Page images
PDF

separate in their forms that to the curious naturalist their species seem very easy to be made out; but as they, in a considerable degree, retain their respective figures (though in some places more, in some less), spaces or cavities are left between them, which consequently very much diminish the coherence of the mass; but yet the cementing principle is so strong that the whole together is considerably harder than the merchantable beds; and indeed so hard that, to get rid of it as easily as possible, it is generally blasted off with gunpowder. Were it not for these cavities the capstone would not readily be worked with tools; or, at least, it would not be worth working at a place where there is so great a plenty of stone of a better quality; but as it is necessary to remove it in the course of working the better kind of stone, though by far the greatest proportion is blasted into fragments, yet for the buildings in the island the capstone is in general use, and also for the piers and quay walls of Weymouth harbour; as also in the pier for shipping stone at Portland blocks are used from the cap; and indeed were it not for the expense of freight (which is the same as upon those of the best quality) for various rough purposes under water, &c., the cap would make quite as good and durable work as the merchantable blocks. “When the merchantable beds are thus cleared of the cap, the quarry-men proceed to cross-cut the large flats, which are laid bare with wedges in the way I have described as to the moorstone: only the wedges are not so numerous, nor does Portland stone split so evenly as granite; and frequently in the splitting as well as other working of this stone, oysters and other fossil shells are discovered in the solid substance of the merchantable stone. The beds being thus cut into distinct lumps, the quarry-man, with a tool called a kevel, which is at one end a hammer and at the other an axe, whose edge is so short or narrow that it approaches towards the shape of a pick, by a repetition of sturdy blows soon reduces a piece of stone with his eye to the largest square figure which it will admit, and blocks are thus formed from half a ton to six or eight tons' weight, or upwards, if particularly bespoke.’ The strata of stone of all kinds on the east side of Portland have an aggregate thickness of 93 feet, on the west side of 112 feet. The ‘cap' is at present only burnt for lime. The Kimmeridge clay, a blue slaty or greyish-yellow clay which also belongs to the upper Oolitic series underlies the Portland stone: it sometimes contains beds of a highly bituminous shale, which from their being found near Kimmeridge in the Isle of Purbeck, have obtained the name of Kimmeridge coal, and have given to the whole formation the name of Kimmeridge clay. The shale burns with a yellowish flame, giving out a sulphureous smell. The thickness of the Kimmeridge clay is estimated at 600 or 700 feet. It forms the base of the Portland Oolite in the Isle of Portland, and the line of junction between the two formations is elevated on the north side of the island far above the level of the sea. The coasts of the island are here formed by a sloping bank of Kimmeridge clay, surmounted by an abrupt escarpment of Oolite. On the south side of the island by the dip of the strata towards the south the line of junction is brought down to the level of the sea. Towards the south-western shore of the Isle of Purbeck where the chalk downs approach the sea, and are skirted only by a very narrow belt occupied by the iron sand, and beyond that seaward, by the Portland Oolite, the sea has formed several singular coves, at the entrance of which are lofty headlands of Oolite; while the cove or basin is excavated inland as far as the chalk. The precipitous sides of these basins exhibit in a most striking manner the formations between the chalk and the Oolite. Westward of the coves just described, extending from Weymouth bay towards the river Brit, occurs what is termed by Geologists “a saddle,” a double series of formations. After the green sand, Purbeck, and Portland beds, and Kimmeridge clay have successively cropped out from beneath the chalk, the coral rag and §. clay, members of the middle series of Oolites rise to the surface in succession, and are succeeded by the Forest Marble and the Great Oolite, which belong to the lowest series of the Oolitic formations. To the southward of the Great Oolite and Forest Marble the superior strata re-appear in reverse order of succession; the Oxford clay, then the coral rag, and then the Kimmeridge clay, which runs down to the shore at Weymouth, and rises again from the sea in the Isle of Portland, where it appears capped with the Portland Oolite,

