Poole & Bournemouth

Poole & Bournemouth


In 1999, Poole was the home of the Shelley Museum, located within Boscombe Manor, the residence of Shelley’s only surviving child Percy Florence. The museum has since been closed, and we have attempted to trace the present location of the exhibits without success. When we visited in 1999, we discovered a wonderfully eclectic collection of Shelley and Byron memorabilia: Shelley’s baby curls, cut before he left for Syon House, and a portrait of Byron’s daughter Allegra;
an inkstand used by the poet, and his baby cap;
a model of the yacht Ariel and a letter from Ianthe Shelley to her daughter;

as well as myriad books, paintings, autograph manuscripts, and virtually anything relating to the Shelley circle or Shelley's descendants.


In Bournemouth, one finds St. Peter’s Church, founded in the 1840s. Its cemetery holds a large tomb containing three generations of the Godwin/Wollstonecraft/Shelley family; here are buried William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, who in 1851 were removed from the St. Pancras cemetery and placed in the vault with their daughter Mary; the heart (or liver, depending on whom one talks to) of their son-in-law Percy Bysshe Shelley; and their grandson Percy Florence and his wife.
For information regarding the church and gravesite, contact the Master of Choristers David Beeby, at 78 Avon Road, Charminster, Bournemouth, Dorset BH8 8SF (01202 303895, email david.beeby@virgin.net).