Sister cities of Shaftesbury
Shaftesbury //, historically also known in the Brythonic language as Caer Vynnydd y Paladr (Lit. "The Hillfort of the Spears") and then Shaston //, is a town in Dorset, England. It is situated on the A30 road, 20 miles (32 kilometres) west of Salisbury, near to the border with Wiltshire. The town is built 718 ft (219 m) above sea level on the side of a chalk and greensand hill, which is part of Cranborne Chase, the only significant hilltop settlement in Dorset. It is one of the oldest and highest towns in Britain.
In 2001, the town had a population of 6,665 with 3,112 dwellings, only a small increase from 1991.
Many of the older buildings in the town are of the local greensand, while others built from the grey Chilmark limestone, much of which was salvaged from the demolished Shaftesbury Abbey, and have thatched roofs. Tourism is one of the main industries.
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. A particularly scenic road is Gold Hill, the steep cobbled street that film director Ridley Scott used as the setting for an iconic television advertisement for Hovis bread that was frequently broadcast in the 1970s and 1980s. Shaftesbury is also celebrated for its ruined abbey and the nearby Wardour Castle. About 2 mi (3 km) to the west of Shaftesbury rises the conical mound of Duncliffe Hill, visible for miles and home to Duncliffe Wood and a nature reserve.
In Thomas Hardy's Wessex, the Blackmore Vale is the "Vale of the Little Dairies" where Tess is employed, and Shaftesbury itself also features (either as Shaston or "Palladour") both in Tess of the d'Urbervilles and, especially, Jude the Obscure. "Palladour" shows that Hardy was aquiainted with the old Brythonic name "Caer Vynnydd y Paladr".
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