One of two English kings named “The Great”; saviour of Anglo-Saxon Wessex from the Danes; creator of a chain of fortified “burhs” including Shaftesbury; founder of Shaftesbury Abbey; law-maker, scholar and father of the English navy. Alfred’s list of achievements is long and impressive, but how much of his reputation is based on contemporary spin and image-building by later generations? Noted historian of the Anglo-Saxons, Professor Barbara Yorke of the University of Winchester, will consider the real and the legendary King Alfred in her illustrated lecture for The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society at Shaftesbury Town Hall on Tuesday 03 October at 7.30p.m. The first of the Society’s winter series, this lecture is free to members while non-members may pay £5 at the door.
Travel website TripAdvisor has awarded its Certificate of Excellence for 2017 to Gold Hill Museum. 61% of nearly 200 contributors to the website rated the Museum as “excellent” while the average score was 4.5 out of 5. The most recent reviewers enthused about a “brilliant MUST VISIT museum with FREE entry.” Chairman David Silverside, pictured in the Museum Garden with Certificate, was “exceptionally proud that the dedicated work of our 60 volunteers has been recognised. The Museum offers something to interest all ages – film footage of D Day tanks rolling along Shaftesbury High Street, Dorset’s oldest fire engine, and photographs and paintings showing how the town’s appearance has altered.” Shaftesbury’s top tourist attraction, according to TripAdvisor, is open daily 10.30a.m. to 4.30p.m. until 31 October.
Contributors to the 2017-18 programme of Shaftesbury & District Historical Society lectures include a popular local history writer, a former Lord Mayor of London, an Ambassador to Japan, two leading academics, and a student of statues. The historical subjects covered include Dorset Smugglers, William Beckford Senior, Statues within 50 miles of Shaftesbury, Shakespeare’s Guildhall, and a 13th century Abbess of Shaftesbury. Professor Barbara Yorke of the University of Winchester starts the season at Shaftesbury Town Hall at 7.30p.m. on Tuesday 03 October with an assessment of King Alfred: Man and Myth. Lectures are free to S&DHS members while non-members may pay at the door.