1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Swanage
SWANAGE, a watering-place and seaport in the eastern parliamentary division of Dorsetshire, England, 9 m. S.S.W. from Bournemouth by sea, and 132 m. S.W. by W. from London by the London & South-Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901), 3408. It lies on the picturesque Swanage Bay, on the east coast of the so-called Isle of Purbeck, the district lying south of Poole Harbour. The coast is wild and precipitous, and numerous caves occur in the cliffs. Inland are open, high-lying downs. Swanage Bay has a beautiful sandy beach affording excellent bathing. In the town, the church of St Mary has a massive tower possibly of pre-Norman date; there are a town-hall, an institute with library and lecture hall, and memorials to a victory gained by King Alfred over the Danes in the bay in 877, and to Albert, Prince Consort. A large export trade is carried on in stone from the Purbeck quarries.