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/