Landscape

Springs: from Research to Blake to Oral History

Richardson: Wells and Springs of Gloucestershire, HMSO,1930 Introduction:

  1. Between Dursley and Dudbridge few springs issue; some of the more reliable are used for the supply of Coaley and King’s Stanley…”

  2. In the Nailsworth, Horsley and Avening Valleys…copious springs break out, such as at Gig Mill, Millbottom, the Coldwell Spring, those at the Midland Fishery in the Horsley Valley, in the grounds of “Pensile”, and in the vicinity of Longfords Mills up the Avening Valley.”

  3. Up the Frome Valley, above Stroud, is the powerful Clerk’s Flour Mill Spring…the springs at Bliss Mills, the “Black Gutter,” etc., and the considerable store of water in the Cotteswold Sands which furnished the original supply (by means of wells) of the Stroud Water Company.”

  4. If it had not been for the presence of the Fullers’ Earth, the greater part of the Cotteswold upland would have been void of villages, isolated farms and cottages…Kingscote, Nymphsfield, Avening, Minchinhampton, Sapperton, Edgeworth, Chalford, Bisley…”; the juxtaposition of Fullers’ Earth and the Great Oolite has been a fundamental determinant of settlement patterns.

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Rowcroft Railway Bridge

The Wall beneath Rowcroft Railway Bridge

I love the railway bridge over Rowcroft in Stroud,
I love the way it continues the lengthy viaduct that straddles the A46,
I love that Dirty Old Town industrial revolution-
Collectivist working class feeling,
When dreaming underneath the arches,
And I love travelling over the bridge and viaduct too,
Whether it’s to Paddington or Cheltenham,
And I love walking the Up-platform,
To gaze down at the edgelands below,
The rebarbative railing and the obligatory supermarket trolley,
The litter, the detritus, the security signage …
But I have to confess,
When I walk under Rowcroft railway bridge,
Whether to or from Stroud town,
I usually scurry through,
Tbh,
Trying to avoid the congregations of pigeons,
And consequent widespread excrement,
As well as the fag smoke, vaping and sputum –
I usually keep my eyes to the ground,
Trying to keep my shoes clean,
And am oblivious of anything above or beyond the pavement.

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Lodgemore Mills and the Elements

There is a sort of elemental magic at work at Lodgemore –
The very word itself suggests an ability to expand beyond
Natural confines of space and time:
Lodge-more:
The lodging of Fire, Air, Earth and Water,
A numinous presence around these mill walls,
A perpetual elemental infusion and confusion
Of history, continuity and change:

There have been three fires here: in 1802, 1811 and 1871:
The 1829 Register of Pennsylvania looked at
The phenomenon of ‘spontaneous combustion’,
And ‘enumerated several substances, which under particular circumstances spontaneously inflamed, and it may be serviceable to mention, as a caution to woollen manufacturers, that a destructive fire at Lodgemore Mills near Stroud, in Gloucestershire, which happened, June, 1811, was occasioned by a quantity of flocks impregnated by Curier’s oil being left on the floor.’

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Rodborough Fields For Ever

Rodborough Fields: The Curse is Lifted A piece of parchment flew through an open window of the bus today and landed on my lap. It was entitled THE CURSE IS LIFTED. I have made a transcription. As you won’t be building on this field, Springs will no longer o’er-turn...

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Walking and Cycling: Bike or Boots?

Edward Thomas on Walking and Cycling Richard Jefferies on Walking Reflections on Psychogeography and Cyclogeography Bike or boots? It’s horses for courses sometimes isn’t it? It’s a question of what you fancy, or a matter of where you want to travel, or how far, or...

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November

 I used to loath November, but now feel quite nostalgic about the long lost fogs and mists of yesteryear: ‘When vapours rolling down a valley Made a lonely scene more lonesome’ – as WW put it in The Prelude. So I am going to enjoy today’s fog with a walk...

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