In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Poole like this:
Poole.-- mun. bor. and par., seaport and market town, and co. in itself, Dorset, on a tongue of land on N. side of Poole harbour, 5 miles (by omnibus) W. of Bournemouth, 30 miles E. of Dorchester, and 118½ miles SW. of London by rail - par. (Poole St James), 160 ac., pop. 7179; bor. (embracing also Hamworthy par., and Longfleet and Parkstone townships, Canford Magna par.), 5111 ac., pop. ...
12,310; P.O., T.O., 2 Banks, 2news-papers. Market-days, Monday and Thursday. Poole harbour, an irregular inlet, 7 miles by 4½ miles, formed by the projection of the Isle of Purbeck, is one of the best harbours on the S. coast. Vessels of very large tonnage can reach the quays, which are 2 miles in length, and lined with warehouses. There is a considerable general trade with the United States and the British colonies, and an extensive coasting trade in corn to London and Purbeck clay to the Staffordshire potteries. (For shipping statistics, see Appendix.) Some ship-building is carried on, and there are valuable fisheries. Poole contributed four ships for the siege of Calais in the reign of Edward III. From his time it sent 2 members to Parliament until 1868, after which it returned 1 member until 1885.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Poole in Dorset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 26th April 2017
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