Purbeck  Dorset


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Purbeck like this:

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.

Purbeck through time

Click here for graphs and data of how Purbeck has changed over two centuries. For statistics for historical units named after Purbeck go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Purbeck in Dorset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 31st October 2020

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