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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.
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.
In 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 (6.9 ha).
One of the early landmarks was the 'Ragged Cat', a wayside inn dating back to 1850, later renamed the 'Palmerston' and then 'Deacons', it was renamed back to 'The Ragged Cat' in 2009 before being closed down.
Historically in Hampshire, but today in Dorset, it is located to the east of Bournemouth town centre and west of Southbourne.
Originally a sparsely inhabited area of heathland, from around 1865 Boscombe developed rapidly from a small village into a seaside resort alongside Bournemouth. There are numerous architectural styles within the town, ranging from the elaborate Victorian style of the Royal Arcade, notable examples of Art Deco such as the former Gas & Water Company store at 709 Christchurch Road, and the modernist 1950s styles of the pier and Overstrand buildings.
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 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.