' The Nature and History of Sherborne Scenery in general considered in its relation to the Underlying Rocks.
The scenery of Dorset is not, of course, all of one type. The south-eastern corner, towards Poole and Bournemouth, is of an entirely different character from anything else in the county.
That is because the Chalk between Blandford and Corfe Castle is folded into a trough-shaped basin, and this trough is filled with beds of clay and sand, more recent than the Chalk, which occur nowhere else in Dorset. It is a very beautiful piece of country, with commons and heaths, gorse and Scotch-fir trees, but it is, in a sense, alien to the scenery of the rest of the county, and geologically it belongs to Hampshire rather than to Dorset. From beneath this trough the Chalk rises with a steady lift to the northwest, until, between the south-western corner of Salisbury Plain and Cheddington, it terminates abruptly in a long crescent-shaped escarpment.
The rocks which rise from beneath the foot of the Chalk hills belong to a different and older system altogether. They lie in beds of alternating limestone, clay, or sand, and form a broad belt of undulating country which extends north-westward into Somerset, to the foot of the Mendip and Polden Hills - fragments of lands already immeasurably ancient long before these Dorset rocks had any existence.
The part of this borderland country I am describing lies between the Vale of Sparkford on the north, the River Parret on the west, and the Chalk Downs on the south and east. Sherborne lies in a hollow of the hills very near the heart of it. This preliminary paper falls quite naturally into three parts.... '
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