Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for PURBECK

PURBECK, a peninsular tract in the S E of Dorset; bounded, on the N, by Poole harbour, on the E and the S, by the sea, on the W, by the stream of Luckfordlake. Its length, from E to W, is 11 miles; and its extreme breadth is 9 miles. Much of it is isolated by acrescent of chalk hills, dipping to the sea at each extremity; the central part, from E to W, is a range ofdowns, nearly 700 feet high; and much of the coast is rock-bound and picturesque. The rocks comprise tertiary, cretaceous, wealden, and oolitic beds, so arranged on the E shore as to be easily read off by even a superficial geologist; they have furnished great wealth and variety of fossils; and they include a well-known freestone of peculiar character, which has been quarried from veryearly times, and was much used in the building of old churches and cathedrals. The island was anciently a royal deer forest; was used as hunting-ground by kingsfrom Edward the Martyr to James I.; and had some old hunting-seats, which have been converted into farm-houses. See Corfe-Castle, Kimmeridge, Swanage, Studland, Worth-Matravers, and other articles.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a peninsular tract"   (ADL Feature Type: "capes")
Administrative units: Dorset AncC
Place: Purbeck

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