GOLD Hill in Shaftesbury, with its steep cobbles and thatched cottages, has to be one of Britain's most photographed scenes – it features in the 1967 film of Far From the Madding Crowd, as well as the Ridley Scott directed advert for Hovis bread.

It’s home to a popular weekend fair each July. Although the festival experienced a Covid-induced hiatus last year, it's due to make a return on July 4.

King Alfred founded the now ruined Benedictine nunnery for his daughter and Henry VIII’s unfortunate first wife, Catherine of Aragon, stayed there.

However, the most notable royal “visit” was from Edward the Martyr. He was murdered by his wicked stepmother at Corfe Castle and laid to rest in Shaftesbury Abbey, making it a focus of pilgrimage.

A lead casket believed to contain his bones is now in the possession of Russian Orthodox monks living in Brookwood Surrey.

The removal was controversial and the abbey museum hopes to get the bones back one day.Bournemouth Echo:

Shaftesbury is one of the oldest towns in England, thought to have been founded in 950 BC by the legendary king of the Britons Rud Hud Hudibras. It once had a castle, a grand Abbey, three mints and twelve churches.

These pictures, taken from various locations across the town, likely date from circa 1900 to circa 1930.