|Ferndown is the largest settlement
in East Dorset District, with a population of 16,000. It is largely a
modern town, taking its prosperity from the neighboring Bournemouth and
Poole, as well as its own thriving industry. The community has a modern
shopping complex, playing fields and a sports centre with swimming pool
and squash courts. The town is surrounded by countryside and is adjacent
to the main A31 trunk road for efficient road links to the rest of
Dorset in one direction and the U.K. in the other.
origin of the town's name is obscure, but is believed to come from the
Anglo-Saxon 'fiergen' meaning wooded hill. Until the last century
Ferndown was spelt as two words ('Fern Down'), and its foundation as a
community, and the change of name to one word, owes its origin to
William and David Stewart who settled in the area as market gardeners
after arriving from Dundee in Scotland in search of a less hostile
climate! Their business prospered and the town owes much of its layout
to their vision.
of the largest employers is the Dorset Health Authority which has its
headquarters in the town.