from the eastern boundary of (133).

The present acreage (1.5 acres), represents a 50% loss in woodland since the 1800`s.

Near the present day waterfall, an ancient bank, also referred to as a flood-levee by some, meets the present boundary of Blanchard`s Copse. Near here will be found ivy-covered stumps, the remains of trees which probably grew to a great age centuries ago.

Looking southwards, and following the gentle rise on the eastern boundary of (133), further oak trees will be seen. All these trees were all formerly co-joined with the present copse.

By standing back and viewing the present Blanchard`s Copse, certainly from a series of locations, it is still possible to determine the outline of the original woodland which existed here in the early 1800`s.

By the "T" junction, where the two streams meet, there are still signs of a bank by (126), which extended westwards towards the Poole Lane Meadows.

It is likely that when a sewage system for South Kinson was installed here, much of the original land and boundary bank was disturbed and altered forever.

With care, parts of (134) can be investigated and a pleasant walk may be taken along the eastern bank where the natural stream flows down to Pepin`s Pond in the north.

An ancient ditch still flows, allowing water to naturally disperse into the stream. There is also evidence at the northern end of Blanchard`s Copse, of older oaks which once grew here to considerable age.

Some of the oldest oaks which grow in Blanchard`s Copse, still mark certain of the original boundaries, as existed in the 1800`s.


Furze Ground or Ridgak/Redgate in Kinson (132)

At the time that the Canford Award was prepared and documented, there were over 8 parcels of land around (126), which were referred to as Furze or Furzy Ground. Past purposes included heath, arable and pasture.

Throughout the 19th century, fields became bigger and although some areas of the Common remain as they were centuries before, many areas were to change and became amalgamated into a larger unit under one name.

With permanent reminders of gorse abounding, no explanation is necessary for the name "Furze Ground".

The Term "Ridgak", probably means ridgy-acre. Rak is a shortened version of the same term. The word "ridge", is an agricultural term describing the strip of upturned soil between furrows when ploughing.

This area is now known as Poole Lane Heights. An ancient bank still divides (132) from (133) on its northern side. A series of scrub oaks grow on the raised bank which is traceable. Although level in places, the land slopes steeply downwards in the south, to a point where it meets the bank which follows a direct line from Poole Lane to where it meets (134), on its southern boundary.

Careful management now restricts the growth of scrub to the margins on the western and northern sides.

Open views give a general indication of the land`s original layout in the 1800`s.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the Canford Estate allowed gravel beds near the south-western end of a raised bank dividing (132) from (126), to be extracted. Now covered over naturally, some indication of the general outlines of the workings may still be determined.

No records exist to suggest that past tenant-farmers also extracted gravel.


Copse in Kinson(127)

A remnant of this copse may still be seen at the western end of the Main track across the Common, as it meets the Paget Road entrance near Poole Lane.

The remains of a raised bank upon which hollies still grow can be viewed by the steep gravel track onto the higher ground, at the rear of the Paget Road bungalows, near Two Barrow Heath.

The size of this copse is recorded as 0A.1R.10P.


Kinslade or Henslade in (128)

This ancient arable field was covered over when West Howe Close and South Kinson Drive were developed for housing purposes in the last century.

All that can now be determined of the 11 acre field, is a slight hint of a bank and a ditch, which still fills with water at the entrance to the Main Track from Poole Lane.

KINSON TITHE MAP reference No: 131

This small area would appear to correspond with the Canford Award reference No: 312, Kinson Lane Close, 0A.1R.8P. The name of William Frampton is connected with this land.

KINSON TITHE MAP reference No: 130

Located here was a house, carthouse yard and a garden. 0A.2R.18P. On the boundary was a garden plot No: 129. On the other side of an ancient lane, was another garden plot, No:108. Both of these were probably associated with No: 130.


Opposite Tithe Map reference No:130, the name of Isaac Gulliver has been marked. Higher up Poole Lane, Gulliver owned 12 areas which were sold in 1867 by the Rev. H. E. Fryer, as Sale Lot 12. This took in a small part of the Turbary Common.

Eastwards of the above, was a large 16 acre field known as Durdell`s Intake,commemorating Mary Durdell of Kingston (Kinson), various inclosures and one known as "Le Cocq".


A hint of the "ancient" may be determined near the western junction at Poole Lane and the eastern one at Brook Road. The latter still has the feel of a country lane as it narrows into a leafy glade by the vacant site which was once occupied by the Kinson Swimming Baths. Alas, the rest has vanished forever under the South Kinson estate.

The humble rustic and the muffled hooves of smugglers` horses knew this route long ago. This is probably the route that Abram Pike followed when he surveyed the Heath at Kingston. In the west of the parish lived Luke Budden of West Howe. A short distance past the inclosure of Gulliver`s (between 107 & 112), was the abode of Henry Tiller, who gave up smuggling and took to the land at East Howe.

In Brook Road was Howe Lodge, a property linked to Gulliver, despite the fact that no deeds with his name on were ever traced, or any other legal agreement, signed by him, relating to the property.

The lane afforded good views of Next Whitefield (121). Crops were grown by Thomas Bartlett on No 106 & 107. Plot No 120 was also his.

Mr William Cutler, a farmer with 37 acres at East Howe, had an interest in the following:-

Tithe Map Ref : 119 House & garden 0A.0R.29P
Tithe Map Ref: 118 House & garden 0A.0R.36P
Tithe Map Ref: 117 Townsend (arable) 1A.0R.31P
Tithe Map Ref: 116 Garden 0A.0R.19P
Tithe Map Ref: 115 Garden 0A.0R.28P

On the 1839 Tithe Map of Kinson, two plots appear to have no reference numbers attached to them. These may have been small inclosures and probably may have been also associated with a well known local character of the 1800`s! (Isaac Gulliver.)

Whitefield (122) was arable land which sloped down to the curve of the lane at its eastern end.

Captain King`s (113) was also used for arable purposes. Although the Kinson Baths have now gone and no longer occupy a part of (113), there is still an ancient boundary bank upon which oaks, hollies and hazel grow, dividing it from (124).


Next Whitefield in Kinson (121)

This arable field, which will never be ploughed again, was listed as being 8A.0R.26P, in the Canford Award. Tithe Map records, prepared some time later, suggest that the acreage was 10A.0R.26P. When South Kinson Drive was developed, known formerly as West Howe Road, this ancient field disappeared. A tiny remnant may still exist behind the rear gardens of present homes.

Whitefield in Kinson (122)

Whitefield was also used for arable purposes. The Canford Award lists it as Numbers 302 & 303. The later Tithe Map records it as being one field.Its acreage was approximately over 8 acres.

In the 1890`s, it was referred to as Nine Corners. For a time it was used for allotments and the Kinson Parish Council rented the land from the Canford Estate.

During the early 1930`s, Whitefield became the Kinson Cemetery and remains so today. Enquiries started by the Kinson Parish Council in 1928, were completed by the Borough of Bournemouth in 1933. The purchase price agreed for housing and the creation of a cemetery were £1,100 and £1,923 respectively. The rear gardens in South Kinson Drive now back onto a part of the present cemetery. At that time, the land purchased for cemetery purposes also took in a part of Long Moor, Ridgak or Redgate Moor and Captain King`s.

Furzy Ground (125) & Furze Ground or Heath (123)

Many changes from the 1920`s to the present day. A small lane near Whitefield (122) led to farm buildings, the remains of which can still be seen now. These remnants are likely to be all that remains of farming activities when cattle were grazed in these areas.

Furze Ground (123) was incorporated within the present Kinson Cemetery. A large proportion of (125) now remains on the western boundary of the cemetery. Conservation work continues here and an ancient boundary may be viewed. Like Two Barrow Heath, it is fully protected by SSSI status.

An early map clearly shows that The Main Track did not exist by Long Moor heading towards Poole Lane. The route to West Howe and Poole Lane was along an ancient footpath which was located at the rear gardens of the present day South Kinson Drive properties. A modern bridge over the stream, recently replaced an older one, which allowed access to farm buildings on or near Long Moor.

