Broadstone scarcely existed two hundred years ago. Heath Landers living in scattered cottages cut turf for fuel here, but there are relics of those who had lived or passed this way before. An arrowhead, dated to 1500 BC was discovered on the slopes of Springdale Road, and a 17th century stirrup from the restless days of the Civil Wars was found in Clarendon Road area, but historians give no clue as to how it may have got lost there.

Today Broadstone is an elegant suburb of Bournemouth and Poole. The slopes overlooking Poole Harbor and the Purbeck Hills encouraged the wealthy to build lovely properties there long before the last war, and the vast building estates which have grown up since 1946 have maintained Broadstone as a quality area. A large shopping center lines the main road and like many London suburbs built around villages, the older part of the village lives in harmony with the new. Where amongst the trees a few Victorian brick cottages survive, along with the white brick church built in 1888.

So named because of the broad stones laid as a means of fording the Blackwater stream, close to Brookdale Farm, Broadstone was first recorded as a village in 1765. The Roman road from Hamworthy was close to the present village and was the boundary of Canford Magna parish, but now it is the border between Broadstone and Corfe Mullen.

In its short history, Broadstone has witnessed the arrival and departure of the railway. Although the line came through in 1847, the station there was not opened until 1872. This facility lasted about one hundred years until Beeching axed the line and where the railway passed under a bridge at the village center, a complex road roundabout has been constructed. The last train out of Broadstone will be remembered by train spotting enthusiasts who gathered on that historic Sunday morning to see the train depart, loaded with other rail buffs. As cameras clicked, the guard posed on the platform, trying to obey all the instructions of the photographers when, waving his flag at their command, the engine driver thought it was time to leave, and the train pulled out. The memory those photographers will retain was of the portly guard chasing along the sleepers to regain his charge.

The Golf Club has attracted many famous personalities over the years, including a former Bishop of London who was not popular with some of the caddies. In addition to carrying the clubs, Dr. Winnington Ingram required his caddie to walk behind him and help push him up the steeper slopes of the course.

Broadstone has known a host of famous and unusual residents. Most famous was Alfred Russell Wallace, the biologist, who with Charles Darwin, was co-discoverer of the theory of evolution. He did not come to Broadstone until he was seventy eight years of age and in his lifetime, had explored the Amazon and Malay Peninsula. He liked unusual homes, and his house at Old Orchard has been described as dark and inconvenient. This man who was known for his scientific thinking and his views on spiritualism, socialism and vegetarianism is buried at Broadstone and his grave marked by a fossilized tree from South America.

As a boy, the actor Richard Todd resided in the village and the Dutch playwright, Jan Fabricus, lived at Caesarís Camp, a house on Broadstone Heights. Although little known in this country, he was one of Holland's most famous authors. A pet bird always sat on his writing desk.

Broadstone was also the family home of the Hibberds. Stuart Hibberd was the B.B.Cís first Chief Announcer in the days when radio was the dominating media. His was the cultured voice of Britain and he will be remembered for his announcement when King George V was dying. the King's life is moving swiftly to a close.

 

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