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DORSETSHIRE takes its name from the shire town, or from the tribe of the Dorsættas, and lies on the south coast of England, being in the west, between Hampshire and Devonshire. On the north-east it is bounded by Wiltshire, on the east by Hampshire, on the south by the English Channel, on the west by Devonshire, and on the north-west by Somersetshire. The shore line is the only natural boundary; its shape is something like a pyramid, with the head to the west, but having a spur on the south side, which forms the Isle of Portland. The breadth, from east to west, is 54 miles; and the length, from north to south, varies from 4 to 31 miles.
Transcribed from Kelly's Directory of Dorset, 1911