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Archive for December 12th, 2020

There is nothing more precious to me than hearing my grandson from behind the door saying “G’anny” when I ring the doorbell and then seeing that beautiful little face lit up with a smile. And a cuddle follows close behind β˜Ίβ˜ΊπŸ’™

He is my absolute joy….

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And suddenly I was on the home straight with just 19 hours to go and I’d be on my way. My final break was taken in town and I followed some of my more favoured routes and managed a decent 6.8kms, albeit with a reduction in my time off again πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

When I first arrived in Shepton Mallet 12 days ago my heart sank…it looked dull and grey with no defining features beyond grey walls and grey houses, a massive Tesco store and the distinction of being mentioned in the Domesday Book….and the oldest prison in the country looming large…and grey 🀨🀨

Shepton Mallet Prison- closed 2013
Exterior of the prison

But as usual I set out to explore and managed to find lots of interesting nooks and crannies, a great number of interesting houses, some of which are Grade II listed.

The Merchants House – 17th century Grade II listed

Three other houses of historical interest:

Longbridge House : with links to James, Duke of Monmouth and the Battle of Sedgemoor July 1685. Now a B&B. With parts dating back to the 14th century the house is best known for being where the Duke of Monmouth stayed before and after the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685.

Exploring Shepton Mallet

Old Bowlish House : I was delighted to note the old English spelling…first house name I’ve ever seen in old English. Built around 1618, this Grade II* clothier’s mansion was modernised by the Georgians c.1735 and the Victorians c.1860.

Old Bowlish House – note the old English spelling

Downside House – Georgian House 5 bedrooms 3 bathrooms…I’ll have one of each πŸ˜ƒ

Downside House

exciting finds, although I’m pretty certain there were quite a few more dotted about. After all, in its past, Shepton Mallet used to be a very wealthy town built on the wool trade

I found and walked a small section of the Roman Fosseway, and explored the greater countryside, walking many sections of the East Mendip Way. I discovered the wonderful viaducts, one of which carried the old railway – now disused. I explored the beautiful Collett Park and stretching myself I walked to Downside, Bowlish and Ham Lane.

Fosseway
Exploring Shepton Mallet – Collette Park
Collette Park
Collette Park
Viaduct on the Kilver estate
The River Sheppey at Bowlish

I squelched along muddy public paths, slipping and sliding and climbed some interesting stiles πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ One of my favourite sections was between a steep field and the small holdings along the River Sheppey where I met lamas, horses, goats and chickens.

This was my favourite stretch of the walks
Helloooo

I walked along narrow roads and lanes and prayed that the tractors that had left their treads in the mud right at the absolute limits of the lanes, didn’t decide to come either up or down the lanes while I was walking along…they didn’t. Whew! I would probably have had to either climb under or over …or resort to climbing into the hedges that towered along the sides.

Narrow roads and wide tractors. ..

I managed to find many items of interest after all…I thought my options were out, but no.

Some houses had little plaques remembering past residents who went off to war and never returned

Although the architecture is mostly solid grey stone

A dilapidated house
Literally falling apart

I did find some older painted houses, albeit peeling and covered in mould….the reason for the stone houses was more apparent. The town is mostly located in a very deep wedge between hills, the Mendip Hills, and a great number of houses are built right on the rivers edge.

Mouldy peeling paint – note the crown decoration
A river runs past
Same section of the river
This house is also built right on rivers edge next to the Fosseway
An optical illusion- on Cat Ash the houses are actually adjacent

I found what used to be a Priory

The Priory exterior
The Priory interior

I’m totally intrigued by the bricked in doors and windows of many of the older houses, and am curious to know when and why they were sealed off.

Windows and doors bricked up m

Addendum – Many thanks to Grace for sending me this link in the comments. The reason why windows and doors were boarded up…governments eh πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺhttps://www.amusingplanet.com/2018/04/why-do-many-historic-buildings-in-uk.html?m=1 anything to squeeze more money out of their citizens.

The church was beautiful albeit locked so I never got to go inside πŸ˜” and the market cross is beautiful

And after yesterday’s walk and 2 weeks of indoor walking I’m now closer to my 2020 target of 2020kms. Hoorah. It looks like I may just reach my target by 31.12.2020

As usual, saying goodbye to the pets is sometimes the hardest part of leaving

And so ends my sojourn to Shepton Mallet. Its been quite a stressful job, and I’ll be glad of my 48 hour break before starting all over again on Monday in Croydon πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ thankfully only 9 days….

At the moment I’m in transit, first train and nearly in London ….1 tube ride, the HS1 to the coast and a taxi ride away from the Airbnb where I’m staying this weekend.

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