Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Gold Hill, Shaftesbury

One of the places we stopped off at on our way to our holiday accommodation was Shaftesbury in Dorset. I wanted to visit Gold Hill, a place imprinted on my mind from a Hovis bread advert that used to feature on TV in the 1970's.
Shaftesbury was founded 1000 years ago by King Alfred and it is one of England's historic market towns.
This part of Dorset was featured in the novels of Thomas Hardy and there is a trail of all the various places featured in his books.

For us, we have just arrived and it is tea time so what better than to see the banner stating cream teas across the entrance to this hall next to St. Peter's church.

 Along one wall is a mural featuring the history of Shaftesbury Abbey

The consecration of the Abbey 888 ad.

The translation of Edward, King and Martyr 979 ad

The visitation of the Papal Legate 1240 ad

The dissolution of the Abbey 1539 ad

 Looking down  on Gold Hill from the hall

And about to walk down the hill which is next to the hall

and resisting the temptation  to go into the book shop

We walk down Gold Hill with the Abbey walls on the right
epitome of rural charm from a bygone era

It gets steeper the further down one goes

We are now walking back up

The view at the bottom of the hill over looking Blackmore Vale

And behind us the walled garden containing the excavated foundations of the once important and influential Abbey were one can also enjoy the aroma of over 100 herbs.
We did not go in as we wanted to be 'on our way'. 


Terri said...

Gold Hill in Shaftsbury... is there a shaft to a gold mine? Maybe in the beginning? I love the Abby pictures. All the faces are different and such pretty colors. The whole town is a picture. I love the bygone eras. There are still cobblestones, and some have been traded out for repairs. Do you think they were wise enough to put their town on a hill to allow the flatter land for farming? Seems we still haven't learned to cherish our farmlands.
Thanks you, Barb, for taking us along. As usual, I enjoyed our little trip. You are a blessing!

Vee said...

Oh that is a familiar view that I love to see...not because I've ever seen it in person, but because I've seen it in pictures. Yours are better...more thorough.

The colors in the banner are so vivid and clear. Very nice.

I would not have been climbing back up Gold Hill, I would have been crawling. That's incredibly steep! (Or maybe not; it looks that way to me. ;> )

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

I enjoyed this so much. I'm reading a Hardy Novel now, and its very interesting to see the country and dwellings, I cannot believe how steep those streets are. Were there donkeys, like in Clovelly?
Thanks so much.

Winifred said...

Great photos Barbara. Is that cobbled street the one where they did the Hovis ad?

You visit such lovely places. We're off to the Cotswolds in a week! First time ever & we're going on a bus trip of all things. I know we'd never drive there so I'll put up with the bus. A new experience.

Annie said...

That steep hill with the row houses march along, matching the slope of the road is pretty impressive. The day looks so cool and inviting.

Trisha said...

Wow! Just to visit a place with so much history is almost unimaginable. But, for those who live their, it must be somewhat of a fairytale. Thanks Barbara, for showing us how people live on the other side of the world.

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hello Barbara

Another lovely walk and I thank you! Is this near Lyme Regis? I feel when I make my trip to England I will be very prepared because of your blog.

Hope the rest of your week is a good one.

Tracy :)

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

That is a beautifully painted mural; all the figures are so graceful and their clothing is quite interesting to observe too. I like the touch of storm clouds on the dissolution segment of it.

What a delightful street of houses! I like the doors that are painted bright colors, and the two-tone building in white and stone gray. I was observing how the owners balance their flower pots on that steep hill. It must be quite something to step our your door on a rainy day and have to navigate that steepness!

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Beautiful and oh so charming!

Mmm said...

I can;t not think of the old Hovis bred adverts when I see these pics of the hill. so lovely. Always wanted to go there. thanks for taking us there, by extension, as it were.

I hope your summer is going well, full of God's bounty. :)

La Petite Gallery said...

Thank you Barbara,
I could live there in a heartbeat. It looks like Mrs Marple lived there. I love all the English mysteries.
Beautiful and so quaint.

Anonymous said...

Barbara, I do love all your exploring, wonderful photos and bits of history. Well done! I hope to see it all some day.

nikkipolani said...

It is just amazing to be touching, seeing, walking on something that's 1000 years old. Just kind of hard to fathom. And then to glance over at the kiosk for Fujifilm... Great tour, Barbara; thanks!

Illusionfree said...

Wow! Its so lovely! I really liked those murals. The walk is interesting too,filled with the scent of the history of all those who would have walked there before us. Like all your journeys, this one also transported me to another world. Thanks for taking me along.:)

Needled Mom said...

Now...that is quite a uphill/downhill walk!!! It is truly a beautiful place from bygone days. Everything still looks so well maintained.

Jenny Woolf said...

When we visited Shaftesbury, we had our bikes - we did NOT cycle either up or down Gold Hill! But we too were impressed by St. Peter's church and were shown around by a very nice gentleman there.

Lori Zehr said...

Very interesting!

Adrienne said...

What a wonderful place to visit! I love the mural. I would stand and look at every detail if I were there. Could I pass up the bookstore? Maybe not. Love the hill but I wasn't walking back uphill after the walk down!

a woman who is said...

Lovely trips you are taking this summer. I don't know how you resisted that bookstore, or the Abbey garden with 100 herbs. You must be on to bigger and better things. I will be posting a road trip soon and couldn't help but think about you and Sara as you both are so good about giving us a look around.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful potted history of Shaftesbury, and excellent photos. I am sending you this comment from Gold Hill Books in Shaftesbury - the bookshop you resisted visiting! I do hope you will pop in to see us next time (we have quite a wide range of gardening books) - but delighted you enjoyed your visit. Your write up does the town proud. Thank you.