LONG MOOR (126), Entry points and a Viscount`s generous gift

Long Moor in Kinson (126)

Long Moor in Kinson, now known as Central Bog, survives as an ancient relic of centuries past. The Canford Award lists Long Moor as being suitable for pasture, 6A.0R.38P. Nearby were 8 tracts described as furzy ground, 2 of which were clearly described as being heath.

During the 1840`s and later, Tithe Map records describe Long Moor as being heath and pasture, with an acreage of about 10A.3R.19P. Clearly, some nearby land had now been incorporated. Long Moor now extended over the whole area now named in recent times as Two Barrow Heath.

A tree-lined boundary bank on the north side, still divides (126) from (132).A boundary which existed at the southern end of (134), was probably lost when a modern sewer was created to accommodate the needs of the South Kinson areas. There is, however, a slight trace of the boundary where a smattering of oak trees grow by the "T" junction near the present waterfall.

In the north-east, there is a sound boundary intact to this day and the very characteristic "V", of the original Long Moor, can still be determined. One ditch still retains water. In the south-east, a line of mature oaks on a slightly raised bank, marks the southern boundary of Long Moor, by the wooden bridge which crosses to Captain King`s (now Great Oaks).

A very discernible bank and a ditch which still retains water in places, can be located by the Main Track which leads from Poole Lane to the site of the former Kinson Baths.

The entry point from Poole Lane, appears more compact, suggesting that a lane may have existed here for centuries. The Main Track of the present day, appears to be a modern addition to the site. This does not mean that foot walkers did not pass this way on their journeys to Brook Road. The 1920`s O.S. map is very precise. A footpath existed from the Whitefield to Next Whitefield over the heathland. Except for a few farm buildings and a track, no evidence of a track which passed directly by Long Moor to Poole Lane can be traced.

In 1933, Viscount Wimborne generously gave Bournemouth 9.75 acres, land forming a part of Long Moor & Ridgak or Redgate Moor, for pleasure ground purposes.

It became known as "Trinacria", meaning three-legged. This term has not been used since the 1970`s when the Common became known as "Kinson Common".

Lower Captain King`s (124) & Captain King`s (113 Lower Captain King`s in Kinson (124)

Tall oaks grow here on the higher ground by Kinson Road. Some indeed, are probably older than Bournemouth, hence the modern name of Great oaks. The oldest of a whole group of oaks, stand proudly alone on the brow of the hill by Kinson Road. It is not an original name and came into being by c1840.

The Canford Award lists Ridgak or Redgate 2A 1R 1P with Furzy Ground 1A 3R 15P, over 4 acres, devoted to arable purposes. The Tithe Map refers to the land as Lower Captain King`s. Although on an incline by the modern Kinson Road, the area is lower down the valley and this name differentiated it from the other genuinely original Captain King`s plot. Crops were grown in the lower regions.

The land tends to slope away towards the natural stream which flows down the valley. This underground stream surfaces by the site of the former Kinson Baths. This stream used to be open and could be traced to the Fernheath Valley. The land was liable to severe flooding during inclement weather. A wooden plank over the stream opposite to Brook Road was referred to as Captain King`s bridge and was maintained by the Kinson Parish Council.

During the last century, the area was also known as Buttermead, when it was used as a nursery. There is also evidence to suggest that the lower end of (124) was also referred to as a water-meadow.

Just as the line of the ancient hedgerow, also the ancient footpath at the rear of the former Kinson Baths(now gone) and by the Kinson Cemetery is original, so too is the triangular shaped grassed area.

The ancient boundary still exists at the north-eastern corner of (124). A few oaks act as boundary markers. One fine specimen is on the common, others are now contained in the rear garden of a Kinson Road bungalow. This same boundary extends, in part, through the land now occupied by 367, Kinson Road. An oak in the front garden, lines up with the boundary on the Common.

On the northern side of the wooden bridge , which crosses the stream, this same boundary continues to a point where it meets the Main track.

