Places to visit

Travel- Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, Dorset- Bread, Bike, Camera, Action

Can you remember the advert from 1973 which features a boy on a bike cycling up Gold Hill with his bread?

If its a rather distant memory here is the link to the Hovis advert.

We visited in January and the street was just as in the advert ( except being grey and overcast). From the information we saw at the Gold Hill Museum it would seem to get very crowded in the summer. There were just a couple of tourists and in one of my pictures progress has taken place and the bike has been replaced by a car.

What has not changed much are the cobbles on the street. There is also that unique wall which was is grade 1 listed and was originally built to protect the Shaftesbury Abbey which was said to have been build by Alfred the Great. The walls are said to date from around 1360

The Gold Hill museum located right at the top of the hill has an interesting collection of the history of the town. The town is said to have been a settlement from prehistoric times. It grew up to be a trading centre and they discuss its role as a Chalk and Cheese. The location meant that dairy and arable produce were produced locally and the town market was a commercial centre to trade these goods.

There is a wonderful walk to in front of the Abbey and the vistas are quite spectacular. In January the grey skies and rain give a good impression of what winter was like centuries ago .

The museum also talks about the local pub of that time, the Bowles Arms also known as the Sun and Moon Inn and how it was know as the doss house. A term familiar to many even today.

The filming of the television advert for Hovis bread in 1973 changed the towns’ status forever. It was directed by Sir Ridley Scott and the setting was meant to be a northern industrial town. The art of creating a story for cinema is definitely on show here as Shaftesbury could not be more different. Gold Hill has since become a landmark and shown in many places.

The name of Gold Hill has a certain irony as the houses are rather sought after. Just off Gold Hill is another famous street – Park Lane, however this is for real and local people not a square on a Monopoly Board or in Central London.

The St Peters church is 14th century and located at the top of the hill.

Finally do visit the Oxfam bookshop nearby as it has a very good stock and covers so many aspects of life. This is an ideal place to get books about the area, or other topics or music to inspire now that you are retired.

Enjoy your travels and retirement.

Useful links

Gold Hill Museum 

Shaftesbury Wikepedia,_Shaftesbury

Oxfam bookshop

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