Not everyone loves the National Trust. Critics use words like formulaic or municipal. At their angriest they call it Nazional. But it has saved and preserved a colossal amount of national heritage, learned a huge amount about how to look after it, and it’s a huge source of expertise, resource and rallying point of love of British buildings and natural environment.
The point made by its more thoughtful detractors is that it can overlook or even compromise the spirit of the places it looks after. It is, after all, a pragmatic and secular bureaucracy. But the NT are smart and dedicated people, and they’re more than aware of that issue. See for example here the new National Trust campaign on the Bath Skyline:
“We are trying to put into words the spirit of the place”.
Kelston Roundhill, while indpendently owned, is an integral part of the same Bath skyline. We feel exactly the same need. Songwriters and poets have done some it already, and also photographers and artists. But, as our local sage Martin Palmer points out, there is something uniquely important about words.
So do reply to their enquiry. The exam question is “What one thing do you think makes the Skyline unique?” I think it’s fine to have more than one. My first thoughts are: 1. the Peter Gabriel’s song Solsbury Hill; 2. being able to see from Wilts to Wales #KelstonRoundhill; 3. the people you meet on the Skyline: the things that bring them there and the feelings they speak of.
It’s not a remote place; it’s sociable. There’s something about a historic, populous distant view that makes people open up their thoughts and feelings.