Captain King`s in Kinson (113)
Originally arable land, of over 4 acres. What remains today is now vacant following the closure and demolition of the Kinson Baths.

The name probably honours a sea captain named King of centuries ago.

Time moves forward towards the present day

Ridgak or Redgate Moor (135), Ridgak or Redgate Hill (136), Barn Close (137)

It is felt that the development of these 3 should be viewed collectively. Without doubt, as can be proved in other areas locally, these field systems date back to the 1600`s and before that time. These areas have really changed dramatically, with seemingly only a hint of "the ancient", surviving to the present day. The Tithe Map shows them as 3 long strip systems commencing at Captain King`s (present day Kinson Baths) in the south, heading northwards down the valley to where Pepin`s Pond is located. Their true dimensions can be ascertained from the Canford Award, as follows:-

330 Ridgak or Redgate Moor Pasture 5A.0R.27P
331 Ridgak or Redgate Hill Pasture 5A.0R.13P
332 Ridgak or Redgate Hill Arable 2A.1R.06P
333 Barn & Close Arable 4A.0R.17P

Following research carried out in 2005, alongside the name Ridgak, the name Redgate also often appears. Either of the names are acceptable to use.

Kinson Common - early 20th century

By 1901, the area had altered. Three late 19th century cottages with wells, now occupied an acre of land by Amey`s Close & Stoney Close. The term, "old gravel pit", must infer that gravel sources were now extinguished. Another source had been found in the south. The whole area between Captain King`s and the ancient boundary by Ridgak or Redgate Moor was now a gravel pit,apart from a small strip of Ridgak Moor opposite to Long Moor near Captain King`s. The main body of Ridgak or Redgate Moor by Hill Close & Scull Pit was about 2.5 acres.

Allotments rented out by the Canford Estate occupied over 7 acres of land once known as Ridgak or Redgate Hill and Barn Close. This use was fully approval of by the Kinson Parish Council.

Kinson boundaries revised to 1949

The growth of Kinson from the 1920`s onwards was rapid. Two buildings soon stood alone on the disused later gravel pit. The boundary of one stretched to the stream bank opposite Scull Pit wood. The site of the latter gravel pit also produced Palaeolithic implements in 1927, also many rolled Palaeoliths and sharper Levallois flakes were found here between 1927 and 1934. From the 1930`s onwards, properties were built on the eastern side of Kinson Road. In time, both the former gravel pits disappeared.

One extremely important event took place in 1933, when Viscount Wimborne gave Bournemouth 9.75 acres for public open space purposes. Long Moor and Redgate or Ridgak Moor became co-joined, known collectively as the "Kinson Pleasure Gardens". Entry points existed at Poole Lane and from a small strip of land by Kinson Road. This paved the way for the future preservation of the Kinson Common as we know it today.

The Kinson Common from the 1960`s to the present day
Kinson Common in the1960`s

Small additional areas were acquired for public open space purposes in 1951 and 1961. The 3 small cottages that stood near Amey`s Close & Stoney Close were replaced by Hillside, 4 extra classrooms once belonging to Kinson School since 1952, now gone. 

In 1964, St. Andrew`s Church Hall and grounds were opened on the higher land above Hillside. At the rear of the premises was a floodlit playing area. This project came about after much fund raising by the church authority and the very generous gift of the land by Lord Wimborne. The Allotments now were disused and the ground was uncultivated. The land began to revert to its natural state. A footpath (shown as a dotted line) crossed by and around the old allotments area. At one time, it was possible to cut through Ridgak or Redgate Moor and into the School`s field and into Poole Lane. This route was stopped at a later date.

The land opposite to Scull Pit Wood and Long Moor was "L" shaped, also open in nature. An ancient boundary could be traced almost its entire length from Kinson Road to the Waterfall by Scull Pit Wood. The oak-lined boundary of Ridgak or Redgate Hill was evident and traceable. The ancient boundary dividing Captain King`s from the lower valley is still traceable from the front garden boundary of 367, Kinson Road. Some Kinson Road properties date from the 1950`s.

