Gold Hill, Shaftesbury

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Gold Hill is a steep cobbled street in the town of Shaftesbury in the English county of Dorset. It is famous for its picturesque appearance; the view looking down from the top of the street has been described as "one of the most romantic sights in England." The image of this view appears on the covers of many books about Dorset and rural England, as well as on countless chocolate boxes and calendars. Gold Hill has also been used as a setting for film and television. It appears in the 1967 film version of Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd. The street is the main setting for the 1973 "Boy on Bike" television advertisement for Hovis bread, which has been voted Britain's favourite advertisement of all time. It was directed by Ridley Scott, and includes the distinctive main theme of Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 9. For this reason, the hill is still known to many people as "Hovis Hill". Gold Hill also featured in a recent advert for supermarket Morrisons. The tops of some of the houses along gold hill are on the cover of J.K. Rowling's book "The Casual Vacancy". At the top of the street is the 14th-century St Peter's Church, one of the few buildings remaining in Shaftesbury from before the 18th century. Adjacent to the church is the former Priest's House (Sun & Moon Cottage), which is still part of the Gold Hill Museum building but is now housing a small shop. The ancient cobbled street runs beside the Grade I listed walls of the ancient Shaftesbury Abbey built by King Alfred the Great; the origins of the wall are not known, but it is presumed to have been built in the 1360s, when the abbess or other authority was given royal permission to build town defences. Each year the town hosts the Gold Hill Fair to raise money for local charities.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Elliott Brown on Flickr

Gold Hill An artist's impression of a busy market day at the top of Gold Hill before the current Town Hall was built in 1827. The main features still in place are Shaftesbury Abbey precinct wall on the right together with the Sun and Moon Inn just below the church. The six sheep in a pen in the front of the illustration represent a tenant's right to keep these animal's - as bestowed on all cottages on Gold Hill. This permission remains in place to the present day! King Alfred founded Shaftesbury Abbey in AD888 - it was the first nunnery not connected to a male community and became the model for all other Royal nunneries. His daughter Aethelgifu, was the first Abbess. Other items in the picture include the Poultry Cross, a Fish Stall and an Apple Tree Seller occupying regular sites in this thriving market place. Artist: Janet Swiss (who also provided a complementary mural of the same period in Swans Yard, off the High Street).

Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, United Kingdom where they was