In the north-western and western parts of the county, the chalk formation is succeeded by the green sand, which crops out from beneath it, and skirts the northern side and the western extremity of the North Downs. The green sand forms the outlying masses of Pillesdon and Lewston hills, and of others yet farther west along the border of Dorsetshire and in the county of Devon. [Devonshire.] Neither the iron sand nor the weald clay, nor so far as we are aware, the chalk marle, appears to be found in this part of the county. West of Shaftesbury extends a bed of Kimmeridge clay which crops out from under the green sand: west of the Kimmeridge clay is a range of coral rag hills; and still further west occur the Oxford clay, and the Great Oolite. All these formations are overlaid by the westward extension of the chalk and green sand from the valley of the Stour to Beaminster; but some of them re-appear in the cliffs which line the coast westward of the Chesil Bank. The western extremity of the county is occupied by the lowest members of the Oolitic series and by the Lias. The line of junction of these formations extends nearly north and south from Ilminster in Somersetshire to the sea. Insulated masses of green sand frequently cover both the Oolites and the Lias, and render it difficult to trace the line of junction. The detached part of the county which is enclosed within Devonshire is partly occupied by the red marle foundation. Agriculture.—The climate of Dorsetshire, though mild and healthy, is not so warm as its geographical situation would lead us to expect; a circumstance owing to the nature of the soil and the bareness of its chalk hills, there being little or nothing to break the force of the winds that sweep over them. The air is keen and bracing, rather than soft and warm. In the valleys, the climate resembles that of the valleys of Devonshire, and the vegetation is very similar. It appears from Domesday Book that there were vineyards at that time in several parts of this county. At present the harvest is not in general earlier than in the midland counties: and although snow seldom lies long on the und, the land is not fit for sowing in spring sooner than in many parts of England where the winters are more severe. A considerable portion of the soil in the south-eastern part of this county is similar to that of Bagshot Heath, and not more fertile, being a loose sand and gravel, with a portion of ferruginous loam. The whole surface of the county consists chiefly of this loose sand and gravel, clay and chalk. The most fertile spots are those where all the three have been mixed in the valleys by the rivulets which run down the hills carrying the soil with them. The poor sandy soil occupies that part of the county which joins Hampshire. In the centre and towards Wiltshire lies the chalk; and along the coast, over a more solid chalky rock, is a stratum of clay, which likewise covers the western part towards Devonshire, and the northern towards Somersetshire. The following division of the soils is given in the “Agricultural Report of the County,' by Stevenson:

Chalk 160,759 Acres.
Sand - 85, 157 --
Loam - - 37, 746 ,,

- Gravel - 59,894 ,, Miscellaneous . 13,427 ,, Stone Brash 29,700 ,,

Clay - 117,331 * > Total . 504,014

Exclusive of rivers, towns, roads, &c. The chalk hills to the west of Dorchester, and along the borders of the vale of Blackmore, are of considerable elevation, and contain several narrow vales and deep hollows. The soil on the most elevated parts of the chalk district is a thin loam over a rubbly chalk mixed with stones which lies on the solid chalk. It is most advantageous to let this soil remain as sheep-walk, the pasture being fine and short as in other downs. In the bottom of the vale of Blackmore are some extremely fertile meadows watered by the river Stour. The hills which look down upon this valley are high and bare: but the lower sides are beautifully varied with woods and fields. The quantity of arable land throughout the county bears but a small proportion to the pasture; and greater attention is paid to the rearing of sheep and feeding of cattle than to the raising of corn. The implements of husbando,

are similar to those in use in Devonshire. The wheel; ploughs are preferred in stiff and stony soils; and it is usual to put three horses before them, two abreast, and the third before the near horse; so that the furrow being turned to the right, two horses walk on the unploughed ground, and one in the furrow; they are driven by a lad. Improved ploughs have been introduced; but the majority of farmers are slow in relinquishing the instruments which they have been early accustomed to. The nine-share plough, or sca: rifier, has been found very useful in the light soils, and saves much time in preparing the land for the seed, as it goes over a great width and saves a ploughing. -- - On the larger farms the farm-houses are old buildings of, and covered with stone tiles; in the smaller they are mostly thatched with reed. Many cottages are built with mud walls composed of road scrapings, chalk, and straw. The foundation is of stone or brick, and on this the mud wall is built in regular layers, each of which is allowed to dry and harden before another is put over it. Garden walls are frequently built of these cheap materials, their top being protected from the weather by a small roof of thatch, which extends a few inches over each side. The farms are large, many having been laid together, in prosperous times, at the desire of the richer farmers, and with the concurrence of landlords, who found that the repairs on one large set of buildings are less than on many small ones. The rent of land varies greatly. In the poor sands it is as low as 10s. or 12s. per acre; in the richer grass lands it is from 30s. to 40s. ; some water-meadows let as high as 60s. or more. On the whole, the average rent of grass land is about 20s., of old meadow about 30s., the tenant paying the tithes, which seldom exceed 5s. per acre. The old method of managing arable land, which is still followed by many farmers, was to fallow every fourth year on the clays, and then take two or even three crops of corn in succession. Where clover or grasses are cultivated, they are put in with the second crop, and consequently the land is not in a clean state. The most common rotation on the rich loams in the vale of Blackmore is: summer fallow— wheat—barley with grass seeds, which continue two or three years, and are then broken up again after the hay has been made, when a kind of bastard fallow succeeds, consisting of three ploughings, and the land is tolerably prepared for wheat; but it is not clean enough to prevent the necessity of a repetition of the summer fallow every sixth year at least. There is a practice with some farmers which deserves notice, as it is a step towards the system of double crops, by which the Flemish culture is rendered so much more productive than most other. It is as follows: the clover or grass of the second year is fed off early by o the land is then ploughed up and sown with rape and spring tares, which give an abundant produce in autumn, on which the sheep are folded, and the land is thus well prepared for wheat. The time of sowing is about the end of May or beginning of June. A bushel of vetches and two quarts of rape-seed are the quantities sown on an acre. The crop is fed off by Michaelmas. On the light chalky soils turnips have been very generally introduced, although they are not yet every where cultivated in the best manner. The introduction of sainfoin on the dry chalky soils has been a great advantage, as it produces a rich fodder, requires little manure, and lasts many years. In this soil the wheat is generally sown after clover which has stood one or two years, but sometimes also after turnips or rape fed off. The folding of the land saves manure, and the vicinity of sheep downs gives an opportunity of having large folds and repeating the folding often, both before and after sowing the seed. The tread of the sheep consolidates loose soils better than the heaviest roller. The ploughing in the chalky soils is generally very shallow, because they say that the couch is thus more easily kept down; but those who plough as deep as the subsoil will permit find that their crops are more certain, especially in dry summers; and the couch is best eradicated by careful hand-picking after every ploughing. Wheat is sown sometimes in the light soils as soon as August, and before the wheat crop of that year is ripe. The quantity sown is usually three bushels, and is increased as it is sown later. In the heavier loams the wheat is sown later, sometimes not much before Christmas; in that case a bushel more is required to allow for the grains that

