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Shaftesbury is a town and civil parish in Dorset, England. It is situated on the A30 road, 20mi west of Salisbury, near to the border with Wiltshire. It is the only significant hilltop settlement in Dorset, being built about 215m above sea level on a greensand hill on the edge of Cranborne Chase.The town looks over the Blackmore Vale, part of the River Stour basin. From different viewpoints, it is possible to see at least as far as Glastonbury Tor to the northwest.Shaftesbury is the site of the former Shaftesbury Abbey, which was founded in 888 by King Alfred and became one of the richest religious establishments in the country, before being destroyed in the Dissolution in 1539. Adjacent to the abbey site is Gold Hill, the steep cobbled street made famous in the 1970s as the setting for Ridley Scotts television advertisement for Hovis bread.In the 2011 census the town's civil parish had a population of 7,314.Shaftesbury is in Dorset. With our custom trip planner, United Kingdom vacations can be built around trips to Shaftesbury and other destinations in United Kingdom.
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