The Dorset Historic Towns Project report on Shaftesbury.
The historic urban character of Shaftesbury is closely bound up with its distinctive landscape setting and the quality of its historic fabric, as well as its significant early history. Shaftesbury's dramatic hilltop setting and spectacular views are major elements in the its distinctiveness. The late Saxon and medieval town plan survives virtually complete, but the area of the Alfredian burh has largely lost its earlier settlement pattern. Most later suburban development has taken place outside the historic core to the east of the town.
Good survival of the historic town structure is complemented by a large number of historic buildings. The existence of many unbroken groups of historic buildings, with little disruption from modern development, is a major factor which highlights the contribution made by historic elements to Shaftesbury's urban character. The harmonious use of local building materials helps underscore its local setting and emphasises the linkage with the surrounding landscape.
Here is a summary of the report (February 2011).
Detailed sections of the report
We have broken down the full report into individual sections, please select one of the parts to read: