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a Historic Market Town in the county of Dorset
In medieval times, Shaftsbury was a place of pilgrimage with many pilgrims visiting the town to worship at the shrine of St. Edward. In the 13th-century Shaftsbury was granted the rights to hold a weekly market, and in the 14th-century this was extended to two markets.
Today, on its high plateau Shaftsbury with its quaint corners and attractive little streets is a magnet for visitors. Its most famous street, Gold Hill slopes steeply down, this is quite possibly the most photographed street in Dorset. At its top is an excellent small museum where visitors can explore the town's unique farming and button manufacturing heritage. There are displays of locally made buttons and many implements used on farms; these include - scythes and Shepherd's crooks. There is a set of Shaftsbury weights and measures from the 17th-century and a fire engine from the mid 18th-century.
St.Peters Church is noted for its crypt and vaulted porch; there is an elaborately carved north parapet, and fine 15th-century stained glass. The excavated remains of the former abbey church lie within a walled garden.
The town's Grosvenor Hotel is a former coaching inn which dates from the 16th-century, although the interior is much altered some of the old features remain, and the exterior radiates all the charm of a by-gone age when it was a busy coaching centre. The arrival of the railways left the town somewhat bereft for a time, but the age of the modern motor car put it once more on the tourist trail.
During the season the town hosts several events including an annual carnival held each October, and the celebrated Gold Hill Fair is in July.
Shaftsbury has splendid views of Blackmoor Vale, and is within easy reach of the Salisbury Plains.
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Interesting & Historical Facts about Shaftesbury
In the 1973 Hovis bread TV ad filmed on Gold Hill, in Shaftesbury, Dorset, the young lad pushing his bicycle up the hill was 13 year old Carl Barlow. He went on to a 30 year career with the London Fire Brigade.More Shaftesbury facts..
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Hotels & Accommodation in Shaftesbury
Shaftesbury, Dorset, England (0.1 miles, 0.2 km)
Shaftesbury, Dorset, England (0.3 miles, 0.5 km)
Three Ivy Cross
Shaftesbury, Dorset, England (0.4 miles, 0.7 km)
Holbrook Bed and Breakfast
Shaftesbury, Dorset, England (0.5 miles, 0.8 km)
Shaftesbury, Dorset, England (0.9 miles, 1.4 km)
Shaftesbury, Dorset, England (1.4 miles, 2.3 km, direction E)
The Old Forge
Shaftesbury, Dorset, England (2.7 miles, 4.3 km, direction S)
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Random England fact:
The computer billionaire Bill Gates is reputed to have purchased £1,500,000 of slate quarried from the Lake District, for use in his swimming pool.
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