West Howe is bordered by Turbary and Kinson Commons - designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest and home to rare species including the Dartford Warbler and sand lizards.

The area, which is home to around 10,000 residents, has three schools (Heathlands Primary, Elmrise Primary and Oakmead College of Technology), two youth clubs (the Henry Brown and the House of Destiny), the Fernheath Play Association for after-school and holiday clubs, a Children's Centre, a library and three churches (St Philip's, Cornerstone and House of Destiny). There's also a health clinic in Cunningham Crescent.

An important community building is the Inspiring Change Shop on Cunningham Crescent, which offers low cost donated items and hosts a range of activities including arts and crafts, coffee mornings and volunteering opportunities within the local area.

There's also a pharmacy, post office and general store.

This is a close-knit community and whatever your age or interests there are a raft of activities and events to join in with.


West Howe really began to grow as a community in the 1940s, when most of the properties you see here today were built.

Some of the roads in the area were named after World War Two heroes. Before that the area was mainly heathland - local people worked on the land and in local craft industries... many worked at Elliot's Potteries (see below), a brickworks which also produced drainpipes, terracotta and roofing tiles. The potteries closed in 1966.

West Howe has always had a strong sense of community.

Click on the history gallery for a trip down memory lane...

A farmer called E A Elliot started Elliot's Potteries at Bear Cross. He discovered good brick clay when a well was sunk on his farm at Cudnell. The brickworks were started here where the farm-land met the crossroads, and hand-made bricks were made from around 1880 to 1900. When the clay at Bear Cross ran out the brickworks was moved to the rise of land at Poole Lane in West Howe. 

The clay here was a much better quality Ball Clay. Later, in 1912, drain pipes, terra cotta ware and roofing tiles were manufactured in addition to bricks. In 1922, Mr.N.T.Elliot entered the firm and by 1927 the manufacture of bricks for domestic fireplaces was started and these, together with stoneware drain pipes, were made untill the potteries closed in 1966.

Bournemouth Corporation and Max Factor's (local light industry) bought the land.
To the east of Elliot's stood Painter and Ropers 'Kinson Steam Brickworks', later owned by Burdens. This was a smaller concern where hand-made bricks were manufactured.

(Adapted from details in a book called 'Old Kinson' by S J Lands.)

Gyspy Heritage

For many years before the houses were built the area was mainly heathland with few buildings. It was very popular with the travelling Romany folk who called the area New England and set up large camps. When the land was to be developed the gypsy population were offered houses on the new estate.

Many of the families eventually took up the offer. Whether they were lured by the prospect of warm houses rather than draughty caravans through the bitter winter months, or whether they foresaw the disappearance of traditional camping areas due to spreading urbanisation it is not clear. Some families did move on, but here in West Howe there are hundreds of families who proudly claim to be descendants of those early settlers. To learn more about the gypsy heritage click the link below.

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