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.”

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There’s a good series on Britain’s Roman roads on Channel 5: