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Purbeck

Purbeck, district (1991 pop. 42,600), Dorset, England. Purbeck is filled with the clays of the Hampshire Basin, and is therefore largely infertile. Some minor farming occurs on the chalk plateaus and ridges in the northern and southern extremities of the district. Purbeck is drained by the Trent and Frome rivers. Wareham and Swanage are the main towns of the area. Marble quarrying, oil-field work, and nuclear power plant operation comprise Purbeck's economic activities. The region was once thought to be infested with smugglers, who could easily hide in its forests and on its ridges. Poole Harbour attracts many boaters, while the district's varied strata appeals to geologists. Purbeck gets its name from the ancient Isle of Purbeck.

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Purbeck

Purbeck. Dark-grey or grey-greenish hard limestone, called a marble, originating in the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset, England, and almost entirely composed of univalve and bivalve remains fossilized and bound together. It was extensively employed by English medieval architects for colonnettes, shafts, monuments, effigies, and tombs because of its attractive properties, being capable of taking a spectacular polish. Patterned with fossils, the dark shiny marble shafts set against ordinary limestone contribute to the sumptuous richness of First Pointed Gothic interiors such as those of Lincoln, Salisbury, and Winchester Cathedrals, where clustered or compound piers may be found featuring the material.

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Purbeck marble

Purbeck marble a hard limestone from Purbeck in Dorset, which is polished and used for decorative parts of buildings, fonts, and effigies.

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