The following covers the area between Magna road to the
north, gravel hill and waterloo road in the west, Ringwood road in the
east and old Wareham road in the south.
Originally part of the Great Canford estate, Canford Heath became part
of the borough of Poole as the town expanded. There were a few
cottages sprinkled around the heath mainly housing turf cutters and
At the turn of the 19th century the vast majority of the land between
the river Stour in the north and the coast at Poole was heath land. A
nunnery stood on what is now Canford School. There were a few farms
off of Magna road and through High Howe, and not a lot else. On an
1811 os map of the area Canford heath had 3 hills being lodge hill
Hakesbury hill and Figbury hill. The area at Darbys corner was known
as Canford bottom (not to be confused with Canford bottom at little
Canford north of the river).
During the early to mid part of the 19th century the area around Hatch
pond started to develop, known as Waterloo. Here there was an Iron
foundry built on what is now the Borough of Poole depot on Hatch pond
road. The present day Holly Hedge Lane also had cottages for the
foundry workers. Opposite Hatch pond road was a farm called the Nags
head this also provided and inn. Also built was a Wesleyan Methodist
chapel standing somewhere near to were no 73 and 75 Waterloo road now
The inn survived until the turn of the 20th century, although the farm
remained until around about the 1950’s when Parkstone grammar school
was built on the site.
The foundry also lasted until the turn of the century when it was then
taken over by Poole Water Co. this was so that they could build a
pumping station next to Hatch pond and pump water up to a newly built
tower to supply the village of Broadstone. Also built were a Gravity
Sand Filter, Reservoir, Engine House, Office and Cottages. Some of
these cottages remain today and can be seen within the council yard.
In 1906 Due to the poor water quality the works were taken over by
Poole Corporation. The water works remained here until the late 1930’s
and by the time of the 1945 os map all that remained was the pond.
Hatch pond originally formed from a former mineral pit (probably clay
) as there were a lot of brickworks around the heath during the 19th
century due to the rapid expansion of Poole. This would have been
between about 1822 and 1888 when the pond was first mentioned on a map
of the area.
Because of the rise of Broadstone by 1888 a road had been formed from
approximately opposite Dunyeats road in the west to the water works
at Alderney in the east so that people could travel to Bournemouth,
this route still exists and is known as Bournemouth road or South
drive and runs along the top of Lodge hill. There were two other
routes across the heath one was Longfleet Drive and the other was the
coach road (now known as the old coach road). Click the buttons to the
left for a bit more detail.
The area that the Nuffield industrial estate now occupies was, from
the middle of the 1800’s to the middle of the 1930’s known as Turbury
allotments. The industrial estate began to take shape in the early
At the beginning of the 20th century Romany gypsies were to be seen
across the heath until many of them moved into newly built homes in
the Newtown and Alderney areas of Poole in the late 1950's.
During the Second World War the heath was requisitioned to be used as
a range and training area for the army, however once it had been
derequisitioned there were several accidents involving children and
unexploded ammunitions, the area was eventually cleared.
It took over thirty years for the estate to be completed. At the
beginning of 1963 planning permission had been granted for house
building to start on what was known as Canford Heath park, land north
of Old Wareham road, in 1967 Downland place began to take shape; Then
in 1970 what was then called the neighbourhood centre (now Adastral
square) was built. Some of the original shops to be built here were a
Waitrose supermarket, Clarke's DIY, Nat west bank, Westons the
chemists and Martins the newsagents to name a few. All the roads in
this first phase of building are named after pilots. Click HERE
for a list of the pilots the roads were named after.
Then came the second phase, building began here in the early 1980's,
although Hasler road had begun to be built in 1976.Originally there
was to be a first school built at the corner of Tollerford road and
Canford heath road known then as Pipers corner however this was not
built and the land was sold for more housing now known as Clayford
close. The last of the house building was the ryall road area which
was not finished until the mid 1990's, because of the spiraling
interest rates of the early 90's this area was put on hold several
times. These houses started off as self build but twice the schemes
went bankrupt, a builder then took the site over but they also went
bankrupt, until finally on the fourth try the houses were finally
finished. The roads on the second phase are all named after
towns/villages and hamlets of Dorset. For a list of these and where
about to find those in Dorset click HERE. We
must not forget Ashdown Close this road was named after the school now
Ashdown Technology College, and the school was so named because it was
formed by the joining of Seldown boy’s school and Ashley road girl’s
school, the school opened in 1989.
For an account of life growing up on the verge of the heath
In the 1950's click HERE