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Opened A.D. 1825.

By William Augustus Miles - 1826.

Sample text :-


A small tract of ground presents itself to the traveller midway between Whitechurch and Milbourne St. Andrew, two villages on the great western road which runs through Dorsetshire, the latter being eight miles east of Dorchester, the former five miles west of Blandford.

This elevated down affords an extensive view. The eye rests upon the distant range of chalk hills which forms so important a barrier to the singularly interesting island of Purbeck; and this extensive line of chalk, protecting a wide plain from the south-western gales, reaches from Studland Bay to Bindon, and is a ridge well worthy of the antiquary's notice. In Studland Bay, we find the curious relic called the Agglestone, an immense iron sand stone, weighing according to the computation of Guarriers, about four hundred tons; it is on the summit of a large barrow, at the base of which is a morass, except on the western side whence is the approach, which is on a tongue of land, and protected by an earthwork. This stone of sacrifice, if such it had ever been, by sloping to the westward* presents a full view of its surface, so that the ceremonies there performed might be seen by an immense population on the surrounding land. It is narrow at its base and top, and by over-hanging, appears to balance this huge rock, giving the idea expressed by KING in his Munimenta Antiqua, that it was an unfinished rocking stone.

At a short distance north-west from this Agglestone, is a mound of earth, on the top of which appear from beneath the soil, large fragments of stone which are of considerable size; and owing to their locality as relating to the Aggie-stone, are worthy of a closer examination than I had an opportunity to make. The range of chalk is immediately to the southward of the Agglestone, and abuts boldly into the sea, giving a fine specimen of vertical strata to the geologist. On its ridge, or to use a more common term, on the swine's back, is a cluster of tumuli which give to that spot the name of Nine Barrow Down. One of these I explored, but it contained only the burnt ashes of a young person. Proceeding westward, the ridge abounds with earthworks, tumuli, &c. and after leading into Flower's Barrow, a fine earthen-work, it ceases abruptly at Ariskmill, and then again rises to a considerable height, bearing on its summit the remains of a former city, unnoticed by any historian, but of most peculiar character, being an immense tract of ground formerly enclosed by stone walls of enormous thickness, measuring on the average from fifteen to eighteen feet. It is a parallel-logram in shape, and its entrance is flanked by two walls, while the bases of the towers, between which stood the gate.... '

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