Welcome walkers! Leave no trace…

Here’s the basic guidance for visitors:

  • Countryside code applies
  • Please take litter home
  • No fires or camping
  • Dogs cause regular problems on this land
    • dogs MUST be on lead at all times
    • clean up after your dog
    • out of control dogs may be shot (has happened locally; no-one likes it)
  • No horses or bicycles

Parking – park on the street in Weston if you come up the Cotswold Way, or you’ll be Ok to use the Old Crown car park in Kelston if you buy a pint and ask them – come up Cullimore’s Lane.

To the bereaved – it’s OK to scatter ashes. Please do not leave anything non-biodegradable. Click “More” below.

For permissions for other activities contact kelstonroundhill@gmail.com

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Robert MacFarlane’s word of the day – “numinous”

The author Robert MacFarlane today asks:

have you had experiences of landscape/nature you would characterise as “numinous”? What/where were they, & what was the nature of the nūmen?

He shares a “word of the day” via Twitter, and his word for today is “numinous” – revealing the presence of the divine; giving rise to a feeling of spiritual transcendence, especially in nature or art (from Latin nūmen – divinity, divine power).

Isn’t this what people ultimately seek when they go to remote natural places? The foothills of such an experience are perhaps being deeply refreshed by a walk or profoundly moved by a view. But it goes way beyond that.

 At Sue Boyle’s writing workshop we heard the profoundly moving raw experience of a recently bereaved woman who had been transfixed sitting on Kelston Roundhill looking out toward Bristol and Wales: engaged, transformed, unable to move for hours while processing her bereavement. We tried to evoke something of her experience in our input to the work; a sensitive whiff of it survives in the shared poem (text here).   She described it as compelling, neither loving nor frightening, relentless. If we were being analytical we would have called her experience numinous. Our original input is below.

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Poetry and photos diary date: 24 March 2018 at BRSLI

There’s a new Building the Kelston Barn page on the Bath artists and writers blog. Sue Boyle plans a reading of the composite poem which we created last year as part of the Bathscape’s Walking into Words project.

Follow developments at the new Building the Kelston Barn page on the Bath artists and writers blog.

Sue has teamed up with the writers and local landscape photographer Matt Prosser (whose work features regularly on this blog). The illustrated reading will be at BRSLI on Sat 24 March 2018. For the final poem see here.

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Kelston Roundhill dawn 27 December 2017 by Tim Graham

Tim Graham took this photo at dawn on 27 December 2017 from the top of Lansdown Lane, just below the Blathwayte Arms pub.

This photo in from Tim Graham. Tim started the excellent Kelston Roundhill Flickr group which he and Matt Prosser seem to be vying to contribute the most and best pics to.

Couple more below taken by me the next day on my phone but a) I dont get up as early as Tim b) I haven’t found his vantage point at top of Lansodwn Lane and c) maybe I need a photography course.

Roundhill at dusk 28 Dec from barn still adorned with Solstice-fest artefacts.

Roundhill through trees from top of Lansdown Lane pm of 28 Dec 2017.

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Local artists capture the spirit of the Klump

Nice to see a couple of greetings cards with different interpretations of a familiar icon. Both are by local artists, with prints are available on sale.

Nick Cudworth has this print on sale in his gallery in Walcot Street, Bath.

Kelston Round Hill 2 (thanks Su!) is by Nick Cudworth, who has a gallery in Walcot Street, Bath. His web site says:

Nick was commissioned by The Royal Mail to design a set of stamps for the Commonwealth Games which were on show at The Post Office Museum in Bath. In 1999 The National Portrait Gallery in London purchased a painting of film director Ken Loach for their permanent exhibition.

Nick opened his own gallery in London Street, (top end of Walcot Street) Bath in 1999 as an exhibition space and as a studio. He works in oil and pastel and is equally known for his landscape, still life and portraiture.

This print by Lynette Bower is available from her web site in a range of sizes.

Kelston Roundhill is a painting by Lynette Bower (thanks Aliya!). Lynette was born in Keynsham and has lived and worked in and around Bristol all her life. The Room 212 web site says:

A Science teacher by profession for over 20 years she has always had an interest in art and whenever possible experimented with different techniques. Her interest in botany (including at the microscopic level) and love of plants, beautiful gardens and landscapes has inspired her paintings. They are mostly created in acrylic on canvas in a style based loosely on pointillism.

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“Save our magnificent meadows” video

Terrific video by Costwold AONB “Magnificent Meadows” project, starring our very own local conservation officer Eleanor Reast. She’s a bit diffident about the film career, which is just as well: saving our meadows is way more important.


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Building the Kelston Barn: a chorus for eight voices

first  voice 

Ice broke this land to life,
this humpbacked hill,
water split it open
and drank the light,
wind blew these trees
out of kilter, their lanky limbs
boxing like love-struck hares.

second voice

The land stretched out
like a dog at the hearth and said,
Here you may build your barn,
enclose this piece of world
to be a haven on this broken hill,
nourished by the view, the skies, the stars,
the ever-changing light a sanctuary,
a safe place for travelling souls.

third voice

Though rain may lean its grief against your walls,
though storm may crash against your sacred space,
and folded clouds smear darkness through the gloom,
you will be graced by sunshine here,
cold sun on the silver days
in this nest of stone.

fourth voice

Here will be windows open to the sky,
here will be space to watch the drifting clouds,
here there will be time
to listen,
to stand in the rain and look towards the sea,
to share your hopes,
to grow your fellowship,
to kindle spirit brighter than a fire,
to share your memories.
Here you will be free
to travel beyond yourselves.

fifth voice

We do not work the land.
Earth called us here
as it called our ancestors,
men with the will to work,
masons, labourers,
the six-fingered carpenter
between them finding out
the alchemy of stone,
the bones of timber.
Something pulls us,
something draws us in.
Wind-scoured and weathered,
lifting by stages to the rising sun
in this tree-gifted place,
evolving against the backcloth of the sky,
a beauty grows itself.

sixth voice

I was drawn a pilgrim to this place.
Lost voices spoke.
Lost wisdom came to me.
I was alone, but I was not alone.
I felt no fear.
I was held.  I was sustained.

seventh voice

Apart and yet a part,
mortar and mortal,
wood, wit, unstained stone.
As the barley loves the blade,
as the wheat longs for the scythe,
to turn promise into purpose
I want to walk the path into the fire,
to be so consumed,
to be so changed.

eighth voice

All who come with shadows as well as stones,
whose lives are locked in anger and in grief,
all who bear heavy weight,
all who fear the failing of the light,
all who seek to breathe a clearer air,
who ask time to pardon them,
all who long to speak and to be heard,
all who have fallen, all who carry dreams
are welcome.

A Poem for Performance created by Sue Boyle, Claire Coleman, Darren Evans, Jill Field, Louise Green, Tanya Guildford, Charlie Hancock, Meretta Hart, Margaret Heath, William Heath, Caroline Heaton, Radha Housden, Rosie Jackson, Andrew Lawrence, Michael Loveday, Helen Mumford, Ras Nyah, Ann Preston, Tekla Selassie, Phillip Shepherd, Tessa Strickland, Liban Suleiman, Eliot Warwick, and Conor Whelan on Sunday 17th September 2017. Photo by Matt Prosser, selected by Sue Boyle. Part of the Bathscape Walking Festival funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (with thanks to B&NES and 12 other Bathscape partners).

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