Bathampton Down is noted for its unique prehistoric remains but its more recent history is also fascinating. This new book, written and researched by Mary Clark and published by the Bathampton Local History Research Group, tells the story of the Down since 1700 when the Lord of the Manor built a wall to divide it in two and enclose his rabbit warren.
The story unfolds with chapters on the warrener’s house, Sham Castle, Ralph Allen’s influence; two shocking murders; a fatal duel; a college that was never built; a forgotten farmstead; a rifle range; the Golf Course and secrets of the Second World War. All these have coloured the Down’s history since the 18th century. The Industrial Archaeology of the stone quarries and their early tramway, together with the former Bathampton Waterworks and more recent reservoirs are also included whilst the final chapter illustrates things of a more curious nature.
This book acts as a record of the Down’s more recent history and will give readers a greater understanding of this area of outstanding natural beauty.