Bath Skyline grows

Sunset on the Bath Skyline
Published : 26 Jul 2016

We've acquired a plot of land on Claverton Down, thanks to two legacies, which allows us to create an important link on the Skyline.

Within the boundary of the Bath World Heritage Site, the 6.1 hectares - 15 acres - known as ‘Hancock’s Land’ is part of the very popular Bath Skyline Walk and the cycle track from Combe Down to the University.

It is the Trust’s first acquisition of land in Bath since we acquired Prior Park back in 1993 – we now care for 10% of the World Heritage Site in Bath.

The land was purchased thanks to two legacies given to the National Trust to be used for promoting access to the countryside in the South West. Mrs Susan Mary Jones-Valentine left 50% of her estate for the purchase of land in the South/South West and Mr Michael Frank O’Brien Smith left money for the purchase of land to benefit walkers.

‘This is a very attractive piece of land is already much loved and well used by the local community and we will ensure those uses continue,’ said Tom Boden, General Manager for the Trust in Bath.

‘It is used by as many as 160,000 people each year, be they cyclists travelling to and from the university or those walking the Bath Skyline and up to 350 people who take part in Parkrun every Saturday. It is also crossed by our Family Discovery and Access for All Trail on the Skyline and we would like to see it used for more family activities in the future.

‘By caring for this land the National Trust will seek to protect and improve the wildlife potential but also to promote access through this popular part of the city’s countryside and we will, of course, maintain the landscape to its usual high standards. It will be an integral part of the Claverton Down landscape.’

The plot of land was originally once part of the extensive 3,000 acre estate of one of Bath’s Georgian founding fathers, Ralph Allen – an estate that included the land from Prior Park to Claverton Down and down to the river Avon.

It fills a gap in the National Trust’s land which already includes most of Claverton Down and the adjoining land to Prior Park.

‘We already care for much of the landscape visible to the South of Bath,’ added Tom. ‘This plot of land adds an important piece to that green setting which we will continue to look after for everybody who loves the city.’