Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town on the south coast of :England directly to the east of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site. According to the 2011 census, the town has a population of 187,503 making it the largest settlement in Dorset. With Poole to the west and Christchurch in the east, Bournemouth forms the South East Dorset conurbation, which has a total population of over 400,000.Before it was founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell, the area was a deserted heathland occasionally visited by fishermen and smugglers. Initially marketed as a health resort, the town received a boost when it appeared in Dr Granville's book, The Spas of England. Bournemouth's growth really accelerated with the arrival of the railway and it became a recognised town in 1870. Historically part of Hampshire, it joined Dorset with the reorganisation of local government in 1974. Since 1997, the town has been administered by a unitary authority, giving it autonomy from Dorset County Council although it remains however part of the ceremonial county. The local council is Bournemouth Borough Council.