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The Iconic Gold Hill of Shaftesbury

Gold Hill, in the town of Shaftesbury in the English county of Dorset, is a picturesque steep cobbled street. The street was made famous by the Hovis bread advertisement, featuring a bread delivery boy pushing his bike up the steep cobbled hill. Since then, pictures of Gold Hill have appeared on the covers of many books about Dorset and rural England, as well as on countless chocolate boxes and calendars. Previously, Gold Hill appeared in the 1967 film version of Thomas Hardy's classic Far From the Madding Crowd, but it was the Hovis commercial directed by Ridley Scott that shot this beautiful location, along with the town of Shaftesbury, to fame. Gold Hill became embedded in the nation’s consciousness as an icon of Dorset. But many people still refer to it as "Hovis Hill".

To one side of Gold Hill, facing the famous cottages, is a buttressed wall of the Shaftesbury Abbey built by King Alfred the Great. The wall is presumed to have been built in the 14th century. At the top of the street is yet another 14th-century relic, the St Peter's Church, and one of the few buildings remaining in Shaftesbury from before the 18th century. Adjacent to the church is the former Priest's House, now part of Gold Hill Museum.


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The classic Hovis advert.

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