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2009 TRIP TO ENGLAND, by Colin L. Miller

Intro May 28 May 29 May 30 May 31 June 01 June 02 June 03 June 04 June 05 June 06 June 07 June 08 June 09 June 10 June 11 June 12 June 13 Expense Report

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I was up at 7:35 AM to get ready for my trip to Bath. I had breakfast again at the hotel restaurant. Then I checked in with the proprietor of the bed & breakfast, The Pilgrims: the room is ready so I can come on over. At 10:10 AM I was back on the street with all my stuff. The weather was still mostly clear and sunny. A half-hour later I was at the train station, and I got a ticket with my credit card from an ATM-like kiosk: single fare, one-way to Bath Spa (13.80). A few minutes later I was on the Great Western Train from platform 4, open seating to Bath.


Rail Ticket From Salisbury to Bath Spa

An hour later, I was off at Bath Spa Station. I got a map and some postcards from the visitor information center, then I started walking the hills of Bath to the bed & breakfast. After checking in, I headed back out. I was told of a footpath shortcut to town, which I took. It was on an overlook of the river, the City of Bath and the distant hills and pastures. I walked through town past the Roman Baths and the abbey to the nearby guildhall where the Bath archives were, down in the basement. I had emailed the archivists of my plans a few weeks ago, so they were expecting me. With some assistance from an archivist, I looked through microfiche records of burials. I eventually found a reference for the burial of 3rd great grandfather (son of William & Leonora) George Miller, buried on November 4, 1852, Lansdown Cemetery, Section 3 Letter F Grave 6 common. Lansdown Cemetery was way up Lansdown Road outside of the city. I departed and began walking uphill. I passed by some streets where Miller relatives once treaded a hundred and fifty years ago. I kept a good pace and it was quite a workout, but I finally arrived. During my trip planning, I was prepared to hit the other cemeteries and do a brute force walkthrough of as many of them as possible. However, this cemetery wasn't on my list.


Bath Spa Rail Station, Scenic View of Bath, Bath Abbey

This cemetery for Walcot Parish was adjacent to Beckford's Tower, built long ago by a wealthy resident. The area had some protected plant species. That was the reason why only about half of the headstones and monuments were visible and intact. The others were in high grass and plant growth and others were deep in the darkness under heavy foliage and trees. Some headstones had fallen or been placed down before they collapsed and so were unreadable. A few had crumbled, rendering anonymous whoever was interred here. This kind of neglect was criminal, in my opinion. With my hiking GPS I tried to track my progress through the cemetery. The layout wasn't very linear, so straight rows were rare and some don't have pathways so I couldn't get close enough to read the faded engravings of names and dates. I eventually covered the whole accessible area, but I didn't find George's grave (and presumably other family members nearby). Ninety minutes later, at 5:40 PM, I headed back downhill, and got a quick dinner at McDonalds at 6:30 PM. I was back at the bed & breakfast at 7:30 PM, where I rested, watched TV and then some videos on the netbook. I'll continue my archive search tomorrow.


Lansdown Cemetery & Beckford's Tower


Intro May 28 May 29 May 30 May 31 June 01 June 02 June 03 June 04 June 05 June 06 June 07 June 08 June 09 June 10 June 11 June 12 June 13 Expense Report