Quirky Bath: a poem about a horse that died on one of Bath’s steepest roads is marked with a horse trough – the road is part of the Roman Fosse Way that linked the hot springs to Exeter and Lincoln

The short cut on foot from Bear Flat to Bath City Centre is down the incredibly steep hill known as Holloway. Half way up is a horse trough now sadly neglected which features a plaque with a poem on it – echoing perhaps William Blake poem Auguries of Innocent: “A Horse misus’d upon the Road, Calls to Heaven for Human blood.”

The road is the most direct route in from the South West and the modern A367 – until that main road takes a slightly less steep way snaking around the hill capped by Alexandra Park.

Bath History Tours websites notes of the hill: “The constant traffic into Bath, plus the rain water may have ‘hollowed out a deeper and deeper track, giving rise to its name. The path of this section would have been very steep and today’s traffic diverts down a much smoother route along the current A367 after the 19th century Turnpike company decided it was too dangerous for traffic.

“You can get a good sense of this last descent into Bath from this passage of 1801, by the Rev’d Richard Warner in his Excursions from Bath:

“‘The approach to Bath, on the west side, had for ages been down a steep rugged concavity… called Holloway…’ he goes on to describe the seasonal beggars and the coal mining animals who reside in this district.”

For more on Quirky Bath visit http://www.harrymottram.co.uk/creative-services/bath-voice/quirky-bath/

More news of Bath’s chic community in Bath Voice magazine – now out – or read online at https://issuu.com/bathvoice/docs/bath_1020_test_final?fbclid=IwAR0iMYxhQj-9Cgz9uz8x9HMDnFOS_uV485SZD9qV6MXL7a_UHQ2Fs74XzXQ

There’s a good series on Britain’s Roman roads on Channel 5: https://www.channel5.com/show/walking-britains-roman-roads/