What a difference a week makes. Seems efforts by The Circus Area Residents Association, local Councillor Andrew Furse and B&NES has finally dealt with the issue of an ever increasing number of cars and vans parking long the length of historic Gravel Walk.
A new locking mechanism is now in place – on the removable bollard at the top of the pathway – and only essential access will be allowed in future.
Now we can only hope some way can be found to restore the route as vehicles have gouged out most of the gravel – leaving ruts and potholes.
The repair follows a letter sent out by B&NES to all residents with access to the Gravel Walk warning that vehicles had to be removed prior to the replacement locking arrangement.
This pathway was Bath’s first by-pass and the setting – in Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion – for the city stroll that Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot took when they were finally reconciled.
It was laid down in 1771 and connected the Royal Crescent with Queen Square.
Once it would have had views across gently sloping pastures leading to the old city of Bath – that is, until Royal Victoria park was constructed and mature trees now shade this pathway and drip raindrops upon its pedestrian users.
It is a pathway that Jane Austen herself would have walked upon and one that is still used today by tourists and Bathonians alike.
All the cars and vans were churning up the surface.
Though this is part of the city’s Conservation Area, attempts have been made to fill in the holes with all sorts of aggregate, so the whole route is a patchwork quilt of stone filling, pot holes and mud.
This route once gave access to the back entrances to the Georgian properties but, with the coming of Royal Victoria Park – designed in 1829 – the pathway merged with this new facility – one of Britain’s earliest public parks.