Welcome walkers! Leave no trace…

See below (click “Continue reading”) for basic guidance for visitors:

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Matt’s illustrations to go with the poem assembled by Sue

On Saturday 24 March Sue Boyle is leading a Kelston-themed poetry session at BRSLI. Matt Prosser put together these images to go with it.

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Roundhill from Primrose Hill March 2018

after the mini-beast from the East, March 2018. Taken from just under Beckford’s Tower.

and with sledders:


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Only with love: gentle care in death (workshop Sun 29 Apr)

Claire Turnham, founder of OWL (“Only with love”) Family-Led  Home Funerals, is offering a one-day workshop at Kelston Old Barn for individuals, health professionals and community groups who wish to offer support to families around the time of death. Claire will:

  • share her personal & professional experiences as a death carer & educator, home funeral guide and independent funeral celebrant;
  • discuss the possibilities that are available to families who wish to  care for their loved ones either in hospices or at home;
  • demonstrate how to prepare the body of a loved one naturally for burial and cremation and how to dress the body in a shroud;
  • facilitate an open forum on the ways in which we can change death care, both individually and as communities, to better honour the person who has died and their surviving loved ones.

Kelston Barn at dusk August Bank Holiday Monday 2017: photo by Paul Clarke


Claire is the UK-based Founder of Only with Love and Chair of the Home Funeral Network, dedicated to empowering and guiding families to tenderly take care of their own. Claire is recognised internationally as a leading Home Funeral Guide, Advocate, Celebrant and Natural Death Carer & Educator.


  • £95.00/person, payable on booking. Includes tea/coffee & refreshments. Contributions to a shared lunch welcome.
  • 24 places only (two at concessionary price for low-income applicants).
  • To book email Tessa Strickland: tessa@challiscombe.com
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Helpful wintery pointer: coffee, cheese and a warm pint this way

Just what you need on a wintery day: a new sign helps walkers find their way down Cullimore’s Lane to the Old Crown pub, and Bath Soft Cheese cafe and shop in Kelston village. Thanks to Ed for making the sign, to team Padfield for erecting it and to passing jogger Gareth Stubbings for the photo. 

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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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