Present day Kinson

In the 1970`s, the Glenmeadows estate was built, also a flood scheme to protect Kinson School. In 1978, the Borough acquired more land from Lord Wimborne. Fryer Close properties now occupy land formerly owned by the School and the St. Andrew`s Church in Kinson. Griffith Gardens is a fairly recent development.

All areas of the Common have now been renamed. Gover`s Glade is one of the only areas of the true Ridgak or Redgate Moor left. Dragonfly Hollow and Pepin`s Pond cover the rest. Oaks grow on a remnant of the ancient Ridgak or Redgate Hill. Another small tract remains as Glenmeadows. The ancient boundary by Gover`s Glade is intact to the boundary of Griffith Garden properties which back out onto the Common.

Hill Close became Pond Scrub. Scull Pit is Poole Lane Meadows. Scull Pit Wood is Blanchard`s Copse. Long Moor became Central Bog. A small part of it now is Central Sallows, which covers a " hint" of the Ridgak or Redgate Moor, which once ran northwards from Captain King`s original boundary.

Kinson Historical links with the Kinson common from 1667 - 1753
Historical links with the Kinson Common

When the land forming the original Kinson Common was owned by the Canford Estate, it was used for agricultural purposes. The information contained within the Tithe Map records is particularly useful as it lists all local families and which areas they either owned or rented.

We are fortunate too that the ancient records of Kinson Church are preserved. Kinson also has listed buildings of appropriate dates, which survive today. When everything is combined together, these all serve as useful information providers. As is often the case, to obtain an accurate assessment, one has to go back in time, then move forwards again to the present day.

Our starting point has to be John Weare, a glover of Little Canford, who died in 1667. His lands passed to the Swaines, Penny`s , Walker`s and Hayes from Somerset, who sold their lands to Thomas Pitt in 1698-99.

By the early 1700`s, William Oakley of Cudnell, appears on the scene. In 1706,he purchased Pitt`s Farm for £141.7.0d, and by 1711, he is renting out enclosures or parcels of land. Joseph Lockyer had Gravel Pitt Close which was located where modern bungalows were built near the entrance to Glenmeadows Drive.

About the same time, Richard Barns became the tenant of Pitt`s Farm,which covered 12 acres and included 2 acres in Rithe, land now lying under the old Millhams Tip. In all, 5 tenants farmed a number of sites which were leased for eight and a half years. Rents were between eight and ten shillings per acre.In 1718, Richard purchases Pitt`s Farm for £278. It remained within the family until 1775.

As time passed, a public house appeared on the corner of Poole Lane by Stoney Close. This building , known now as "The Acorn" (formerly known as Gulliver`s Tavern/ The Dolphin Inn), is our link with the Kinson Common. In 1747, Henry & John Biddlecombe are listed in connection with alehouse recognizances for Kinson. Other local names such as Corben also appear. Unfortunately, no other details are given.

The profession of Innkeeper was often combined with that of being a farmer and cattle dealer as well. In 1753, the Biddlecombe`s , John Beazant and William Waterman, are listed in connection with alehouses in Kinson.

William Waterman kept the Dolphin Inn  and had farming connections at Pitt`s Farm and around Kinson. He probably also rented land from the Canford Estate.

Kinson Historical links with the Kinson Common from 1753 - 1794
At some point in 1753, Edward Moore and Robert Hart, are listed as keeping the inn. Each paid £5 for the licence. Both these names are worthy of further research. Edward Moore or Moores, was most certainly the same person who was a smuggler at Longham in the 1780`s. Robert Hart owned the White Hart Inn, during the period that Moores was active with Edward Beake, Thomas Hooper and Richard Wilkins. Hart sold Gulliver`s 20 hack horses at Longham in 1779.

By 1763, the smugglers` haunt at Kinson had changed its name to "The Dolphin & Chequer". James Matravers was the Innkeeper. It is said of him that he may be the true father of Isaac Gulliver. Gulliver`s own father expressed his own reservations in his will which he made in 1765, saying "my son or reputed son Isaac Gulliver, otherwise Matravers".

