In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Shaftesbury like this:
Shaftesbury (or Shaston), mun. bor. and market town, in N. of Dorset, 3½ miles SW. of Semley ry. sta 28 miles NE. of Dorchester, and 101 from London, 179 ac., pop. 2312; P.O., T.O., 2 Banks. Shaftesbury is a very ancient place, either built or rebuilt by King Alfred, from whom it acquired a great Benedictine nunnery, which received the remains of Edward the Martyr, and was the place where King Canute died. ...
It is a purely agricultural town. It was a borough by prescription, first chartered by Elizabeth. It returned 2 members to Parliament from the time of Edward I. until 1832, and 1 member from 1832 until 1885. The parliamentary limits extended into Wilts.
Shaftesbury is now part of North Dorset district. Click here for graphs and data of how North Dorset has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Shaftesbury itself, go to Units and Statistics.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Shaftesbury in North Dorset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 26th March 2017
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