Meyrick Park was originally part of a much wider area of local heathland first listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Over the centuries the area has had a variety of different names such as Poors Common, Turbary Common and Malmesbury Plantation.
The 1802 Christchurch Inclosure Act allowed the land that makes up Meyrick to be sold to Sir George Ivison Tapps, the British landowner and developer who helped found the town of Bournemouth. The close confidant of Prince George (later King George IV), Tapps created an area of pine woodland and allowed it to be used as common land, meaning that local people could graze sheep and cattle, collect honey from hives and dig turf for fuel.
Ownership of the park remained in the same family although their name changed to Meyrick in 1876, with Tapps’ grandson (also George) adopting a family name of his mother’s relative Owen Meyrick, allowing him to inherit a 17,000-acre estate in Anglesey.
It officially opened as a municipal park in 1894 with a bowling green, playing fields and an 18-hole golf course, making Bournemouth home to the first municipally owned golf links in the country. The common access continues to this day and Meyrick Park is now maintained and run by Bournemouth Borough Council.
Continuing its relationship with outdoor games and sports that began at the end of the 19th century, Meyrick Park is home to the Oakmeidans rugby club, the golf club and gym, as well as onsite tennis courts, and lawn bowls provided by the Bournemouth Bowling Club.
Throughout the year calendar, events are held at Meyrick, such as the local ‘Proms in the Park’, and various sporting matches. The large area of open green space is also understandably popular among cyclists, runners and dog walkers.
Set among what accounts for 120 acres of scenic parkland, The Club at Meyrick Park is the name now given to the onsite golf course, following the same 18-hole route that was established in 1894. The Club offers a range of membership choices for all ages and abilities. It provides a dry course on sandy soil, keeping it playable throughout most of the year, with only the most extreme conditions stopping play.
Owned and run by the Club is the Lodge, which boasts a 17-room boutique hotel experience, with en-suite rooms welcoming guests with TV’s, hairdryers and tea & coffee making facilities. The health & fitness facility includes a swimming pool and bar serving food and drinks all day, meaning that the Club offers plenty to do on-site, not just appealing to golf enthusiasts.
Just a 5 minute walk from Bournemouth’s town centre means that the Lodge is a convenient location for guests to stay, opening up a whole world of entertainment and fun on the south coast, all from a base in the historic parkland.
Richard Palmer-James, one of the founding members of Supertramp and King Crimson contributor, was born in the Meyrick Park area of Bournemouth in 1947. With over 500 credits listed on discog.com, Palmer-James (sometimes known as just Richard Palmer) is a frequent collaborator of John Wetton, bassist and lead vocalist for King Crimson during their 1970s heyday.
The small railway station of Meyrick Park Halt opened in 1906 to service the expanding suburbs of Bournemouth as train travel significantly increased at the turn of the century. Closing just 11 years later, apparently due to austerity measures caused by the First World War, Meyrick Park Halt never reopened, and the structure was demolished in 1919. A small grass embankment next to the bridge on Central Drive is all that remains of the site.