perish, or are eaten by the birds, who are then more alert after their food. The early sown wheat is thought more subject to mildew. The seed is usually steeped and limed. When it is sown very early this precaution is frequently omitted. The average produce of wheat is from 17 to 20 bushels per acre. Barley is here a more important crop than wheat. It is sown from the middle of March to the middle of May. The earliest sown is generally the best. The produce averages 30 bushels per acre. Oats are sown on the heavier and moister soils, at the rate of six bushels per acre. They think that the straw is better fodder where the oats are sown thick, but they perhaps forget that the heaviest grain is produced by sowing thin or drilling wide. Beans are planted or drilled in rows from 18 to 24 inches distant. In the rich loams of the vale the produce is considerable, from 30 to 40 bushels per acre, and often more. Turnips are generally sown broadcast, at the rate of three pounds of seed per acre; this gives an abundance of plants, which are thinned out by the i. Potatoes are cultivated to a considerable extent in the rich loams about Bridport, Beaminster, Abbotsbury, &c.: they are planted in rows, or the sets are dropped in every third furrow after the plough. They are horse-hoed, and moulded up by a double mould-board plough: 24 bushels lanted on an acre often produce 360. The beginning of ay is the usual time of planting. Sainfoin is sown with a spring crop : four bushels of seed are required for an acre. It is cut before the blossom is fully expanded and made into hay, which is excellent fodder for sheep in winter. After several years, when it begins to go off, it is ploughed up, and the land sown with oats. It is often advantageous to pare and burn the land after sainfoin; but as this practice is generally forbidden in leases, however advantageous it may be occasionally, a method is adopted which equally destroys the vegetable matter without burning the soil. This is to rib the land; that is, to plough furrows with intervals, and do this again across the first ribs; the sods are thus cut in squares, and the harrows passing over them leave the roots in the form of matted tufts, which are burnt, and the ashes spread to enrich the ground. A regular paring and burning would be much better, both for the landlord and the tenant. Sainfoin does not produce much the first year after it is sown, and consequently many farmers sow hop-clover with it, which being an annual gives a produce the first year, and fills the intervals of the sainfoin, which is in perfection, the second. The land which has borne sainfoin for some years is not sown again with the same crop till after an interval of 10 or 12 years at least. Hemp is cultivated to some extent in the richest soils, which contain a considerable proportion of sand, and are too light for beans. The land is prepared by ploughing it three times; first, before winter, when it is richly dunged; and next in spring, when it is well harrowed. The direction of this second ploughing is across the former furrows, whenever it can ...i. done. The third ploughing is in May, when the ground is laid as level and smooth as possible by means of the heavy hoe or hack. Two bushels of seed are then sown evenly over it, and slightly harrowed in. A slight rolling of the ground, if it is very loose, finishes the operation. Hemp completely keeps down weeds by the shade of its leaves; and the land, if very richly manured for this crop, is in good order after it for any other which may suit it. An acre of good hemp produces 800 lbs. of fibre, a middling, crop is 600 lbs., and a poor one 450 lbs. The chaff of the hemp makes an excellent Inanure. Flax is likewise cultivated in the sound deep loams which have been gradually enriched by manuring the preceding crops. If the dung were not thoroughly incorporated in the soil it would make the flax coarse and uneven. The soil must be pulverized to a considerable depth, and must also be very free from weeds. Two bushels of seed are sown on an acre. The best seed comes from Riga ; the time of sowing is the middle of April. Clover seed is sometimes sown among it. It should be most carefully hand-weeded as soon as the plants can be distinguished from weeds: after this the flax and clover will keep them down. The produce is about six to eight bushels of seed, each of which gives a gallon and a half of oil, and from 600 to 900 lbs. of flax fit for spinning.

