'I had no idea I had such a delightful spot in my kingdom,' exclaimed the Prince Regent after a trip to Brownsea in 1818.
For a small island, it's had a remarkably varied history: military stronghold; industrial site; refuge for wildlife and Edwardian society. It has been pillaged by Viking raiders and blitzed by Nazi bombers.
Did you know?
- In the 9th century a hermit lived on the island
- A small salt and fishing community lived here in the medieval era
- Control of Brownsea passed from Cerne Abbey to Henry VIII
- In the 1870s the island was used as a model farm
- Daffodils were grown on the island and sent to Covent Garden
- During the 1920s there was an island community band
The people that shaped Brownsea
- William Benson known as 'Mad' Benson
- Sir Humphrey Sturte
- Colonel William Petrie Waugh and his wife Mary
- Hon George Cavendish-Bentinck
- Major Kenneth Balfour
- Van Raalte family
- Mrs Mary Bonham-Christie
Scouting and Guiding
The adventure started in 1907 and continues today. From the first experimental camp Scouting and Guiding has grown. We welcome thousands of young people to the island every year from all over the world. Visit the Outdoor Centre and Trading Post to find out more.