Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for POOLE

POOLE, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Dorset. The town stands on a neck of Poole bay orharbour, adjacent to the E end of a quondam Roman road to Wareham, and to the terminus of a branch of the Southwestern railway, 22 miles E of Dorchester; took its name from the pool-like bay on which it is situated; washeld as part of Canford, by William Longespee; passed to the Plantagenets, the Lacys, the Montacutes, and others; went afterward to the Webbs and the Guests; sent 4ships, in the time of Edward III., to the siege of Calais; was only a poor fishing village in the time of Henry VIII.; rose to importance, and was walled, in the time of Elizabeth; took a strong stand for the parliament, in the civil wars of Charles I.; suffered demolition of itswalls by Charles II.; was ravaged by plague in 1665; waslong a haunt of daring smugglers and buccaneers; figuresspecially in the history of the notorious pirate Harry Page, commonly called Arripay; was the landing-place of Charles X. of France in 1830; numbers among its nativesthe theologian R. Gibbon, the antiquary Sir P. Thompson, the Thanet historian Lewis, and the heroic W. Thompson; contains a gateway of the time of Richard III. in Clement's-alley, and an ancient town-cellar or wool-house on the quay; consists of several chief streets running parallel to one another, and numerous minor streets and intersecting lines; presents, on the whole, an irregnlar, intricate, and dingy appearance, somewhat similarto that of Sheerness; is environed, on the land side, by extensive heaths, commanding fine views of sea and land; is a head port, a seat of sessions, and a coast-guard station; publishes a weekly newspaper; and has a head post-office, ‡ a railway station with telegraph, two banking offices, two chief inns, a guild-hall and market house of 1761, a town-house or exchange of 1822, a custom-house of 1813, an odd-fellows' hall of 1863, a woodenbridge to Hamworthy of 1837, a town jail with capacityfor 14 male and 6 female prisoners, a parish church, orchurch of St. James, rebuilt in 1820 at a cost of £12,000, a church of St. Paul, built in 1833, six dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a public library built in 1830, a literary and scientific institution founded in 1859 an interesting museum connected with that institute, an endowed school with £16 a year, three suites of alms-houses, and aggregate charities £210. Markets are held on Mondays and Thursdays; fairs areheld on 1 May and 2 Nov.; rope-making, sail-making, sack-making, net-making, linen shirt-making, ship-building, and oyster-fishing are carried on; and a considerable commerce, at once colonial, foreign, and coasting, exists. The vessels belonging to the port, at thebeginning of 1864, were 47 small sailing-vessels, of aggregately 1, 283 tons; 64 large sailing-vessels, of aggregately11, 399 tons; and 1 steam-vessel, of 22 tons. The vesselswhich entered in 1863 were 19 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 1,854 tons, from British colonies; 70 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 5, 807 tons, from foreign countries; 60 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 9, 414tons, from foreign countries; and 541 sailing-vessels, ofaggregately 45, 218 tons, coastwise. The vessels whichcleared in 1863 were 31 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 3, 920 tons, to British colonies; 29 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 2, 800 tons, to foreign countries; 38 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 6, 178 tons, toforeign countries; and 245 sailing-vessels, of aggregately10, 321 tons, coastwise. The amount of customs, in 1862, was £5, 307. The chief imports are skins, furs, fish, oil, timber, flax, tar, hides, wine, and fruit; and the chiefexports are British manufactures, corn, and Purbeckclay. Spacions and convenient quays extend round the lip of the greater part of the town's peninsula. The harbouris a lagoon, 6 miles in extreme length from E to W, and 4¾ in extreme width from N to S; is entered, at a distance of about 3 miles S S E of the town, by a bar-passage only ¼ of a mile wide; has numerous peninsulations, islands, and sandbanks; presents the appearance, at highwater, of a beautiful inland lake; is so curiously related to the exterior sea as to have four tides aday, with suchirregular rise and fall that the oldest sailors of the placecan never predict with perfect certainty the time of highwater; suffers much inconvenience from shifting sandsat its narrow entrance, and has usually there a depth ofonly from 8 to 15 feet; is navigable only through narrow and intricate channels, with depths of from 3 to 6 fathoms, and has two lighthouses, erected in 1848, and showing fixed lights 37 and 16 feet high. The townwas chartered by W. Longespee; sent members to parliament in the time of Edward III.; sent always twofrom the time of Henry VI. and under the reform act of 1832; was reduced to the right of sending only onemember by the reform act of 1867; and is governed, under the new municipal act, by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors. The borough, prior to 1832, wasconterminate with the parish; but it now includes also Hamworthy parish and Longfleet and Parkstone tythings. Real property, in 1860, £17, 429; of which £300were in gas-works. Amount of property and incometax charged in 1863, £2, 347. Electors in 1833, 412; in 1863, 546. Pop. in 1851, 9, 255; in 1861, 9, 759. Houses, 2,034.

The parish comprises 170 acres of land and 530 of water. Pop. in 1851, 6, 718; in 1861, 6, 815. Houses, 1, 448. The livings of St. James and St. Paul are p.curacies in the diocese of Salisbury. Value of the former, £307; * of the latter, not reported. Patron ofboth, Trustees.—The sub-district contains also thetythings of Longfleet and Parkstone. Acres, 5, 671. Pop., 9, 366. Houses, 1, 956. The district comprehends also the sub-district of Lytchett, containing the parishes of Hamworthy, Lytchett-Minster, and Lytchett-Matravers; and the sub-district of Canford, containing the tythings of Great Canford and Kinson. Acres of the district, 27,023. Poor-rates in 1863, £7, 218. Pop. in 1851, 12, 890; in 1861, 13, 742. Houses, 2, 864. Marriages in 1863, 103; births, 471, of which24 were illegitimate; deaths, 309, of which 111 wereat ages under 5 years, and 10 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,057, births, 4, 237; deaths, 2, 642. The places of worship, in 1851, were 10 of the Church of England, with 3, 684 sittings; 5 of Independents, with 1,885 s.; 1 of Baptists, with 400 s.; 1of Quakers, with 393 s.; 1 of Unitarians, with 100 s.; 5of Wesleyans, with 1,037 s.; 2 of Primitive Methodists, with 253 s.; 1 undefined, with 200 s.; 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 60 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 170s. The schools were 13 public day-schools, with 813scholars; 58 private day-schools, with 1, 195 s.; 21 Sunday schools, with 2, 179 s.; and 2 evening schools foradults, with 78 s. The workhouse is in Longfleet, and has accommodation for 202 persons.


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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Poole CP       Poole SubD       Poole PLU/RegD       Dorset AncC
Place: Poole

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.