In 1771, John Potter , is listed as the licensee and he was the outright owner of the public house in Kinson. His wife, Hannah, bore him Ruth, Jenny, Mary,Anne and William between 1763 and 1780. John Singer`s granary was raided in 1780 and this was in close proximity to the Dolphin Inn. Singer was a servant of Gulliver.

John and Hannah kept the pub until 1795. Hannah died in the spring of 1794 and John died in the autumn of 1795. In 1775, when Gulliver purchased Pitt`s Farm from Mary Barns for £817, John Potter was a tenant , also holding 2 acres of meadow or pasture known as Barn`s Mead at present day Millhams. There is no doubt that Potter was a smuggler and combined his many talents with farming and inn keeping.

The Churchwarden`s Accounts for Kinson reveal that Isaac Gulliver sold 100 limestones to them at the same time that Potter sold them oak timber.

Potter`s inventory of 1795,is extremely interesting. His estate was valued at £504.12.6d. The Dolphin was worth £200. The real clue to the extent of his farming interests is contained within his leasehold assets. These were valued at £60, rated at twelve shillings an acre. This meant he farmed at least 100 acres.

He certainly farmed the region we now call Kinson Common which was originally part of a larger area known as Howe Farm between Kingston (Kinson) and West Howe.

Detailed perusal of the inventory also reveals that the property was well stocked and every room in the Dolphin Inn  and adjoining domestic house was fully listed. There was quality furniture, knives and forks, silverware, even a dozen reading books valued at two shillings. The Potters` had a small tea kettle and a copper coffee pot valued at two shillings. The latter was in use long before Coffee houses became fashionable!

Kinson connections with the Kinson Common and the Dolphin Inn 

In the Cart house was a waggon, an old cart and two tall giggs. Sacks of peas, also quantities of barley and wheat were stored here. There were 20 sheep valued at £7.10.0d. In the Straw house were 4 horses, 3 cows and 2 heifers. There were also good stores of wheat, barley and oats.

In the yard was a dovecote and not too far away was the Old Sloop House. This was the Sloop Inn of earlier times. Its location was on the same site as the present day Kinson Rectory, originally known as Brookside. This property was valued at £30.

We are also able to learn what precisely was in the cellar of the Dolphin Inn.

This is what the 1795 inventory reveals.

£ s d
One hogshead of best bitter £2 10s. 0d
4 hogshead of common beer £9 0s. 0d
8 gallons of Holland gin £4 0s. 0d
2 gallons of rum £1 0s. 0d
1 gallon of peppermint 5s. 0d
8 large barrel cheeses & 2 hams £2 10s. 0d
1 funnel & 2 empty casks 2s. 0d
A scales of half bushell 2s. 6d

There was not a drop of brandy or baccy in the inn. There was also £15 in cash, or to use the correct term, "cash in the barter".

On Thursday, the 19th February, 1784, there was a very different story to tell!

Mr. William Lander, Commander of the Laurel cutter, Mr. Samuel Colborne his Mate, and Mr. Richard Wilkinson, Mate of the Diligence lugger, in the service at the Port of Poole, with 37 of their men, went out on duty to Kingston (Kinson),about 6 miles away, in consequence of information received that a quantity of run goods was concealed in a barn and stable there.

Whilst searching the barn, the Customs officers were set upon by a crowd of more than 100 people. Some were on horseback, some on foot, all were armed with pistols, cutlasses, bludgeons, pitchforks and offensive weapons.

These men were most cruelly beaten and bruised and no less than 27 of them ended up in the Sick quarters under the care of a surgeon. The Customs officers recognised, John King, the leader of the gang, John Dolman, William Russell and his son (who lived near the Dolphin), John and William Butler, John Gillingham, John Sanders, Robert Brine and Hannah Potter, the innkeeper`s wife!

The Potters, Spencers and a French connection!

