West Parley gets bigger
A recent review of parish boundaries carried out by East Dorset District Council has extended the boundary of West Parley to the north to include a large area of Parley Common and 7 properties at the end of Barrack Road. With no road connection to Ferndown these properties always "looked" to the south. To see the new map please click here.
This is the latest in a number of changes to the parish boundary over the last 170 years driven by the expansion of the south east of Dorset from a relatively unpopulated part of the County into an area of large towns and medium sized villages.
West Parley was once a very large parish that extended over 3400 acres including both West Parley and West Moors. In 1851 there were only some 290 residents reflecting the mainly agricultural nature of the area, little changed from the Middle Ages. Much of the area was unproductive heathland.
The parish was actually 2 virtually separate roughly rectangular portions of land only touching at a point north of Tricketts Cross but this was extended in 1886 by a further 500 acres to include an area east of West Moors up to the current A31. With this change the parish became coherent, but very narrow, stretching from 3 Legged Cross all the way south to the River Stour.
At this time there were few houses in West Parley itself, these being mainly along Christchurch Road and Church Lane with a few scattered farm buildings down narrow side lanes. West Moors was the largest settlement in the parish at some 190 residents out of a total of 336 for the whole parish. It also had its own railway station.
Rapid expansion of Ferndown in the 20th century, still part of a large Hampreston parish, and of West Moors, led to further boundary changes and West Parley parish was virtually halved in size in 1956 when large areas of land were transferred to Hampreston and to the newly created West Moors parish. In small compensation, a part of Poor Common and an area of Dudsbury were transferred from Hampreston parish. Hampreston parish changed its name to Ferndown Town in 1986.
The 1956 changes left West Parley parish with 1120 acres. For hundreds of years the eastern edge of Parley had been the ancient Dorset / Hampshire boundary but this changed in 1974 when Christchurch and Hurn moved into Dorset.