Notes: Avon Lodge was a private untimetabled station built
for the Earl of Egremont's estate.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE RINGWOOD, CHRISTCHURCH & BOURNEMOUTH
In its early days, Bournemouth was reached by bus from Poole,
at the end of a short branch from the Southampton & Dorchester
Railway and Christchurch was served by bus from Christchurch
Road (later renamed Holmsley), eight miles away. By the late
1850's, the attention of railway promoters had been attracted
to development in the district.
In 1859 the Ringwood, Christchurch & Bournemouth Railway
Company was incorporated and given powers to build a 7¾
mile single track line along the Avon from Ringwood to Christchurch;
this was opened on 13th November 1862 with two intermediate
station at Hearne Bridge (later renamed Hearne then Hurn) and
at Avon Lodge. At once Christchurch became the railhead for
In 1863 an act was obtained for a 3½ mile extension
to Bournemouth. This was opened on 14th March 1870 to a terminus
which later became Bournemouth East. Two intermediate stations
were later added at Boscambe (later renamed Pokesdown) in 1886
and Boscambe in 1897.
The line from Ringwood was worked by the London & South
Western and amalgamated with it on 1st January 1874. Despite
severe grades and curves which were subject to a speed limit
of 25 mph, this was now the main line to Bournemouth and served
by through coaches detached from the Southampton & Dorchester's
Weymouth trains at Ringwood where a covered bay platform was
evidence of its former importance.
As the resort continued to grow so did the rail connections.
A new double track was built from Lymington Junction, a mile
west of Brockenhurst on the Southampton & Dorchester line
to a point just west of Christchurch Station where a new station
was built. The line between Christchurch and Bournemouth was
doubled and a new line (The Bournemouth Junction Railway) was
built linking the East and West stations. A new through station
was provided on this link was opened on 20th June 1885 replacing
Bournemouth East which was only ¼ mile to the east.
The opening of the new route in to Bournemouth reduced the
distance from Waterloo from 116 miles to 107½ miles and
also allowed higher speeds and increased traffic capacity.
The Weymouth and Bournemouth portion of through trains were
now divided and joined at Brockenhurst relegating the Ringwood
- Christchurch line to a local branch operated by railmotors.
With the resulting loss in passenger and freight revenue the
line closed completely on 30th September 1935.
Sources: A regional history of the Railways of Great Britain
- Volume 2 Southern England
David & Charles 1961
To see the other
stations on the Ringwood, Christchurch & Bournemouth Railway
click on the station name: Ringwood