• Branksome Chime
  • Branksome Park
  • Branksome Park
  • Branksome Park
  • Branksome Park
  • Branksome Park Church
  • Branksome Park

Branksome Park, Poole

The special interest of Branksome Park is derived from a number of characteristics which combine to form a unique and cherished area within the Borough of Poole. Branksome Park Conservation Area is a place with distinctive and special qualities which are desirable to preserve or enhance. Its spacious sylvan character is derived from its division into large building plots in the 19th century by the Bury family.

The Bury family’s influence together with the historic covenants they imposed on the sale of their land have significantly influenced the appearance of the area we see today. The road layout, dense evergreen hedges, turf embankments and generous wooded plots all date from the original plan. Branksome Park is distinct from the surrounding urban landscape being noticeably lower in density and heavily wooded. These spatial qualities create a peaceful residential setting and give the impression of an almost rural character and sense of isolation from the rest of the town.

The predominance of woodland also contributes a dynamic quality to the area, which is reflected in the changing seasons. One and two storey detached houses appear to nestle within woodland clearings and are often only glimpsed from the road. Trees and vegetation dominate the streetscape to the extent that, in views along many roads, few buildings are clearly visible. The varied architecture within the Park is a testament to its gradual development over more than 100 years. The buildings reflect the various architectural fashions of the time. Many houses are oriented at quirky angles within their plots which is a significant local characteristic. While most buildings are unlisted many are attractive homes and their architecture enhances the appearance of the area.

“I shan’t tell you where all the lovely places are: I want them all to myself. But I’ll tell you where to look. Are you…anxious for a little sea air but not too much? Do you like what the guidebooks call a ‘salubrious climate’ and a ‘respectable residential neighbourhood? Then go to…the exclusive Branksome. Here the pine trees and rhododendrons and heather are allowed to grow beside twisting roads-steep climbs for him who pushes a bath chair and houses hide respectfully among the foliage of their spacious gardens. Whether it is the terebinthinate sap or the mixture of ozone and resin, I don’t know but (it) is said to be just the place for the lungs and bronchial tubes.”

John Betjeman “Seaview”, BBC West of England Programme, 11 May 1938, reprinted in Stephen Games, Trains and Buttered Toast, 2006