The grasslands and pastures occupy about three-fifths of the surface of the county, or above 300,000 acres, of which about 6000 are irrigated, chiefly in the sandy and chalky districts. The meadows along the vale of Blackmore are extremely rich, and produce much hay, which is used to feed the dairy cows in winter. The upland meadows are well managed and frequently dressed with lime and dung. Many sheep which feed on the downs in summer are wintered in the vales. The pastures on the hills are not sufficiently rich to fatten oxen, but are well adapted to feed dairy cows. The Dorset butter is in good repute in London and Portsmouth for ship provision as well as domestic use; it is not so salt as the Irish, and is therefore preferred, although the Irish is richer when it is of the best quality. Dorset salt butter, when well washed, is very commonly sold in London for fresh butter. The best cow pastures will keep a cow on two aeres during the whole summer: of the inferior pastures three or four acres are required for each cow. The cows are frequently let to a dairyman at the rate of 8!. or 10l. per cow for the season. This is a great convenience to a farmer who has arable land to attend to, and is thus relieved from all care but that of providing pasture for the cows, and cows for the pasture. The cows eat little else but straw in winter, and very little hay is made in proportion to the extent of grass land. The farmer finds a house for the dairyman and his family to live in, allows him to keep as many pigs and poultry as he chooses, and a mare to carry the butter to market. This mare generally produces a foal, which is part of the dairyman's profit. The bargain is from Candlemas to Candlemas. A notice to quit given by either party before All Saints' Day is considered sufficient, and the dairyman quits the premises at Candlemas... The butter is made from the cream, and the skimmed milk is made into cheese. The milk is skimmed only once in twenty-four hour. The Dorsetshire skim-milk cheese is preferred on account of streaks of blue mould which frequently run through it. These streaks are said to be produced by breaking the curd again after the cheese has been pressed, and sprinkling wheat flour over the fragments; it is then replaced in the vat and pressed again. A few calves are annually reared to keep up the number of the cows: the calves have milk for three months, and the dairyman receives an allowance of a fourth part of the sums which he pays for a cow for each calf so reared. February is the usual time for weaning calves, because in May when the grass is abundant they can be turned out to advantage and get strong before winter. The cows kept for the dairy in the vales are chiefly of the Devonshire breed, but the pasture on the hills not being sufficiently good for them, another mixed breed is preferred there, which has longer horns, and seems to be a cross between the old long horns and the Gloucestershire, or . the short horn. The colour is generally brindle on the sides with a white stripe down the back and white under the belly. They are hardy, and in general good milkers on moderate pasture. Crosses with Alderney cows are occasionally met with, but chiefly in gentlemen's dairies on account of the rich cream which they give. Dairymen prefer quantity of milk and larger cows. The Dorset sheep are noted as a profitable breed to those who rear house-lambs for the London market. They are horned and well formed, straight in the carcase, deep in the body, and the rump is larger than in other sheep; the breast points forward, the face is thin, the horns are thin and bend rather backward, the tail is usually left long. They give much milk and fatten their lambs better than any other breed. There is another very small breed in the Isle of Purbeck, and near Weymouth, of which the flesh is in repute with epicures: they weigh about 10 lbs. a quarter, and are generally sold by the quarter like early lamb, and not by the pound. Some consider them as the real and original Dorsetshire breed. They resemble the small forest sheep formerly found on all the commons of the forest of Windsor, and on Bagshot-heath, the mutton of which was in equal repute as Bagshot mutton. The wool is fine, but the fleece does not weigh above 14 or 2 pounds on an average. The South-down breed is very generally found in Dorsetshire, and suits the pasture and climate better than the Leicester. The management of Dorset ewes, when they are intended for producing early lambs, is as follows:–At four years old when the ewes have had two or three lambs, their lambs are weaned in April, and the ewes are kept on water meadows and the richest pastures, without being ever folded, that they may be in condition to P. C., No. 543.

take the ram in May and June, and be forward in lamb by Michaelmas, when they are almost invariably sent to Weyhill fair, and sold to dealers who drive them towards London and sell them to those who fatten early house-lamb, and who make a very considerable profit on them, if they understand how to manage the ewes to the best advantage. The Dorset ewes frequently have twin lambs, but the single are preferred for fattening. When there are twins, one of them is either killed immediately or given away. . The average quantity of wool on a Dorset sheep is 34 pounds. The following fairs are established in the county; but several of them are no longer cattle fairs, but mere holydays: Abbey Milton, Tuesday after July 25; Abbotsbury, Jul 10; Allington, July 22; Beaminster, September 19 ; Blandford, March 7, July 10, and November 8, a large sheep fair; Bridport, April 6, fat beasts, cows, calves, bulls; October 11, cattle and pedlery; Broadway, Wednesday before September 18; Broad Windsor, Trinity Monday; Cerne Abbas, Midlent Monday, for barren cows, and cows with calf, Holy Thursday, October 2; Corfe Castle, May 12, October 29 for hogs and toys; Cranbourne, August 24, December 6, cheese and sheep; Dallwood, first Wednesday before August 24; Dorchester, February 14, cows and calves, barreners, Trinity Monday, cows and horses: July 6, sheep and lambs, August 6, sheep, lamb, wool, leather; Emmergreen, Tuesday before Holy Thursday; Evershot, May 12, cattle and toys; Farnham, August 21, cheese and toys; Frampton, March 4, August 1, September 4; Gillingham, Trinity Monday, cattle, September 12, toys; Hermitage, August 26, horses; Holtwood, August 6, horses, sheep, toys; Lyme Regis, February 13, October 2: Leigh, March 25, May 1, September 3; Lambert Castle, Wednesday before June 24, cattle; Maiden Newtown, March 9, May 4, cows, &c.; Martin Town, November 22, 23, sheep, cows, and horses; Milborne St. Andrews, November 30, sheep, cows, &c.; Melbury, Whitsun Monday : Ower Moigne, October 10, pigs and toys; Poole, May 1, November 2, free mart for toys; Pamphill, July 7, October 29 ; Piddle Town, Easter Tuesday, October 29, cows and pigs; Portland, November 5, sheep; Shaftesbury, Saturday before Palm Sunday, June 24, November 23, cattle ; Sherborne, Wednesday before Holy Thursday, cattle, July 18, wool, cattle, horses, July 26, lambs, October 13, wool and cattle; Shroton, September 25, sheep, cows, horses; Stalbridge, May 6, September 4, beasts; Stockland, July 18, cattle ; Sturminster, May 12, October 24, fat cattle ; Sydling, December 6, cattle; Toller Down, May 29, sheep, 30, toys; Wareham, April 17, cattle, July 5, September 11; Wimborne, Friday before Good Friday, cattle and horses, September 14, cattle, horses, sheep, cheese ; Woodbury Hill, near Bere Regis, September 18, and five following days, cattle, horses, hops, cheese, cloth, &c.; Woodland, July 5, horses and cheese; Woolbridge, May 14, cows, pigs, toys; Yetminster, First Tuesday after April 20, October 4. Divisions, Towns, &c.—The county of Dorset previous to the year 1740, was thus divided. There were five more considerable parts, or as they were termed, “divisions,' which took their names from the towns of I. Blandford, II. Brid}. Dorchester, IV. Shaftesbury, and V. Sherbourne. ese were further subdivided as follows:— I. The Blandford division contened the boroughs of (1) Blandford, (2) Corfe Castle, (3) Poole, and (4) Wareham : the hundreds of (1) Bere Regis, (2) Coombsditch, (3) Hasler, (4) Hundreds Barrow, (5) Pimperne, (6) Rowbarrow, (7) Rushmore, and (8) Winfrith: and the liberties of (1) Bindon, (2) Divelish, (3) Overmo: gne, and (4) Stowborough. II. The Bridport division contained the boroughs of (5) Bridport, and (6) Lyme Regis; the hundreds of (9) Beaminster, (10) Beaminster Forum, and Redhove, (11) Eggardon, (12) Godderthorn, and (13) Whitchurch Canonicorum : and the liberties of (5) Broad Windsor, (6) Frampton, (7) Loder and Bothenhampton, and (8) Poorstock. III. The Dorchester division contained the boroughs of (7) Dorchester, (8) Weymouth, and (9) Melcomb Regis: the hundreds of (14) Cullifordtree, (15) George (St.), (16) Piddletown, (17) Tollerford, and (18) Uggescomb, or Uggscombe: and the liberties of (9) Fordington, (10) Piddlehinton, (11) Portland, (12) Preston and Sutton Poyntz, (13) Waybaiouse, and (14) Wyke Regis and Elwell. IV. The Shaftesbury division contained the borough of (10) Shaftesbury: the hundreds of (19) Badbury, (20) Cogdean, (21) Cranbourne, (22) Knolton, (23) Looseharrow, (24) Sixpenny Handley, (25) Up wntown,Moon. §d (26) ol. I.A.

[graphic]

