Studland (St. Nicholas)

STUDLAND (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union of Wareham and Purbeck, hundred of Rowbarrow, Wareham division of Dorset, 5½ miles (E. by N.) from Corfe-Castle; containing 453 inhabitants. This parish comprises 5834 acres, of which 4105 are common or waste. It includes Brownsea and several smaller islands, and is bounded on the north by Poole harbour, on the east by Studland bay, and on the south-east by Swanwich bay: in the last direction is a signal station, on a hill called Ballard down. Studland bay, though an open roadstead, affords excellent anchorage for ships drawing fourteen or fifteen feet of water. Brownsea is of an oval form, about three miles in circumference, and anciently contained a hermitage and chapel, dedicated to St. Andrew, of which there are now no remains. The castle at its eastern extremity was built in the reign of Elizabeth, by the inhabitants of Poole, for the defence of their port; adjoining is a platform, upon which, in time of war, a few pieces of ordnance are mounted. In the parish is also a quay, where vessels of considerable burthen can lie conveniently for taking in or discharging cargoes. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 10. 5., and in the gift of Mrs. Michel: the tithes have been commuted for £135. 10., and the glebe comprises 22 acres. The church is supposed to have been built about the time of the Conquest. On Studland common are many barrows, either British or Danish; the principal is 90 feet in perpendicular height, and is called Agglestone, or Stone Barrow, from its being surmounted by an enormous circular red-sandstone, eighteen feet high, and computed to weigh 400 tons.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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