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Hilltop History – Episode 1

We’re really excited to introduce you to the first ever edition of ‘Hilltop History’, a weekly programme devoted to our area’s rich and interesting past.

Ann Taylor presents this week’s ‘Hilltop History’. In this episode:

  • Claire Ryley of Shaftesbury’s Gold Hill Museum talks with Nick Crump about the oldest item on display at the museum – ‘a swiss army knife of the prehistoric age’.
  • Dave Hardiman shares stories of the Swing Riots. They were uprisings that took place across southern England and in our area, in the 1830s. Dave talks about the local men who were accused of ‘riot and feloniously, destroying a threshing machine at Cannes’.
  • Ann Taylor visits Higher Leigh Farm at East Knoyle where she meets Nat Page. He’s unearthed hundreds of years of the farm’s history, including a connection to the man who designed St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Motcombe writer Rosie King tries to find out what the women of Shaftesbury Abbey were really like!
  • Alex Wynter has been looking at the Second World War experience of two Shaftesbury sisters. “Anna was just 17 when the war started. For the first year she stayed at home in Shaftesbury helping mainly with evacuees from London, setting up a children’s club, joining air raid precautions on Castle Hill.”
  • Bob Kelley explains our town’s connection with King Edward the Martyr.