Wimbourne St. Giles: and the liberties of (15), Alcester, (16) Gillingham, and (17) Sturminster Marshall. V. The Sherbourne division contained the hundreds of (27) Brownshal, (28) Buckland Newton, (29) Cerne, (30) Modbury, (31) Redlane, (32) Sherbourne, (33) Sturminster Newton Castle, (34) Totcomb, (35) Whiteway, and (36) Yateminster: and the liberties of (18) Alton Pancras, (19) Halstock, (20) Minterne Magna, (21) Piddletrenthide, (22) Ryme Intrinseca, (23) Sydling St. Nicholas, and (24) Stour Provost, Cerne, Totcomb, and Modbury hundreds are for some purposes united: and the liberty of Minterne Magna is by some given as united with that of Piddletrenth ide. The boroughs in the above list are not all parliamentary. Since 1740 a new arrangement of the county has been adopted. The five divisions have been increased to nine, as follows:– I. The Blandford north division 'pool. 9 198) contains the borough of (1) Blandford; the hundreds of (1) Coombsditch, (2) Pimperne, (3) Rushmore; and the liberty of (1) Divelish, or Dewlish. II. The Blandford south division (population 15,139) contains the boroughs of (2) Corfe Castle, and (3) Wareham; the hundreds of (4) Beer, or Bere Regis, (5) Hundredsbarrow, (6) Hasilor or Hasler, (7) Rowbarrow, (8) Winfrith; and the liberties of (2) Bindon, (3) Owermoigne or Overmoygne, and (4) Stoborough, or Stowborough. III. The Bridport division (population 29,585) contains the boroughs of (4) Bridport, and (5) Lyme Regis: the hundreds of (9) Beaminster, (10) Beaminster Forum and Redhome or Redhove, (11) Eggerton or Eggardon, (12) Godderthorn, and (13) Whitchurch Canonicorum ; and the liberties of (5) Broad Windsor, (6) Frampton, (7) Loder, or Lothers, and Bothenhampton, and (8) Poorstock. * IV. The Cerne division (population 8517) contains the hundreds of (14) Buckland Newton, (15) Cerne, (16) Modbury, (17) Totcomb (which three are united), and (18) Whiteway; the liberties of (9) Alton Pancras, (10) Piddletrenthide, and (11) Sydling St. Nicholas. V. The Dorchester division (population 32,039) contains the boroughs of (6) Dorchester, (7) Melcomb Regis, united with (8) Weymouth; the hundreds of (19) Culliford tree, (20) George, or St. George, (21) Tollerford, (22) Piddletown, (23) Uggscombe; and the liberties of (12) Fordington, or Forthington, (13) Piddlehinton, (14) Portland, (15) Sutton Points, or Poyntz, (16) Wabyhouse, or Waybaiouse, and (17) Wyke Regis and Elwell. VI. The Shaftesbury, or Shaston, east division (population 21,012) contains the hundreds of (24) Badbury, (25) Cogdean, (26) Cranbourne (part of), (27) Knolton, or Knowlton, (28) Loosebarrow, (29) Monkton up Wimbourne, (30) Sixpenny Handley (part of), and (31) Wimbourne St. Giles. VII. The Shaftesbury, or Shaston, west division (population 12,510) contains the borough of (9) Shaftesbury; parts of the hundreds of (26) Cranbourne, and (30) Sixpenny Handley, given above; and the liberties of (18) Alcester, and (19) Gillingham. VIII. The Sherbourne, or Sherborne, division (population 10,953) contains the hundreds of (32) Sherbourne, and (33) Yateminster, or Yetminster; and the liberties of (20) Halstock, and (21) Ryme Intrinseca. IX. The Sturminster division (population 11,219) contains the hundreds of (34) Brownshal, (35) Redlane, and (36) Sturminster Newton Castle; and the liberty of (22) Stour or Stower Provost. The hundreds in the above list, it will be seen, are the same as those in the foregoing: but the borough of Poole is here omitted, being considered as a county of itself (population 6459), and the liberties of Minterne Magna and Sturminster Marshall are respectively included in the liberty of Piddletrenthide and the hundred of Cogdean. The population given above is from the census of 1831. The following are market-towns. Dorchester, the county town and a municipal and parliamentary borough, on the river Frome; population, in 1831, 3033; the parliamentary boroughs of Bridport on the Brit, population in 1831, 4242 ; Lyme Regis on the Sea, population in 1831, 2621; Melcomb Regis on the Sea, population in 1831, united with that of Weymouth, 7655; E. on Poole harbour, population in 1831, 6459: Shaftesbury, on the border of the

county adjacent to Wiltshire, population in 1831, 3061; and Wareham, between the Piddle and the Frome, population in 1831, 2,325; and the municipal borough of Blandford

