Always fascinated to know the reason for a road naming – and we have had one re-named quite recently!
A follower of the Virtual Museum of Bath has asked me why a road near Bath University has been re-named Soldier Down Lane by B&NES. He thought it was part of The Avenue.
Well the University has put me in touch with Mr Ralph Nunn – a local resident who was very much involved in the process.
Ralph tells me the re-naming involves the lane which connects The Avenue with the University Campus and which provides pedestrian access from the bus stop at the top of Bathwick Hill.
“The lane has never been part of The Avenue. Some years ago the B&NES Council adopted the lane and installed lighting.
Proposed recent housing developments in The Avenue and the University’s plans for Woodlands, the Grade II listed house whose boundary wall runs the length of the lane, has prompted local residents to have the lane properly named.
One family, whose ancestors farmed the land where the University now stands, recall the lane being referred to as Soldier Down Lane.
At the time of the Civil War (1642/3). Sir William Waller’s Parliamentary Army were camped on the Down, guessing that Sir Ralph Hopton’s Royalists would pass along the bottom of the valley of which the former had good view.
Waller’s army could well have used this lane to march down into Bath for the main battle at Lansdown.
The lane is part of a bridlepath and is used by walkers on the Skyline Walk. It was part of a much longer medieval road from Bathampton to Combe Down.”
Although the sign has not yet been erected – l hope that explains things – and thank you for the photographs also Ralph!