Great Houses near Shaftesbury and their Owners

Local History Librarian and Archivist Ray Simpson has created a new display on the histories of great estates within easy reach of Shaftesbury. These include Old and New Wardour Castles (film locations for Robin Hood and Billy Elliott respectively), Ferne House at Donhead St Andrew, Pythouse (scene of a Swing Riot in 1830), Stourhead, and Fonthill. Most of William Beckford’s Gothic Fonthill Abbey (pictured) has disappeared and several of these properties are still privately owned. Ray’s exhibition is, however, easily accessible on the first floor landing outside the Library of Gold Hill Museum, 10.30 to 4.30 daily until October 31.