The trail does not end here. Ruth Potter married a Frenchman named Thomas Le Cocq. A French smuggler named Peter Le Cocq was active at one time in the Weymouth area. He is believed to be an uncle of Thomas. There once was an inclosure named Le Cocq close to what is now Turbary Common. This belonged to Edward Arrowsmith together with an ancient lane. Close to it was an allotment held by Mary Durdall, known as Durdall`s Intake.

The sight of Frenchmen in Dorset, or indeed in Kinson, was not as uncommon as might be believed. In 1735, the Churchwarden`s Accounts reveal that four Frenchmen were paid two shillings and six pence, "being castaways".

Ann Potter became Ann White. William Potter died in 1814, depriving John Potter of a direct male descent to the present day. Jenny Potter married into the Braffett family.

Mary Potter married George Williams who died in 1802. George junior died in 1799 aged one. Their other son named Thomas, was born in 1801 and lived until 1883. Thomas Spencer married the widow Mary Williams in 1804, at Kinson.

It is likely that Thomas Spencer and Mary Williams carried on the business after the death of John Potter. Their son Charles, step-brother to Thomas Williams, was born in 1806. Thomas Spencer died and was buried in Kinson in 1817.

In 1830, Charles Spencer married Ann Moncton at Canford Magna Church.One of the witnesses was Thomas Abbott, a local farmer. The marriage was tragic and three of their children died, and only Mary born in 1832, survived. Ann Spencer died in 1837.

In 1843, Charles Spencer married Mary Corben at Milborne St Andrew Church in Dorset. His father, Thomas, is listed as being an innkeeper. There can be no doubt that Thomas Spencer was an innkeeper farming the Common in Kinson,with a growing step-son shortly to follow in his footsteps.

For Charles, this was a wonderful union. His wife Mary`s father , farmed land which would eventually became a part of the Oakmead School. This incidentally was land owned by Isaac Gulliver! The Spencer`s raised 3 daughters and 3 sons in Kinson

From the Spencers to the 21st century!

In the 1840`s, Charles Spencer and Thomas Williams formed a partnership which would stand the test of time. Charles was an innkeeper and a cattle dealer and Thomas Williams was a respected farmer. The following list gives an indication of their combined land holdings they rented from the Canford Estate, including a field with the unusual name of Pick Purse at West Howe.

Tithe Map Ref:
3 & 3a 2 allotments in Cudnell
127 Copse
12 & 14 Little & Great Hancocks
128 Kinslade
108 Garden plot
129 & 130
112 Norris`s
132 Furze Ground
113 Captain King`s
133 Long Close
121 Whitefield
134 Wood & Furze
122 Next Whitefield
135 Ridgak Moor
123 & 125 Furzy Ground
136 Ridgak Hill
124 Lower Captain King`s
137 Barn Close
126 Long Moor
149 Hill Close
138 Amey`s Close belonged to Isaac Gulliver and was sold by the Rev. H. E. Fryer in 1867, to the Canford Estate.

Charles Spencer and Thomas Williams still farmed the Common and had an interest in over 150 acres of land locally in 1851.This land was almost the same land farmed by John Potter in his hey day. In 1879, Charles Spencer died. He was still recorded as an innkeeper and a cattle dealer. Thomas Williams, his step-brother at 80, was farming 15 acres in 1881. At this time, Charles Spencer junior, aged 31, was an unmarried farmer renting 17 acres. All were living at the Dolphin Inn (now The Acorn)where the family had always resided.

A visit to St. Andrew`s Churchyard is well worth it. Near to the porch by the base of the late 12th century square western tower, the whole story revealed in this short account can be physically seen. John Weare, William Oakley, John Potter, the Spencers and some of the Barnes lay close together, connected now as much as in the days when they lived, breathed and walked around in Old Kinson.

By the 1880`s, Kinson started to develop. The land forming the original Kinson Common was managed in larger units, rather than smaller ones. Thanks to the generosity of Viscount Wimborne and the vision of the Borough, who purchased land which retains much of the original as it was centuries ago, locals and visitors now have a unique asset referred to as simply "The Common".

Text and photos © Rodney Haskell 2020 and forms part of an on-going research project. 

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