In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Swanage like this:
SWANAGE, or Swanwich, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in Wareham district, Dorset. The village stands on S. bay, 9 miles SE of Wareham r. station; was known, at Domesday, as Swanawic or Sonwic; is a sub-port to Poole, and a pleasant watering-place; consists chiefly of one street, nearly a mile long; commands a fine view of the Hants coast and the Isle of Wight; enjoys very fine environs, with many interesting natural features; and has a post-office‡ under Wareham, a banking office, two chief inns, an ancient cruciform church restored in 1860, two dissenting chapels, and a coastguard station. ...
S. bay is proximately semi-circular, on a chord of 1¾ mile; has a depth of from 5 to 8 fathoms; and affords good shelter in westerly winds. The parish includes Herston and Ulwell hamlets; and comprises 2,953 acres of land, and 240 of water. Real property, £4,819. Pop., 2,004. Houses, 445. The property is subdivided. Building stone is quarried. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £555.* Patron, J. H. Calcraft, Esq.The sub-district contains four parishes. Acres, 15,872. Pop., 3,682. Houses, 798.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Swanage, in Purbeck and Dorset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 29th March 2017
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