Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, Dorset

Gold Hill Shaftesbury Dorset

We took this photo a few years ago when we lived in the south of England.

And you will find it in the English Cottages section of Quillcards and you can use it in one of your ecards.

There’s a free trial that allows you to use any of the images in Quillcards, so you can definitely use the photo, just click here to get started.

Gold Hill

The photo shows a view of the steep cobbled street named Gold Hill in the town of Shaftesbury. If you look past the cottages you can see how the hill tumbles down to the plain below.

It’s quite a surprise to enter Shaftesbury from one direction and then suddenly find yourself at the top of Gold Hill looking down over the Blackmore Vale in the distance.

Gold Hill is famous as the setting for a television advertisement for Hovis bread that was shown in the UK in the 1970s. Made by the film director Ridley Scott, you can see it here in this YouTube clip.

You might catch a reference to ‘doorsteps’ in the narrator’s voiceover to the advertisement, which is a way of describing particularly thick slices of bread.

Shaftesbury In Context

The town of Shaftesbury is in the county of Dorset, which is in the south west of England.

You can see its location on this map:

map of Shaftesbury in the county of Dorset

Dorset has a rich history. You can get a flavour of that rural history from Thomas Hardy’s novels. And although his later novels took in other surrounding counties, Dorset was always at the heart of his work, fictionalised and based on the medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex.

And it is on the Dorset coast, on the beach at Lyme Regis, that young Joseph Anning found a part of a fossil of an ichthyosaur in 1811 and where his sister Mary found the remainder of the skeleton in 1812.

The fossil was several feet long and the find was seen to some Victorians as a threat to the creationist vision of history and was highly controversial.

Because of the number of fossils found along the coast of Dorset, it is fondly known as the Jurassic coast and the home of the modern science of palaeontology.


  1. says

    I remember that Hovis advert very well (am I showing my age now? :-) ). What a beautiful place Gold Hill is – I haven’t been there but I’d love to see it one day. Do you know if the cottages are still lived in?

    • David Bennett says

      Sorry for taking so long to reply, Angela. I normally get an email alert when someone has commented. About the cottages, they were definitely lived in when we went there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *