Misty January

Walkers have been deprived of their distant views for a few days. But there is a different haunting beauty to the clump in the mist.

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Bath Preservation Trust kicks off 2017 with a team outing on Kelston Roundhill

Bath Preservation Trust was set up to in the 1930s to save historic Bath from being cut in half by a new road. Now the Trust safeguards the historic character and amenities of the town with planning advice and education. It also owns and runs four local museums: 1 Royal Crescent, Herschel Museum, the Museum of Bath Architecture and our neighbour across the valley Beckford’s Tower.

It’s a small, independent charity with a huge workload, so we were delighted when they chose to kick off 2017 with a day off and a team visit to Kelston Roundhill including lunch in the Old Barn.

Fireside strategic team talk for the Bath Preservation Trust.

They help many owners and managers around Bath, us included. They supported the protection of the Clump with a grant towards fencing, and are integral to much that goes on in the local built environment and landscape, including the successful Bathscape bid.

On a crystal clear day the team had a bracing and spectacular walk from Beckford’s Tower, coffee and a fireside chat at the Old Barn, followed by lunch before heading back to the Tower across the valley via Prospect Style.


The team heads up the hill back to work protecting Bath’s heritage in 2017 and beyond.
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Come spring & summer here’s what we’ll be looking for

Here’s the AWT’s magnificent meadows guide to what to look out for when the flowers are back.

meadow-id-guide-webAvon Wildlife Trust offers a meadowflowers identification guide as part of its “Magnificent Meadows” project.

The plan is to use these AWT and other specialist NGO resources to inform the new schools partnerships work which starts January 2017. This involves working with selected schools to use the Roundhill for specific learning (including plants and wildlife) artistic and personal development.

We also plan a second AWT “Magnificent Meadows’ day in July 2017.

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The darkening hill: festive season poem #2 by Jon Hamp

Fainting  colour on faintest stalk

Hidden from winter’s fist

Lonesome foxes stalk the stores

Panic on the list


Light heads west just after noon

Having never lit the scene 

Blue, then black, like  a rising tide 

steals where the grey has been.


What is it now 

That holds us still?

Pinned like flies on this darkening hill.

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Light as Frost: festive season poem #1 by Jon Hamp

Christmas Princes,

Broken Kings,

Fall in love with needless things.


Tired princess,

Christmas queens,

spend their day on might have beens.


Towers fall and dust must settle;

light as frost,

And dark as metal.


Just Like Princes,

just Like Kings.

we fall in love with needless things.

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After the storms…


Surveying the outlook south and west (photo: Ziggy Heath)

After the gales and rainwater flooding down the tracks earlier this week the outlook is sunny for the weekend. The barn didn’t flood; the new ditch passed its first test. Just as well, as there’s a private event celebrating birthdays, hockey champions, first seasons of drama and of Kelston Records, and dancing in defiance of sinister politics, the onset of winter and the fact Bath is jam packed with the Christmas market.

  • If you want to arrange a catered event in the Old Barn contact Michael at Wild Fork West who’ll give excellent all-round event service. It’s also possible to rent the barn direct form us (but we’re not event organisers and can’t for example guarantee to be available on the day).
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Discovering Kelston Roundhill, described in the 1950s



Here’s the 1954 book Come out with me, Lewis Wilshire’s 1954 attempt to get townies out into the countryside. Clive Pratt wrote about this below; here’s pp3–31 with the reference he asked about:


It’s a delightful description of walking up the Roundhill. He appreciates the view, and writes about wildflowers that I’m not certain we see today.

The one bit we take issue with is where he says “it was here on Kelston Round-hill that Sir John Harington built a castle” etc. The castle (or rather, manor-house) was at the foot of the Roundhill, in the village of Kelston where you can still see its outline today.

Anyway thanks Clive for the enquiry and for sending in the scans.

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