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Poole is a coastal town, port and tourist destination in the county of Dorset, England. The town had a population of 138,299 in the 2001 census, and is famed for its large natural harbour (the second largest in the world, the largest being Sydney, Australia), Poole is situated on the shores of the English channel, with the resort of Bournemouth to the East.

Prominent employers in Poole include Barclays Bank, Hamworthy Engineering, Poole Packaging, Sunseeker Motoryachts and Ryvita.

Sunseeker Motoryachts, Poole Harbour.

Sunseeker sets the Luxury Standard.

The company builds yachts from 37’ to over 100’ skillfully constructed using composite materials. Sunseeker have also now built their first superyacht measuring 37 m (135’) in length called THE SNAPPER.

Sunseeker yachts began as ‘Poole Powerboats’ and the first yacht built under the Sunseeker name was manufactured in the mid-1970s and the companies name changed in the early 1980’s. Now each Sunseeker yacht bears a hull derived from their racing experience.

Sunseeker has been the recipient of two International Superyacht Design awards and is a multiple time recipient of the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement.

Poole Harbour is essentially a drowned river valley. It was formed, along with Poole Bay, when a rising sea broke through the chalk ridge which had then connected Old Harry Rocks in Studland Bay with the Needles in the Isle of Wight. Geologists believe that this large river flowed eastwards from the Dartmoor region in Devon, carrying with it the massive deposits of flint, gravel and clay which are to be seen all the way to Hampshire. The Harbour as we know it was formed at the end of the last Ice Age around 7,000 years ago. Since then mudflats and salt marshes have developed, adding to the uniqueness of this beautiful Harbour.

 

There is strong archaeological evidence that sea levels in Poole Harbour were considerably lower in ancient times than they are today. It is therefore likely that prehistoric settlements around the Harbour are now beneath the waves. One artifact found off Brownsea Island is the Poole Logboat. This is 10 meters long and was cut from a giant oak tree. Dating to around 295BC it is our oldest evidence of the use of the Harbour.

The Romans used Poole as an invasion port for their conquest of southern Britain. At the time of the Norman conquest Poole may have been a tiny fishing village. Huge deposits of oyster shells dating to late Saxon or early Norman times lie under Poole and Hamworthy Quays. The port steadily grew in importance and in 1433 was made Dorset's Port of the Staple. The 14th century Town Cellars were once used to store wool prior to export. Medieval Poole had trading links from the Baltic to Spain and Italy. The 17th century saw the start of a transatlantic trade which became vital to the town. In particular, trade with Newfoundland was the foundation of many fortunes among Poole merchants. In the early 18th century Poole had more ships trading with North America than any other English port.
At the start of the 19th century 90% of the working population was involved in the activity of the Harbour. However, one hundred years later, that figure had dropped to just 20%. This was partly due to the new railway and new industries not associated with the Harbour, but also resulted from the advent of deeper draught vessels which could not use Poole.
Since that time the Port has regained its importance and, in the last twenty years, has seen a considerable increase in prosperity through a programme of modernisation which has redeveloped the commercial links with Europe. Today, Poole is a busy and thriving Channel Port.

The town is home to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Poole Pirates Speedway team, Poole Pottery and Penski Indy cars.  The Merck Group – the world's leading manufacturer of liquid crystals found in computers, watches and TV sets, has a centre for excellence in Poole. Brownsea Island is one of the few sites where red squirrels survive and current numbers are approximately 150.  The beaches have won fourteen Blue Flag awards and two Premier Seaside Awards.  Its heathland is a site of special scientific interest.

 

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