A well-known commercial for Hovis bread was filmed on Gold Hill, Shaftesbury back in 1973. Despite the voiceover artist speaking with a northern accent, it was this hill that was embedded into the minds of British people and popular culture for the decades that preceded it.

Standing tall at over 750 feet above sea level, Shaftesbury is one of the highest towns in England and was once known as 'Caer Palladur' in Celtic times.

Founded by Saxons, Shaftesbury in Dorset was given its second part of its name from a Saxon word burh meaning a fortified settlement.

During the 9th century, King Alfred decided to make this commanding hilltop settlement into a defended town.

 In response to potential Danish attacks, Alfred Great developed several fortified towns throughout his kingdom during the late 9th century and one of those was Shaftesbury.

Bournemouth Echo: Shaftesbury Carnival - October 5, 1992.

This place had an ideal topography as it lies on a promontory with steep slopes protecting three sides while an earthen rampart with wooden palisade covered the fourth.

Alfred also founded an Abbey there for his daughter Aethelgiva; this act marked the beginning of prosperity for Shaftsbury.

The Abbey became a highly sought-after destination for pilgrims during medieval times due to its shrine to St Edward.

The life of Edward the Martyr was cut short by his untimely death in 978. He was laid to rest at Shaftesbury Abbey but sadly Henry VIII dissolved the abbey in 1539.

Henry's dissolution of the monasteries saw Shaftesbury Abbey fall into ruin. However, its remains have been preserved and remain today to tell a host of fascinating tales.

Bournemouth Echo: Tout Hill, Shaftesbury

The excavated ruins of the abbey church can be found within a walled garden while visitors can also explore a museum filled with artefacts detailing its history.

At the summit of Gold Hill, located in Shaftesbury, rests the historic edifice of Saint Peter's Church. It stands near King Alfred's abbey and was once a pilgrim church outside the wall of the Benedictine Abbey.

The crypt and vaulted porch are notable features of this Medieval building.

Gold Hill is renowned for its picturesque collection of thatched and tiled cottages which look out over the beautiful Blackmore Vale. The view is often captured by tourists and photographers and was made popular by the advert.

Every October or late September, the area hosts Shaftesbury Carnival while each year, Gold Hill Fair is held in honour of the iconic hill and raises funds for local charities.

Bournemouth Echo: High Street, Shaftesbury.

Shaftesbury was granted a charter as far back as the 13th century which allowed for a weekly market; this was increased to two markets by the end of the 14th century.

As the 18th century arrived, Shaftesbury became an important coaching centre with five roads intersecting.

However, the steep incline of Tout Hill meant extra horses had to be utilised for hauling coaches up it.

Unfortunately, when railway lines were eventually introduced, they bypassed Shaftesbury and caused it to become somewhat of an isolated area; Gillingham is now home to the nearest railway station.

Situated atop Gold Hill, behind Shaftesbury Town Hall is a museum which showcases local Dorset Buttons from the early 19th century.

Bournemouth Echo: View towards Melbury Hill from Shaftesbury

An array of fascinating artefacts can also be found within this historical landmark.

In addition to this, there are many notable buildings around Shaftesbury such as the Old School House on Abbey Walk, making it worth a visit despite its distance from main tourist routes.

The picturesque town of Shaftesbury is within easy reach of the stunning Dorset coastline and just two miles away is Zig Zag Hill, a great spot for taking in views across Cranborne Chase.

This region straddles the border between Dorset and Wiltshire and was historically used as a royal hunting ground. Nowadays it mainly consists of grassland landscapes, with sparse tree coverings here and there.

Thomas Hardy was so taken with the area, he even dedicated an entire novel to this area and renamed it 'Shaston'.