Boscombe is a suburb of Bournemouth. Located to the east of Bournemouth town centre and west of Southbourne, It developed rapidly from a small village as a seaside resort alongside Bournemouth after the first Boscombe pier was built in 1888. There are numerous architectural styles within Boscombe, the elaborate Victorian style of the Royal Arcade, notable examples of Art Deco such as the Motabitz store in Christchurch Road and the modernist 1950s styles of the pier and Overstrand buildings. Alongside these are modern flats developments such as the The Reef, The Point and Honeycombe Beach.HistoryThe area upon which Boscombe is situated, between the somewhat older village of Pokesdown and Bournemouth Square was part of the great heathland which covered much of western Hampshire, and extended well into eastern Dorset, from Norman times it was within the Liberty of Westover. From the beach and cliffs the whole of Poole Bay stretching from Hengistbury Head in the east to Poole Harbour entrance in the west, and on to Studland and Swanage bays to the south can be seen.Boscombe was originally an independent settlement, separated from Bournemouth by dense wood and moorland, it was incorporated into the boundaries of Bournemouth in 1876 (against the wishes of Boscombe residents).Boscombe ManorIn 1801 a modest sized house called Boscombe Cottage was built as the residence of Mr Phillip Norris. The Christchurch Inclosures Act 1802 increased the estate size to 17 acres (69,000 m2). This property became the nucleus of the Boscombe Manor Estate.The large estate owned by Mr Norris changed hands several times during the first half of the 19th century. After Norris's death it was acquired by Robert Heathcote, and on his death the estate was put up for auction The estate was purchased by James Dover, in whose possession it remained until 1841; then it was sold to Major Stephenson.Stevenson sold the estate in 1849 to Sir Percy Florence Shelley who bought the Boscombe property mainly with the intention of it becoming a home for his mother Mary Shelley, but she died in London on 1 February 1851. Sir Percy and his wife liked the place, and decided to make it their home, dividing their time between Boscombe and their London house at Chelsea.The house at Boscombe was extensively rebuilt for Sir Percy, and also extended to include a 200 seat (later 300 seats) theatre, to the designs of Christopher Crabb Creeke, who later became surveyor to the Bournemouth Improvement Commissioners and was responsible for both the layout of much of central Bournemouth's roads, and for several local buildings. It may be noted that the name of the house was changed several times over the years, beginning as Boscombe Cottage, it was then for a time called Boscombe Alcove and then Boscombe Lodge.