Gold Hill in Shaftesbury became famous after being included in the 1973 Hovis ‘Boy On The Bike advertisement. The scenic scenery was also featured in the 1967 film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel Far From The Madding Crowd.
Recent visitors, however, have had to remove much of the scenery since sheeting was used to cover a cottage down the hill that sold at auction last November for £165,000.
It is understood that it is being renovated after being purchased by someone outside the county. However, it is unclear if it will be used as a vacation house or their primary abode.
‘We travelled an hour out of our way to visit the famous Hovis Hill,’ one visitor stated. ‘We went hoping to grab some excellent images to frame and, of course, for Instagram, but there was so much scaffolding on display that we couldn’t shoot one in all its grandeur.”
‘Yes, the sheeting is a bit of a shame; it has spoiled it a bit,’ said another.
The 17th-century Grade II-listed cottage has been damaged by water and requires major structural work, according to a planning application submitted to Dorset Council in May. Shaftesbury Town Council claimed they had no complaints and that the view would worsen if the improvements were not completed.
Hovis Street Visitors Complained About Covered Cottage Down The Hill
‘Although one of the properties at the bottom of Gold Hill is now undergoing renovations, fortunately, Shaftesbury has a lot more to offer, including some of the most spectacular vistas in the entire UK,’ said town councillor Piers Brown.
‘All easily accessible by foot, bike, or vehicle, with one of the most colourful and distinctive High Streets.’ Shaftesbury is one of the most beautiful towns in Dorset, and the view from Gold Hill is believed to be one of the best anywhere. The historic cottages and cobbled roadway are depicted, with the Melbury Downs in the distance.
Speaking on behalf of Visit Dorset, a spokesperson said: “The scaffolding is due to a rehabilitation project bringing an old, neglected home back to life. However, Gold Hill can still be photographed at an angle that cuts out the scaffolding and exposes the lovely Melbury Downs in the background.”
Gold Hill is a steep cobblestone street in the English county of Dorset’s town of Shaftesbury. The vista from the top of the road has been characterised as “one of the most romantic sights in England.”
The 14th-century St Peter’s Church, at the top of the street, is one of the few buildings from before the 18th century still standing in Shaftesbury. The former Priest’s House (Sun and Moon Cottage) sits adjacent to the church and is still part of the Gold Hill Museum complex but now contains a shop.
The cobbled street runs alongside the buttressed walls of the precinct, which are the grounds around King Alfred the Great’s historic Shaftesbury Abbey. The walls are designated historic sites.
Their origins are unknown, although they are thought to have been constructed around the 1360s when the abbess or another authority was granted royal authorisation to build town defences. The Gold Hill Fair is held annually to generate funds for a local charity.