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fortress, but simply a castellated mansion,—and it is very secure in all winds. It was formerly the chief place for equipping ships for the Newfoundland fishery; and a brisk trade was carried on from it with Spain, Portugal, and the Mediterranean; but it is now chiefly occupied with a coasting trade, and the export of potters' clay. Swanage, Weymouth, Bridport, and Lyme have harbours capable of admitting small vessels only. The magnificent breakwater at Portland, of which the first stone was laid by Prince Albert in 1849, provides a harbour of refuge which is nearly land-locked, and a secure anchorage of almost unlimited extent, and of easy access to the largest class of vessels.
The principal rivers of Dorsetshire are the Frame, the Stour, the Piddle, and the Ivel The Frame rises in the north-western part of the county, near Everahot, and passing by Dorchester, reaches Poole, and falls into its bay. The Stour enters this county from Wiltshire, near GUliagham, and, pursuing a southern and south-eastern direction, enters Hampshire. The Piddle rises in the north, and, flowing to the south-east, falls into Poole Bay. The Ivel, anciently the Yeo, has its origin from several springs near Horethorn, in a hill north-east from Sherborne, from which town it flows into Somersetshire, and falls into the Parret, near YeoviL
Although neitner coal nor any metallic ores have <ever been found in Dorsetshire, the stone quarries of Porbeck and Portland have long been celebrated. Purbeck, though called an island, is more properly a peninsula, of an irregular oval form, about twelve miles in length and seven in breadth. It consists, according to Mantell, of Cretaceous, Wealden, and Oolitic strata in their regular order of succession, and highly inclined in their section towards Swanage Bay, where they are easily detected. At Handfast Point the chalk is discovered, its lower division dipping at a considerable angle; then comes a layer of firestone, next gault, and then greensand—all inclined j then, at Swanage Bay, a thick wealden bed; to the south of which are the Purbeck Hills, with their peculiar strata, and, a little further on, the Portland Oolite. The soil is altogether calcareous, and for the most part a continuous mass of either white or a brownish limestone, the latter having a mixture of seashells. The quarries on the south side of the isle afford an inexhaustible fund of natural curiosities. The best quarries are at Kingston, Worth, Langton, and Swanage. The Swanage stone is white, full of shells, takes a polish, and looks like alabaster. All over the heaths, both here and on the mainland, blocks of irdurated Tertiary grit, commonly '■ailed firestone, are found, and have been occasionall} employed in the building of some of the neighbouring churches; and at Downshay and Quai, in the parish of Worth, and elsewhere, the beautiful Purbeck marble, so Conspicuous in the monuments and shafts of many of our cathedrals and finest churches of the 13th century, and now often sought for their restoration, has been extensively quarried. One of the most valuable products of Purbeck is a white clay used for making pipes, and very largely applied to the manufacture of china. Large quantities of it are dug, and many vessels loaded with it for Staffordshire in the port of Poole.
The Isle of Portland, as it is called, is also a peninsula, rising at its highest point, the Verne, to nearly 500 feet above the sea-level, and sloping gradually to near the water's edge at its extreme southerly point, the BilL Its famous quarries, about 100 in number, are scattered in all directions under heaps of rubble and unsaleable stone. They are Crown-property, and, except where the stone is taken for Government purposes, are leased to various firms, who pay a royalty of so much per ton. Some 50,000 tons era annually raised and exported. The stratum of stone
that is worked for sale lies neatly parallel with the upper surface of the island, and without much earth or rubbish on it. The Portland stone (or freestone as it is sometimes called) is well known for its almost white colour, and as composing the materials of the most splendid erections in London, as well as in other parts of the British empire. The connection of Portland with the mainland occurs at some 10 or 11 miles'distance, at Abbotsbury, where a most remarkable beach of raised shingle, called the Chesil (Anglo-Saxon Ceotol) or Pebble Beach, touches the shore, being thus far separated from it by a narrow estuary, famous for its swannery, called the Fleet
The entire length of the beach is from 16 to 18 miles, with an average height of about 40 feet, and a breadth of some 180 or 190 yards, the pebbles constantly decreasing in size from 1 to 3 inches in diameter at Portland, to the size of peas at its termination.
Agriculture throughout the county has made very important advances within the last few years,—steamcultivation and improved implements having been largely introduced, and the growth of root-crops abundantly stimulated by the use of artificial manures. The precarious crops of flax and hemp for the supply of the rope and twine works of Bridport are less cultivated than formerly. On the larger farms in the Chalk district- a peculiar custom prevails of under-letting the dairies at so much per cow, the farmer finding the stock and the food, and thB dairyman disposing of the produce. The horned sheep of Dorsetshire, long celebrated, have now become established as a useful and lucrative breed. Professor Bell, in his History of British Quadrupeds, gives a figure of this, as the typical English sheep, of "a handsome, though somewhat oldfashioned breed, principally esteemed for its producing lambs earlier perhaps than any other in this country." "To the eye of him who seeks for beauty in harmony and proprotion (he adds) this sheep is one of the handsomest-in any part of England. The strong well-formed body and limbs, the clear white fleece, the finely-curved horns, and other points will to him constitute a more pleasing combination of character than is to he found in those breeds which have become more changed from the old stock by repeated transmission of peculiarities, which, however advantageous to the breeder, whether for the sake of the fleece or the flesh, cannot be considered as adding to the abstract beauty of the animaL" There are still many fine flocks of this characteristic breed existing* in the county, though many farmers prefer the Southdowns or Hampshires, as better adapted to their particular holdings. There is a small breed in Portland, which fattens too highly upon richer pastures, but the mutton of which, is an especial dainty, weighing only about 8 lb a quarter.
The old hardy race of long-horned cattle, formerly common in the hilly districts, are fast disappearing, and Devons, short-horns, and Herefords are almost exclusively now bred.. Great quantities of butter are sent to the London market The skimmed-milk cheese is often much esteemed, though little of it is exported from the county.
Vast numbers of mackerel are taken near Abbotsbury, and along the shore from Portland to Bridport The season for taking them is from the middle of March till midsummer, in nets or seines.
The manufactures of Dorsetshire are not extensive. The principal aro those of flax and hemp in the neighbourhood of Bridport and Beaminster, and of pottery and tiles in the district near Poole. Net-making, or braiding as it is called, and also gloving, are carried on in some of the villages; but the manufactures of lace, and of threadbuttons, formerly flourishing at Bland ford and elsewhere, may be said to be now entirely, obsolete. At Sherborne these industries have been succeeded by extensive silk-mills.