I was just about starting to feel better—the antibiotics seemed to have kicked in for my dental issues, and it had been some days since I'd left the house, and I was at last starting to get itchy feet. So, a wander. But where? Well, there were a few industrial bits near Winterstoke Road in the Ashton/Ashton Vale areas of Bristol that needed walking. I knew they were likely to be quite, well, unattractive, frankly. So why not do them while I wasn't feeling exactly 100% myself? Maybe it would fit my mood. Hopefully you're also in the mood for a bit of post-industrial wasteland, for that's what some of this feels like...
Then, at the last minute, I thought again about the Bristol International Exhibition—I've got a book about it on the way now—and that gave me another goal, which could just about be said to be in the same direction, and I decided to walk significantly further than my normal 1-mile limit and try recreating another historical photo...
Sadly I don't know much about the Ashton area; it's just on the edges of my mile and I rarely have cause to go there. It's brimming with history, I'm sure: the whole South Bristol area rapidly developed from farmland to coal mines to factories to its current interesting mixture of suburbs and industrial work over the last few hundred years. As a more working class area less attention was paid to it by historians, at least historically-speaking, than the Georgian heights of Clifton, and much of it has been knocked down and reinvented rather than listed and preserved. I see here and there some of this lack is being addressed, but I'm afraid I'll be very light on the history myself on this wander, as most of my usual sources aren't throwing up their normal reams of information as when I point them at Clifton, Hotwells or the old city.
These are some hills I'm not heading for today, but I love the distant view of Dundry from Hotwells. The silhouetted church towards the left is St MIchael's Church, Dundry, whose tower was built in 1481.
The other towers around Dundry have more recent heritage. I believe Dundry East transmitter still sends out the analogue signal for BBC Radio 4, and lets me listen to The Archers on an old Roberts radio when I'm doing my cleaning on a Sunday morning. Some bits of my life are still quite old-fashioned.
21 Dec 2020
Despite the weather, Sarah and Vik and I wandered around Ashton Court a bit as the sun rose. Not that you could really tell. Sadly, the bit we wanted to watch the sunrise from was closed, because people hadn't been treating the deer with appropriate respect. Ah well, at least it was some exercise.