Gold Hill and Alfred the Great blue plaque in Shaftesbury
An artist's impression of a busy market day at the top of Gold Hill before the current Town Hall was built in 1827.
The main features still in place are Shaftesbury Abbey precinct wall on the right together with the Sun and Moon Inn just below the church.
The six sheep in a pen in the front of the illustration represent a tenant's right to keep these animal's - as bestowed on all cottages on Gold Hill. This permission remains in place to the present day!
King Alfred founded Shaftesbury Abbey in AD888 - it was the first nunnery not connected to a male community and became the model for all other Royal nunneries. His daughter Aethelgifu, was the first Abbess.
Other items in the picture include the Poultry Cross, a Fish Stall and an Apple Tree Seller occupying regular sites in this thriving market place.
Artist: Janet Swiss (who also provided a complementary mural of the same period in Swans Yard, off the High Street).
Alfred the Great (849 – 26 October 899) (Old English: Ælfrēd, Ælfrǣd, "elf counsel") was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred successfully defended his kingdom against the Viking attempt at conquest, and by the time of his death had become the dominant ruler in England. He is the only English monarch to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself "King of the Anglo-Saxons".Details of Alfred's life are described in a work by the 10th century Welsh scholar and bishop Asser. Alfred's reputation has been that of a learned and merciful man who encouraged education and improved his kingdom's legal system, military structure and his people's quality of life.