POOLE, A PORTRAIT IN COLOUR by David Burnett
Poole owes its prosperity to the Harbour that shares its name. The Harbour’s sheltered waters and its double high tide turned the tiny fishing village of ‘La Pole’ into a bustling medieval port, notorious for its pirates. But the town’s Golden Age was the 18th century, and was founded almost entirely on one product – cod. Every spring the Poole fishing fleet of up to 300 vessels headed west to the fishing grounds off Newfoundland, their holds laden with goods for the settlers. The catch was salted and dried, then shipped back across the Atlantic to feed Catholic Europe, from where the fleet returned to Poole with wine, olive oil and dried fruit. Eventually, boom turned to bust, and the town’s decline was only halted by Bournemouth’s dramatic growth. But the legacy of the town’s long past is still evident. Few visitors leave without a day on the beaches, a visit to Brownsea Island, or a boat trip round what is surely the most beautiful natural harbour in Britain.
Large format paperback
Illustrated in colour throughout