Forum, on the Stour, population in 1831, 3109. Of these places, and of the market-towns of Beaminster on the Brit, near its source, population in 1831, 2968, Sherbourne on the Yeo, population in 1831, 4261, and Wimbourne Minster, on the Allen, population in 1831, 4009, an account is given elsewhere. (BEAMINstER, BLANDFord, BRIDPORT, RchestER, LYME, Poole, SHAFTESBURY, SHERBourne, WAREHAM, WEYMouth, WIMBOURNE MINSTER.] Of the other market-towns, Cerne Abbas, Cranbourne, Stalbridge, and Sturminster Newton, as well as of Corfe Castle, a disfranchised borough, and Milton Abbas, the market of which has been discontinued of late years, an account is subjoined. Cerne Abbas is on the little river Cerne, a feeder of the Frome, and in the combined hundreds of Cerne, Totcomb, and Modbury, 74 miles from Dorchester. The parish comprehends 3010 acres (a large proportion being downs or sheep-walks), and had in 1831 a population of 1209. Cerne is in a pleasant vale, surrounded by steep chalk hills. It is a very small town, with little trade except what is transacted at its weekly market (held on Wednesday, for corn, butchers’ meat, and provisions, and tolerably well frequented), and at its three yearly fairs. The town was formerly notorious for the number of persons engaged in smuggling. Petty sessions for the division are held here. There was formerly at Cerne a Benedictine abbey of great antiquity, rebuilt and endowed in the tenth century by Ailmer, or AElward, or AEgilward, whom Leland calls earl of Cornwall and Devon. Its revenues were valued, at the dissolution, at 6231. 13s. 2d, gross, or 515l. 17s. 10d. clear yearly value. All that remains of the abbey is a stately, large, square, embattled tower or gate-house, now much dilapidated. There is an antient bridge, once an appendage of the abbey, and a more modern bridge; both are of stone. A mansion-house, called the Abbey House, and chiefly built from the ruins of the abbey, contains incorporated in it some remains of the more antient abbey-house, built by Abbot Wanne in the fifteenth century. Several beautiful overflowing wells still remain, probably the work of the abbots, drawing their sources through subterranean channels from the spring of St. Augustine. The parish church was built by one of the later abbots for the use of the parishioners. It is a handsome building, in the perpendicular style of Gothic architecture, with a fine tower, which has octagonal turrets and pinnacles. The living is a vicarage, of the annual value of 81 l., with a glebe-house. There is a meeting-house for Independents. By the education returns of 1833, it appears that there were in Cerne | infant and daily school, with about 80 children, partly supported by the clergyman of the parish ; 9 day-schools, with nearly 220 children; and 2 Sunday-schools, with nearly 150 children (the larger school connected with the church), supported by voluntary contributions. On the southern slope of ‘Trendle Hill,” a short distance north-west of the town, is the outline of a remarkable figure of a man bearing a club, cut into the chalk; the height of the figure is about 180 ft.; the outlines are about 2 ft. broad. There are various traditional and conjectural statements respecting the origin of this figure. It is repaired by the townspeople about once in seven years. On the south point of the hill, over the giant's head, has been an antient fortification, and on the north point a barrow. There are several barrows on the surrounding hills. Cerne was injured by the Irish troops in the king's service in the great civil war A.D. 1644, and by a storm of wind A.D. 1731. Cranbourne is a small market-town, situated in a fine champaign country, on the little river Allen (a feeder of the Stour) near its head. It is in the hundred of Cranbourne, 93 miles from London. The parish is the largest in the county, comprehending 13,730 acres, and had, in 1831, a population of 21.58, chiefly agricultural. No manufactures are carried on. The market, which is small, is on Thursdays; there are two fairs and one great cattle market in the year. The houses are in general neat and well built. About A.D. 980 a monastery for Benedictines was founded here by Ailward de Meau or Snew, of the family of Edward the Elder. This either was originally, or subsequently became, an abbey; but the abbot and most of the monks being removed to Tewkesbury, it was reduced to be a simple priory and a cell of Tewkesbury. Some time after the Dissolution, the present manor-house was built on the site and from the materials of the priory; it is the property of the Marquis of Salsbury, who takes the title of viscount from

antient building, near w

this town. The parish church, formerly the priory church, which is one of the oldest and largest in the county, will accommodate 1000 persons. The tower is in the perpendicular style: the church has portions of an earlier character, and a door under the north porch is Norman. There is a rich wood pulpit on a stone base. The living is a vicarage, united with the chapelries of Verwood and Boveridge, of the yearly value of 1511, with a glebe-house. There were in the parish, in 1833, 6 infant or dame schools with 60 children; 4 day-schools, with 206 children; and 4 Sunday-schools, with 402 children. North-west of the town is a large waste extending into Wiltshire: it was formerly a free warren or chase, once possessed by the house of Gloucester, and till lately by Lord Rivers, who had a right to keep deer all over it. It is covered chiefly with hazels an blackthorns, with a few timber trees. It has lately been disfranchised as a chace by act of parliament. It was very pernicious to the neighbouring farms, and was the occasion that few turnips were sown, as the deer made great depredations on that crop and could not be oi The deer are now destroyed. Stalbridge is in the hundred of Brownshal, about two miles from the Cale (which falls into the Stour), 112 miles from London. The parish contains, 4900 acres (including the tithings of Gomershay, Thornhill and Weston), and had in 1831 a population of iz73, of which rather more than a third was agricultural. The market is on Tuesday, and there are two cattle fairs in the year. The cattle market is held in alternate weeks. According to Hutchins's istory of Dorsetshire (2nd edit. 1813, vol. iii., p. 239), the stocking manufacture is carried on here. The town is irregularly laid out: in the market-place is an antient cross twenty-two feet high, or, including the base of three steps, thirty o There is a dissenting meetinghouse. The church is a large antient structure, with a high embattled tower at the west end. The living is a rectory of the yearly value of 888l. with a glebe-house. There were in the parish in 1833, one “national’ day-school, supported by subscription, with 115 children, three Sunday-schools, with 308 children, besides several dame schools. Stone is quarried in the parish, and used for building and roofing. Sturminster or Stourminster Newton Castle is in the hundred of the same name, in a rich vale on the bank of the Stour, 109 miles from London. The town is divided into two parts: Sturminster (by far the largest) lies on the north side, Newton Castle lies on the south side of the river. The two are connected by a bridge. The parish contains 4530 acres, and had in 1831 a population of 1831, of which about two-fifths are agricultural. The market is on Thursday for corn and on Saturday for butchers' meat: the cattle market is once a fortnight: there are two fairs in the year for cattle, &c. The town is o the market-house is a very ich is the base of a cross, on four steps. The church is a large building with an embattled tower of moderate height. The living is a vicarage of the yearly value of 7121. In Newton Castle is an antient fortification, probably of the Saxon time, in the form of a Roman D, surrounded on the south-west side and part of the east side by a vallum and ditch : there are the remains of some antient buildings near it. There were in the parish in 1833, one infant school with nearly 170 children, one day-school with 60 or 70 boys, and one Sunday-school of 140 children, all supported by subscriptions or donations: and five other day-schools with about 50 children. Corfe Castle, a disfranchised borough, is near the centre of the ‘isle' or rather peninsula of Purbeck. It is included in Blandford south division, and is 116 miles from London. The borough and parish boundaries are the same, and include an area of 9860 acres: there were in 1831 1712 inhabitants. This town, which is near the castle, consists of two streets, of mean looking houses, built of stone and covered with tiles. The inhabitants are partly engaged in the marble and stone quarries, and clay works in the neighbourhood. The church is a large and very antient fabric, with many portions of Norman and early #. architecture: it has an embattled and pinnacled tower, a large porch, and two buildings, one on each side of the church, formerly chapels, but now applied to other purposes. The church was much damaged in the great civil war when the castle was attacked A. D. 1646. The castle was built, probably in the tenth century, by

King Edgar. Its stateliness and strength, being situated on a high hill, caused it to be regarded in former times as a fortress of great importance. It was sometimes the residence of the West Saxon princes. Here King Edward the Martyr was assassinated by his step-mother, #. (A. D. 978 or 981). King John in his war with the barons deosited his regalia here for security: and Edward II. when efell into the hands of his enemies was for a time imprisoned here. In the great civil war Corfe Castle was stoutly defended for the king by Lady Bankes, wife of Lord Chief Justice Sir John Bankes, the owner of it, with the assistance of her friends and retainers, and of a governor sent from the king's army. It was however taken by the parliamentarians by treachery, February, 1645-46, and dismantled. The ruins are extensive, and from their high situation form a very striking object. The castle is separated from the town by a ditch, now dry, which is crossed by a bridge of four very narrow high arches. “The vast fragments of the king's tower,’ says Mr. Hutchins, “the round towers, leaning as if ready to fall, the broken walls and vast pieces of them tumbled into the vale below, form such a scene of havock and desolation as strikes every spectator with horror and concern. The plenty of stone in the neighbourhood, and the excellency of the cement, harder to be broken than the stones themselves, have preserved these prodigious ruins from being embezzled indlessened.” Corfe Castle was a borough by Fo previous to the reign of Elizabeth, who bestowed on it a charter; but the rivileges granted by this charter were wested rather in the ord of the manor than the burgesses. Another charter was granted by Charles II. Corfe Castle never sent representatives to the House of Commons till the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and was disfranchised by the Reform Act. The arish is now included in the parliamentary borough of areham. The living of Corfe Castle is a rectory, of the yearly value of 685l., with a glebe-house. There were in the parish in 1833, three infant or dame schools with 65 children ; five day-schools with above 250 children; four of these schools were chiefly supported by subscriptions and donations; and three Sunday-schools with above 200 children. One of the day-schools (supported by dissenters) had a lending library attached, Milton Abbas, or Abbot, is said to derive its name (which is a contraction of Middleton Abbot) from its situation near the centre of the county. It is in the hundred of Whiteway, in a deep vale inclosed by steep chalk hills on the north and south side, 111 miles from London. The parish comprehends 2420 acres, and had in 1831 a population of 846 persons: above three-fourths of the population are agricultural. Its market and fairs have been given up. Here was an abbey founded by King Athelstan, which alone gave any importance to the town, which was in former times more considerable than now. The abbey has been numbered among the mitred abbeys, but erroneously. Its value at the dissolution was 720l. 4s. 1d. gross, or 578/. 13s. 11d. clear. The buildings of the abbey were preserved for a long time, but were gradually pulled down, chiefly to be replaced by more modern erections. The hall yet remains, a noble and magnificent old room; part of the mansion of Milton Abbey, belonging to the Damer family, which enjoyed for some time the title of earl of Dorchester, now extinct. Milton has an almshouse and a grammarschool. The conventual church was for some time the parish church, but a late earl of Dorchester having built a new parish church, converted the old one into a private chapel. It consists of the choir, transepts, and tower of the old abbey church: the choir is chiefly of early decorated character, the transepts and tower perpendicular. The general appearance of this edifice is very fine. The living of Milton Abbas is a vicarage, of the yearly value of 1271, with a glebe-house. In 1833 the parish contained seven day-schools with about 70 children, and two Sunday-schools with about 50. Markets were formerly kept at Abbotsbury, Bere Regis, Evershot, Frampton, and other places. The inhabitants of Abbotsbury, which is near the western end of the Chesil Bank, are much engaged in the mackerel fishery. A large abbey of Benedictines was founded here in the eleventh century by Orc, steward of King Edward the Confessor. Very little of the monastic buildings now remain: the conventual church is, except the porch, entirely demolished.

[graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic]
« EelmineJätka »