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Hilltop History – Episode 8

Listen to episode 8 of Alfred’s weekly ‘Hilltop History’ show, presented by Elaine Barratt.

On this week’s show:

  • Shaftesbury historian Claire Ryley talks with Nick Crump about a piece of inscribed stone uncovered during excavations of Shaftesbury Abbey in 1902. The carved Anglo-Saxon text revealed the date of the Abbey’s founding. Sadly, the marble went missing, but Claire explains that the museum has a reasonable record of this artefact. (1:24)
  • Alfred’s Bob Kelley remembers Laura Sydenham’s 1957 Shaftesbury drama production of ‘The Sleeping Monk’. The play chronicled 1,000 years of Shaftesbury history. It was the first time Bob heard mention of ‘Palladwr’, said to be a fortified encampment. But Bob questions whether references to this hilltop fort are an early example of ‘fake news.’ (12:28)
  • Rosie King continues sharing the stories of the women of Shaftesbury Abbey. Today, she features Abbess Marie. She was a powerful character with royal connections, and she presided over the Abbey during the reign of King John. Rosie has discovered that Marie was ‘an astute businesswoman, proving the Abbey’s rights to a variety of lands and manors. They included land and property in Bradford-on-Avon, Pimperne, Sturminster Marshall and Nylund. (17:12)
  • We find out more about the oldest house in Shaftesbury. Claire Ryley talks with Andrew Ginger, owner of the Old School House, which enjoys a strong connection to Hardy’s novel ‘Jude the Obscure’. (27:35)
  • Dave Hardiman has been flicking through old editions of the Western Gazette to uncover the stories that were making Shaftesbury’s news 150 years ago. Drink-related anti-social behaviour at a long-forgotten pub made the headlines. And the first stone was laid as work began to build Shaftesbury’s Westminster Memorial Hospital. (31:38)

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