14 Dec 2020
The lunchtime walk has been feeling a bit of a chore lately, especially as I only have an hour and have to keep a mental watch out for my "bingo" point or risk being late back. Today I went for a deliberately brief local walk and got home in time to have lunch on my sofa rather than while I was back at work.
It's interesting filling in the gaps in my Clifton Village knowledge, especially starting to "see" the bits I can't see, the negative spaces. The size of both Fosseway Court and the Bishop's House gardens (check out the latter on Google Maps for an idea) are both something I've noticed by just getting to know the areas around them. I may also have to walk into the driveway of the very well-hidden Nuffield hospital to get an idea of how big it is.
None of those are anything compared to the trick of hiding the gargantuan public school that is Queen Elizabeth's Hospital so well that I keep on forgetting it's there, until a glimpse of it from somewhere like Lower Clifton Hill reminds me about it, of course...
I think when I first arrived in Hotwells, it was sort-of-officially St Andrew's Churchyard Walk, or Lime Walk (those are pleached lime trees), but Birdcage Walk, which I think was more of a nickname, is what shows up on Google maps now. Given that St Andrews itself was destroyed by the Luftwaffe in 1940, I suppose there's less of a landmark to hang the name on these days.
Edit to add: I eventually discovered that the original Bird Cage Walk was the path across Victoria Square, adjacent, and what it used to look like, which makes the name make a lot more sense. I think it's only reasonable that the name migrated as Lime Walk looked more like a birdcage, and the Victoria Square path less like one.
War Memorial, approriately next to the remaining foundations of St Andrew's Church, destroyed by bombing in 1940
06 Apr 2021
I'd originally intended just to pop up to the area around Alma Road, where I'd missed a few streets on earlier wanders. It was such a nice evening, though, I decided to extend my walk up to the very top of Pembroke Road, just outside my one mile radius, to take a few snaps of something intriguing I'd found in my researches.
I've driven, walked and jogged past the little triangle of land at the top of Pembroke road a great deal in my time in Bristol, but I didn't know that it used to be the site of a gibbet, in fact that the road itself there used to be called Gallows Acre Lane. According to the Durdham Down history trail, by Francis Greenacre (an excellent name for a Downs researcher!) among other sources:
...it was below this quarry near the top of Pembroke Road, once called Gallows Acre Lane, that a gibbet stood. It was sometimes occupied by those who had committed robberies on the Downs and was last used in 1783 to hang Shenkin Protheroe for the murder of a drover. Stories quickly spread that he descended from the gibbet at midnight every night and stalked through Clifton. Such was the alarm that his body was cut down and buried.
Also very close to this little triangle of land was one of the gates of the extensive turnpike system...
Anyway. Along the way I encountered a wooden tortoise and a real squirrel, among other things. It was a good walk, and more light in the evenings means I can move my wanders out of the ticking countdown clock of work lunch-hours and be a bit more leisurely.
St Andrews Churchyard has recently been given a good tidy, thanks to the efforts of the Cliftonwood and Hotwells Improvement Society and the council.
The St. Andrew's churchyard squirrels are quite brave.
And the local crows add a lot of good graveyard atmosphere with their cawing.
But CHIS sadly don't have the budget to repair any graves.
That's a old people's home in the back, overlooking the graveyard. Must be cheery for them.
01 May 2021
I didn't get to all the little leftover streets around the northeastern part of my area in today's wander, but I definitely knocked a few off the list, plus Lisa and I enjoyed the walk, and didn't get rained on too badly. We spotted the hotting-up of Wisteria season, checked out Birdcage Walk (both old and new), ventured onto the wrong side of the tracks1 and generally enjoyed the architecture.
1 Well, technically we probably shouldn't have been on the grounds of those retirement flats, but nobody started chasing us around the garden with a Zimmer frame
She was a gifted and prolific inventor, by all accounts, though apparently the news stories from a year or two back about her having had significant design input into the Clifton Suspension Bridge were due to an erroneous entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, oddly.
I have The Portable Emerson on my "incoming" bookshelf, I think, but I'm not getting through them very quickly at the moment.
It's nice to see one of Bristol's defunct fountains being put to some kind of purpose.
18 Apr 2022
I didn't really set out with a theme of flowers and gardens in mind for this walk. I just fancied heading up to Clifton Village to get lunch. As it turned out, though, Spring was springing, so a minor theme emerged as I started off with the graveyard flowers of Hope Chapel and wandered up to see the beginnings of the new wildflower garden at Clifton Hill Meadow.
Moving on from Clifton Hill, I fancied wandering through Lime Walk.
I always take a look for interesting graves as I wander through St Andrew's churchyard, and there's been quite a lot of ivy clearing recently, so there's more on display.
...doesn't sound like the kind of man who would appreciate the somewhat lax attitude his gravestone is taking to uprightness.
There's been some commotion on Nextdoor about the recent appearance of this sign. Lots of people who have been letting their dogs off their leads in the churchyard for decades have been rather up in arms. I'm not sure there's actually much danger of the rozzers issuing ASBOs or fines to the locals for that kind of infraction, though.
I rather like the stone drape across the funerary urn on the pedestal. Plenty more flowers on show, too. This is the bit where most of the squirrels hang out; I imagine they're in favour of the new dogs-on-leads rule.
The limes pleached over the walkway seem to be well-maintained.