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fortress, but simply a castellated mansion, and it is very that is worked for sale lies nearly parallel with the upper secure in all winds. It was formerly the chief place for surface of the island, and without much earth or rubbish equipping ships for the Newfoundland fishery; and a on it. The Portland stone (or freestone as it is sometimes brisk trade was carried on from it with Spain, Portugal, called) is well known for its almost white colour, and the Mediterranean; but it is now chiefly occupied and as composing the materials of the most splendid with a coasting trade, and the export of potters' clay. erections in London, as well as in other parts of the British Swanage, Weymouth, Bridport, and Lyme have harbours empire. The connection of Portland with the mainland capable of admitting small vessels only. The magnificent occurs at some 10 or 11 miles' distance, at Abbotsbury, breakwater at Portland, of which the first stone was laid where a most remarkable beach of raised shingle, called the by Prince Albert in 1849, provides a harbour of refuge Chesil (Anglo-Saxon Ceosol) or Pebble Beach, touches the which is nearly land-locked, and a secure anchorage of shore, being thus far separated from it by a narrow almost unlimited extent, and of easy access to the largest estuary, famous for its swannery, called the Fleet. class of vessels.
The entire length of the beach is from 16 to 18 miles, The principal rivers of Dorsetshire are the Frome, the with an average height of about 40 feet, and a breadth of Stour, the Piddle, and the Ivel. The Frome rises in the some 180 or 190 yards, the pebbles constantly decreasing north-western part of the county, near Evershot, and in size from 1 to 3 inches in diameter at Portland, to the passing by Dorcbester, reaches Poole, and falls into its size of peas at its termination. bay. The Stour enters this county from Wiltshire, near Agriculture throughout the county has made very Gillingham, and, pursuing a southern and south-eastern important advances within the last few years,-steamdirection, enters Hampshire. The Piddle rises in the cultivation and improved implements having been largely north, and, flowing to the south-east, falls into Poole Bay, introduced, and the growth of root-crops abundantly The Ivel, anciently the Yeo, has its origin from several stimulated by the use of artificial manures. The precarious springs near Horethorn, in a hill north-east from Sherborne, crops of flax and hemp for the supply of the rope and twino from which town it flows into Somersetshire, and falls into works of Bridport are less cultivated than formerly. On the Parret, near Yeovil.
the larger farms in the Chalk district a peculiar custom. Although neither coal nor any metallic ores have ever prevails of under-letting the dairies at so much per cow, the been found in Dorsetshire, the stone quarries of Purbeck farmer finding the stock and the food, and the dairyman and Portland have long been celebrated. Purbeck, though disposing of the produce. The horned sheep of Dorsetshire, called an island, is more properly a peninsula, of an long celebrated, have now become established as a useful irregular oval form, about twelve miles in length and seven and lucrative breed. Professor Bell, in his History of in breadth. It consists, according to Mantell, of Cretaceous, Brüish Quadrupeds, gives a figure of this, as the typical Wealden, and Oolitic strata in their regular order of succes English sheep, of “ a handsome, though somewhat oldsion, and highly inclined in their section towards Swanage fashioned breed, principally esteemed for its producing Bay, where they are easily detected. At Handfakt Point the lambs earlier perhaps than any other in this country.” “To chalk is discovered, its lower division dipping at a con- the eye of him who seeks for beauty in harmony and propro. siderable angle; then comes a layer of firestone, next gault, tion (he adds) this sheep is one of the handsomest-in any and then greensand-all inclined; then, at Swanage Bay, a part of England. The strong well-formed body and limbs, thick wealden bed; to the south of which are the Purbeck the clear white fleece, the finely-curved horns, and other Hills, with their peculiar strata, and, a little further on, points will to him constitute a more pleasing combination the Portland Oolite. The soil is altogether calcareous, and of character than is to be found in those breeds which have for the most part & continuous mass of either white or a become more changed from the old stock by repeated transbrownish limestone, the latter having a mixture of sea mission of peculiarities, which, however advantageous to the shells. The quarries on the south side of the isle afford anbreeder, whether for the sake of the fleece or the flesh, inexhaustible fund of natural curiosities. The best quarries cannot be considered as adding to the abstract beauty of are at Kingston, Worth, Langton, and Swanage. The the animal" There are still many fine flocks of this Swanage stone is white, full of shells, takes a polish, and characteristic breed existing in the county, though many looks like alabaster. All over the heaths, both here and farmers prefer the Southdowns or Hampshires, as better on the mainland, blocks of irdurated Tertiary grit, adapted to their particular holdings. There is a small commonly malled firestone, are found, and have been breed in Portland, which fattens too highly upon richer occasionally employed in the building of some o the pastures, but the mutton of which is an especial dainty, neighbouring churches ; and at Downshay and Quai, in weighing only about 8 bb a quarter. the parish of Worth, and elsewhere, the beautiful Purbeck The old hardy race of long-horned cattle, formerly marble, so conspicuous in the monnments and shafts of common in the hilly districts, are fast disappearing, and many of our cathedrals and finest churches of the 13th Devons, short-horns, and Herefords are almost exclusively century, and now often sought for their restoration, has now bred. Great quantities of butter are sent to the been exterisively quarried. One of the most valuable pró- London market. The skimmed-milk cheese is often much ducts of Purbeck is a white clay used for making pipes, esteemed, though little of it is exported from the county. and very largely applied to the manufacture of china Vast numbers of mackerel are taken near Abbotsbury, Large quantities of it are dug, and many vessels loaded and along the shore from Portland to Bridport. The season with it for Staffordshire in the port of Poole.
for taking them is from the middle of March till midsummer, The Isle of Portland, as it is called, is also a peninsula, in nets or scines. rising at its highest point, the Verne, to nearly 500 feet The manufactures of Dorsetshire are not extensive. The above the sea-level, and sloping gradually to near the principal are those of flax and hemp in the neighbourhood water's edge at its extreme southerly point, the Bill. Its of Bridport and Beaminster, and of pottery and tiles in famous quarries, about 100 in number, are scattered in all the district Dear Poola Net-making, or braiding as it is directions under heaps of rubble and unsaleable stone. called, and also gloving, are carried on in some of the They are Crown-property, and, except where the stone is villages ; but the manufactures of lace, and of threadtaken for Government purposes, are leased to various firms, buttons, formerly flourishing at Blandford and elsewhere, who pay a royalty of so much per ton. Some 50,000 tons may be said to be now entirely, obsolete. At Sherborne ere apmally raised and exported. The stratum of stone | these industries have been succeeded by extensive silk-mills.