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) is a large coastal town and seaport in Dorset, on the south coast of England.
The town is 33 kilometres (21 mi) east of Dorchester, and adjoins Bournemouth to the east.
Although Poole did not become a resort like many of its neighbours, it continued to prosper as the rapid expansion of Bournemouth created a large demand for goods manufactured in Poole.
Much of the town suffered from German bombing during the war and years of neglect in the post-war economic decline.
Since 1 April 2019 the local authority is Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council which is a unitary authority.
Poole had an estimated population of 151,500 (mid 2016 census estimates) making it the second largest town in ceremonial county of Dorset.
The trade followed a three-cornered route; ships sailed to Newfoundland with salt and provisions, then carried dried and salted fish to Europe before returning to Poole with wine, olive oil, and salt.
The end of the Napoleonic Wars and the conclusion of the War of 1812 ended Britain's monopoly over the Newfoundland fisheries and other nations took over services provided by Poole's merchants at a lower cost.
Poole is represented by three parliamentary constituencies in the House of Commons; Poole, Mid Dorset and North Poole, and Bournemouth West.In the Second World War, Poole was one of the main departing points for the Normandy landings.Poole is a tourist resort, attracting visitors with its large natural harbour, history, the Lighthouse arts centre and Blue Flag beaches.Poole's Newfoundland trade rapidly declined and within a decade most merchants had ceased trading.The town grew rapidly during the industrial revolution as urbanisation took place and the town became an area of mercantile prosperity and overcrowded poverty.